Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

Bats don’t like baths

Marty’s photo of the day #3320: Bats do not like baths! Every summer, I move my office/writing room out onto the front porch. (The porch runs the width of the house and is covered, but not screened in.) This year the flies were a bit pesky, so two days ago my wife, Deb, bought me a sticky fly-ribbon, which I hung near my chair. I’ve done this in the past without problems, but yesterday morning, I was shocked to find a long-eared myotis totally wrapped up in the ribbon.

I thought the bat was dead, but then I noticed it was breathing. I carefully removed the bat, which was quite difficult because the ribbon was brand new and incredibly sticky. Unfortunately, the bat had become so sticky that when I set it on the ground it instantly became a mass of grass and twigs.

That’s when I enlisted Deb and her patient, gentle hands for help. She washed the little bat with Dawn dish washing liquid and then carefully rinsed and dried it off. I didn’t think there was any way she’d remove enough of the sticky goo for the bat to survive, but the bat disappeared from the tree we put it on about an hour afterward.

So—yay!—we’re optimistic that the bat flew away and is going to be okay.

Needless to say: the fly ribbon has been removed from the porch.

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