Jul 282016
 

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what to do when life becomes a bit batty

continued from Part 2

What I found was a tired, motionless bat, laying on the shower floor. I called the kids in to see and talk through the situation.  Never too early to teach them how to handle certain adult responsibilities.  Who knows, they may end up marrying someone who would run away screaming at the sight of a bat, and they will need to know how to handle something like this.

We were not sure if it was still alive or not, which meant we treated it as if it were. FYI: do not pick up a bat with your hands.

A plastic tub was placed over the bat and the piece of cardboard slid underneath.  Yup, still alive.  The clue? When it started fluttering around to get up on the cardboard.

We stopped our morning routine, grabbed a container of sidewalk chalk and headed outside.  The bat, who had been kept covered the whole way out, was laid uncovered, still on the cardboard, near the street while we kept watch from the sidewalk.

Distracted by busy ants working in the grass, we missed the bat flying off.  I believe I saw it head to the neighbor’s house.  Don’t quote me on that though.

I like bats.  They eat mosquitoes.  I want to encourage them to live near us … but not IN our house.

A quick search online resulted in finding an Ento Wood Bat House Kit. Using a gift card from Swagbucks, the bat house was soon on its way  “Perfect.  The kids can help hammer and we can hang it somewhere nearby.”

It arrived about a week later and sat around for a few more weeks.  Finally the day came where we had time to put it together.

Going to the garage we spread out all of the pieces, compared them to the instructions, then began assembling.

bat house opening collage

George got mad at Jack and stomped off early on in the process.  He watched the rest of the time from the garage door.

Jack learned very quickly that placing all the nails into their holes before hammering may have seemed like an efficient idea, but did not work out so well.  When he started to hammer, the nails jumped every which way and fell out. Oops.  This being the garage, and my husband having recently gotten a flat tire while traveling, I was very firm attentive that all the nails be kept in a pile where we could keep track of them.

begin to build bat house collage

Once the pieces were laid out and instructions read, the kids had a hard time being patient with this first step, we started to put the pieces together.  Getting the side pieces lined up and straight was a bit of a challenge as I was trying to get them perfect.  I hammered the first two nails on each side in hopes of making it easier for Jack to finish the remaining nails.

putting together bat house collage

The back actually had two pieces, a top and a bottom.  These were not labeled, so I triple checked the pictures on the instructions before beginning.  I compared the holes in each piece, matching those shown on the photos and what was required in future steps.

After turning the piece over, I realized the side pieces did not quite make it to the top of the mesh.  This meant the ‘roof’ had two issues going: 1. it was below the holes pre-drilled for nailing it to the back, and 2. it was over top of the mesh by just a bit.  It would have been better for the bottom pieces to not be exactly level with the bottom of the box. So much for me trying to be perfect.

issues with putting together bat house collage

A few more issues we ran into were – the side pieces were not exactly straight and a nail went through the side when attaching the back.  The second issue was caused by the first.  Neither was a big deal in the end, but were both frustrations when we were in the midst of putting it together.

issues with bat house collage

The roof misalignment issue was fairly easily solved.  Nails were placed below the pre-drilled holes, in places that lined up with the actual roof piece.  There was a bit of a gap in the end, though very small and nothing noticeable once it was hung.  I also placed it on a side of the tree that is normally protected from the rain and snow.

bat house hanging on tree

When all was said and done, I was pleased with the look of the Ento Wood Bat House Kit.  The kids are excited for their first residents to move in.  More than once I have had to tell them to leave it be – no climbing toys to look inside, no poking a stick into it, etc.  My hope is that this will also solve the bat roommate problems inside our house.

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Jul 252016
 

what to do when life becomes a bit batty

continued from Part 1.

Since I had not seen, or heard, the bat on the stairway I headed to the (door-less) attic space that is adjacent to our bedroom.  Moving slowly and ready to duck my head at any moment, I slowly began to look around.  There is space above our ceiling and my literal prayers were that the bat had not flown there.  Thankfully I found it hanging from one of the roof supports right inside the attic door.

Unfortunately I was not able to catch it. Not only did it fly back into my bedroom, it also took to flying up and down the staircases.

When if flew towards George’s room I had a thought, which quickly turned into a hopeful, pleading prayer, one that I thought sounded awfully selfish and highly unlikely, “Lord, please let it fly into the bathroom so I can close the door on it and go back to bed.  I know if probably won’t, but … please.”

Whether it was an instant answer to prayer or sheer coincidence, the bath flew right into the bathroom.  Into a small room with no open window. Yup, the one whose door was in the corner no where near the bat’s flight path. I did not stop to consider the dynamics of flight at that moment.  I jumped into action.

I closed that door and walked away, back to bed, and slept for a few more hours.

In the morning when I inquired of George about his quality of sleep the night before, he said he had not heard anything. I took this to mean the bat did not cause too much trouble knocking over items in the bathroom.

I cautiously peeked into the bathroom around noon, but did not see the bat hanging anywhere.  Not a surprise, as there were lots of dark corners (under the large tub, especially, which has a few trim panels removed currently) where the bat could have hid.

The next day I was curious about the bat and went back in, ready to hide if necessary for battle.  What I found was a tired bat, laying on the shower floor.  We were not sure if it was still alive or not, which meant we treated it as if it were.FYI: do not pick up a bat with your hands.

to be continued ….

Jul 222016
 

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what to do when life becomes a bit batty

What should you do when life suddenly becomes a bit batty? Buy a house!

When work on our house began and walls were taken apart, some of the workers mentioned finding a couple bats inside the walls.  It was winter and the walls were filled with old insulation.  My first thought was “hibernation”.  Do bats hibernate?

Fast forward several months.  It was a dark night, I had all the lights off, the kids were asleep, and my husband was gone to class.  Out of the corner of my eye I see something move.  However, when I look nothing was there.  I tried to convince myself I was being paranoid and go back to reading on my Kindle.

Then I see it again. Though I wanted to continue reading my book, I knew the adult thing would be deal with it and not ignore it.

Once the lights the mystery  was quickly solved – a bat was flying around our kitchen/living/dining rooms. {deep breath} I close the bedroom doors and head online to see what to do next.

Within 10 minutes the bad had been put back outside and I went back to reading … with the lights on this time.

The scenario above played out three times over the next few weeks.

Then, no more bats. Maybe we scared them away?  Maybe they found a new place to live?

That was till a month ago.

Very early one morning something woke me up.  At first I was not sure what it was.  The sun was not yet up and no kid was standing right next to me.  Then I heard it, a soft change in the air right above me (I was laying in bed).  sigh We had a bat in our bedroom.

This time I knew what to do and did not overreact or freeze up.  I laid in bed till my eyes adjusted then got up when the bat flew away.  I stood in a corner to see its path, turned off the fans in hopes it would fly higher, and prayed it would not go into the attic or George’s room.  I was not looking to play hide-and-seek with a bat at 3 in the morning.

I left the room to find a box in the basement.  When I came back, the bat was gone. Oh, fun.

to be continued …