If you know me at all, you know that I am a big fan of bats. I dont know where it started or when really, but I love bats. Have loved them forever. I even think wee little vampire bats like those two are cute as all hell (how can you not think they are adorable). I have stuffed animal bats, little pewter bats, bat cards, bat stickers, etc. Even cute little ones that used to hang from my ceiling. Back when I lived in Sioux Falls, my sister, and I would head down to Omaha to the zoo every year. They have an amazing Nocturnal exhibit which is modeled to look like a cave including an exhibit with a bunch of free flying bats with nothing but a bit of netting separating you from them. I could spend hours there watching them, and I do mean hours. And we're not even talking about their new exhibit in the rainforest building where they are actually flying above you, past you, etc. They made me leave. I even love watching the little Gary Oldman vampire bats eat.
I personally think that everyone should adore them. There’s the whole Batman reference and Stellaluna and the Bats in the Library books. Plus, they get such an insanely bad rap, kind of like wolves due to pop culture and other such things, but they are such an integral part of the ecosystem. I am calling this year the Year of The Bat well actually the United Nations Environmental Program is calling it that, which I am okay with. I mean look at them. Aren’t they adorable.
Why Bats Are Awesome There are plenty of reasons why bats are so amazing.
One: They are the only flying mammal in the world and there are over 1,000 different species of them on every continent except for Antarctica including the little brown bat which is prevalent in my part of the world. These little guys can eat more than 600 insects an hour. Insects like gnats and mosquitoes which I would rather not have anywhere near me. Basically they are a natural pesticide. Cant complain about that.
Two: They have a fairly low reproduction rate and a long life expectancy – one baby per year and can live up to 30 years if they are really lucky.
Three: When I was little I was convinced that bats were flying puppies, kind of like fairy dogs. My mom put up bat boxes in the backyard and my dad took me to Carlsbad Caverns so I could see the evening exodus and squee like the adorable little fangirl of bats that I was.
Four: They are extremely lucky in some cultures. In China the bat is a symbol of longevity and happiess while it also represents luck in Poland and in Macedonia
Five: I mean come on. Look how cute they are. Plus anything that inspired Batman is kind of kick ass.
Some Misconceptions about Bats Some Misconceptions about Bats:
One: They love to attack your hair kind of like Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds. Most of this myth is probably from the fact that we, as people attract gnats and mosquitoes. This is dinner, breakfast and lunch for insect eating bats and so what looks like erratic diving towards your lovely hair is actually them just elegantly grabbing food for the day. Trust me your hair does nothing for them. No nutritional value what so ever.
Two: They are blind. Nope. This is probably because people assume they are blind due to their use of echolocation. Which by the way is just awesome. Echolocation is basically high frequency calls that bounce off prey and obstacles. It is so sophisticated that some bats can even distinguish between different types of prey and not collide into one another. And to be honest most fruit bats can see rather well.
Three: They are all infected with Rabies and will turn you into Cujo. Again not really true. Only about .5% of bats have rabies. However, if you contract rabies, it can be fatal so get all bites from any animal checked.
Four: They vant to suck your blood. Nope. Vampire bats are found in Southern Mexico, Central America and South America and plus they like big and cow blood more than humans. Sorry Edward.
Top Five Things I am Lusting After This Year (aka Reasons why Etsy is Evil and I am Broke) Problem is finding bats during any other time than Halloween. Or finding cute ones instead of scary ones. So I usually have to get my fill. Thankfully there is a lovely thing called Etsy where apparently other bat lovers lurk.
These adorable little guys can be found over at Mochi Studios at Etsy. One can never have enough plushies. They line my bookshelves and I adore them so much that I have been making my own lately.
You know what's awesome...adding steampunk with bats. Seriously this necklace is to die for and since I am seriously going clockwork like this Halloween for one party I cannot help but want to covet this pendant by Cosmic Firefly.
What bat loving girl wouldnt want all of these gorgeous little guys crawling up her leg in stocking form. Would look great with my little black dress for a pre-Hallows bash. You can get these and more fun thigh highs and stockings over at Tattoo Socks. I could spend far too much money at this store.
More bats. This pillow is awesome. Too bad she sold it already. Though me and my craftiness may have to do an inspired by OutonaLimbDesign's great idea.
Finally we have this little guy which would look lovely around my neck. Fable and Fury also has some other wicked jewelry...which is why I hate Etsy and it is making me broke.
So there you have it. Reason Number Two on why I love bats so much. Have any bat gems to share? Please do