BlogHer
Flickr
Really Old Archives
Ravelry
@owilderness
Sprout Dispatch
YouTube

Interviews
The Trail Show Interview about the Florida Trail
Florida Hikes! Wild Women Interview
A Trail Life Appalachian Trail Hike Interview









Follow on Bloglovin

Read OW in your inbox!:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Contests & Other Items
Creative
Food
Family & Friends
Gardening
Journeys
Local Adventures
Local Coffee
Memes
Nature In The City
Outdoors
Thoughts

+Selected Posts+

Thru-Hiking the Florida Trail How-To
Little Lake Creek Loop, SHNF
Our Work in Print
Thru-Hiker Deliciousness
The Greatest Mountain























LINKwithlove


  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009



  • Over the weekend Chris and I went to the Texas Hill Country near Boerne to do some hiking and exploring of the area. We happened upon a rainy weekend, complete with some flooding in the San Antonio area. Because of this some of the areas we wanted to go to were closed. As I was planning our trip I found a small park on Google Earth called Old Tunnel State Park. So on Sunday night as we drove back from Fredericksburg to our motel in Comfort we took the Old San Antonio Road to the state park. I really wasn’t expecting a lot of people but boy, was I wrong! The place ended up being very packed by the time we were done with the bat emergence at nearly 9pm. We arrived at around 7pm and were very glad to have as it enabled us to get seating in the lower amphitheater area, thus providing us with perfect bat viewing!

    oldtunnelwma
    Chris and I walked down to the old tunnel, the first one in Texas, to scope out the area. We could see some bats flying around towards the back of the tunnel but none were emerging as we were over an hour early. Plus, no one is allowed that far down during the emergence—darn! We walked shortly down one of their hiking trails, but we weren’t in hiking clothes so we didn’t wander far.

    A park ranger gave an excellent program discussing the local history, talking about the bats and why they have colonized the tunnel. It was interesting to hear that the pregnant mothers actually leave for a month or so to give birth in another cave. Apparently the tunnel with its two openings doesn’t allow the body heat of the bat mass to heat up the area warm enough for the bats to give birth and the pups to survive. The ranger said they needed 105* in the cave and that temperature wouldn’t be reached in the tunnel. The park and other bat researchers have tried to figure out which cave they are migrating to for birthing and they believe they’ve pinpointed a cave somewhere near Mason but aren’t for certain. Either way, the females and their pups come back about six weeks after birth to the tunnel, just about the time the males fly up from Mexico. Then, this is the peak mass of bat emergence with up to 3 million bats emerging at night!

    There’s also another couple of thousand of cave myotis bats that also occupy the cave but are distinctly separate in their roosting habits. At least bats know how to share space!


    Chris took this video, his is a little bit lighter than mine and he used a lens that cropped closer.


    I should have upped my ISO but didn’t realize it was dark when I was looking at the screen on the camera. Anyway, this shows the bats emerging from the tunnel, rising up and then hanging a left through the trees, and then out and over the canopy. It would be really cool to see this from a mile or two down the road! When we left and proceeded to drive south we saw several bats flying low and high above the road so I think watching them from this direction would be really fun to see!

    hillcountry
    This tiny state park is highly recommended and if you are in the area definitely stop in for the presentation and emergence! Get there at least an hour early to guarantee a seat down low. You can skip paying and stay at the very top, but Chris went up towards the end to see what he could see above the trees and the visibility was not good.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Facebook Twitter Email

    One Comment

    1. Gayle Bicik says:

      Your videos are really cook – I thought it would be darker also. Cool. Glad y’all had such a good weekend.

    Leave a Reply

    ``