My family sends me texts asking me plant questions.
What is this plant?
Where can I find this plant?
Should I cut back this plant?
When can you go with me to buy plants?
And I answer them all as best I can.
Occasionally, I’ll get a text asking me about something garden related, that isn’t about plants.
Like back in late August when my older sister found this bat sleeping during the day by the door they use to go in and out of the house with their dogs all day long.
I am far from a bat expert, but…
I told her at the time to leave it alone and eventually it would wake up and fly away.
Which it did about an hour later.
I guessed that was the right answer.
I confirmed it when a bat expert spoke about bats the other day at garden club.
I learned quite a bit that I didn’t know about bats in that one hour or so presentation.
There are 13 species of bats in Indiana. Some migrate away in the fall, others live in caves. They like trees like shagbark hickory and tall dead trees. We gardeners can help them out by planting native plants that attract pollinators. They eat lots of bugs!
We also learned that Asian bush honeysuckle, an invasive plant which chokes out native plants and creates a dense cover in many wooded areas, also impacts bats as it messes up their ability to echolocate, which allows the bats to use sound to “see.”
But blind as a bat isn’t correct because bats aren’t blind. They just like to use sound in addition to sight because they are flying around at night, mostly.
We saw a picture of burdock, another introduced plant, which has a pretty flower but the burs (seedheads) can stick to bats and then they can’t fly. (I was surprised given their size how lightweight bats actually are.)
Our speaker explained that bat houses, which should be at least 12 feet up in the air where they are in six to eight hours of sun a day, won’t attract bats, but they’ll use them to stay in if they find them.
All this bat info made me glad I included a few bats in The Halloween Hare. They serve as guides for the Halloween Hare as he makes his rounds on Halloween.
I don’t recall seeing any bats at night here, but with a wooded area behind the house across the street, it stands to reason, as they say, that there are bats flying around here at night. I’m going to keep an eye out for them next spring, as I suspect the bats around here are starting to fly off to their winter homes, whether in caves or someplace further south.
Hopefully, a few of them are staying back to help the Halloween Hare on Halloween!
Thanks for reading to the end. You can buy The Halloween Hare any place where books are sold. If your bookstore doesn’t have it, ask them to order a copy! I am down to just a few copies in my supply, so if you want an autographed copy, don’t delay!