Bats in the Writer’s Belfry

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I have a three-season writing room. Four-season, if I light the wood stove and heat the place up. Finishing the roughed-in room over my husband’s workshop was one of the first projects I undertook when moving to the wilderness of Oregon.

Wilderness naturally entails a plentitude of wildlife, and my writing room has endured its share of feathered, winged, and furry visitors.

I love it when the hummingbirds fly in the window and hover over my head before zipping out again.

I didn’t even mind when the walls filled with wasps. The room vibrated with a soft hum while I sat peacefully among them and wrote. After two years of friendly buzzing around my head, they mysteriously moved out all on their own.

Then the bats moved in.

We are a bat-friendly household even though Nature Boy (aka the husband) has watched a few too many Dracula movies. He swears that “Batty” swoops at him as he runs the gauntlet from the door to the car every morning.

For two years, the bats and their buddies have been partying in my writing room, and it didn’t look like they intended to take a hint from the wasps and relocate any time soon. In fact, they were inviting their friends to take up residence. It was getting a little crowded, and though bat poop isn’t horrifyingly gross, it’s still gross.

So, a week ago, it was time for Batty and his buds to git.

The first task was to plug up their access to the room, which meant closing the gaps around the windows and doors, hauling the nail gun and compressor up there and securing the wooden slats on the ceiling. I knew where they were getting in because I could see the grubby mess left by their little hands and feet. Eeek.

Then I needed to find them. In US politics, you follow the money; when seeking bats, you follow the poop.

Photo by John Pearce via Flickr

I found two tiny fellows, no bigger than my thumb, hanging behind my picture frames.  I opened the door and windows, and fitted with gloves, nudged the little guys from their roosts. That probably wasn’t the best idea, because I found myself in a small room ducking and weaving as two bats flitted, swooped, and dove around my head.

The dummies had no idea where the windows and door were, and all three of us were in a bit of a panic. I considered running out of the room screaming, but I feared they’d simply find a new place to hide. And honestly, I’ve never been particularly scared of wild animals, so I stayed and encouraged them with a kind voice to scram!

Finally, Batty and his cousin flitted out the window and I slammed the thing shut quick!  After that, it was a matter of a deep clean, and my writing room is ready for the summer. It’s been a week and no new visitors… yet.

Bat Friendly Facts from the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and me:

  • Oregon’s bats do not turn into vampires.
  • They eat only insects. An adult bat eats about 1,000 insects every hour!
  • Bats hang upside down because it gives them an ideal position for take-off.
  • Bats can fly 20 to 30 miles an hour and travel more than 100 miles a night.
  • A baby bat is called a pup because it’s so cute and furry.
  • Bats are not birds.
  • They’re the only flying mammal.

 

174 thoughts on “Bats in the Writer’s Belfry

  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    I found this little gem buried in my unread emails. I wasn’t sure whether to be amused or horrified by this story. You, my friend, are fearless!!

    I confess I’d be cowering with Nature Boy. Yeah, yeah – I know – bats are harmless. In fact they are very helpful to anyone would doesn’t like insects … but tell that to my fight-or-flight instinct. It’s going to be *flight* every time!

    In spite of the miscellaneous invasions from the wildlife world, I do love your writing space … and I’m in awe of your handy-woman skills! Your talents are boundless 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha ha. Nature Boy thanks you for commiserating, Joanne. The space is smaller than it looks in the picture, and I’ll readily admit that I wasn’t too keen on having them swooping around my head. But so far, so good. I think Batty and his buds have moved out. Thanks for reading my friend. Happy adventures!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    I have had bats in old rental houses. My son would take two oven mitts and somehow climb on furniture and capture them. One was so quiet as he let it out of his soft grasp, it laid down. Son walked into the house and almost cried. Suddenly the bat shivered and took up! 🐦 🦋 Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Around here they are really such tiny creatures, Robin, and not frightening at all (except when they’re flying around my head). Ha ha. I could never catch one, so your son is talented and fast! Thanks for stopping by to read, my friend. Happy Sunday!

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  3. Is that a picture of your writing room? It’s so beautiful! It inspires a girl to be more aesthetically creative. (I have some eye conditions, so I’m much more of a words person “naturally”.) Annnd to make a writing room. 🙂
    Thanks for the likes and follow! It’s always nice to have a thumbs up from someone further along in the writing world.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ocean Bream says:

    those bats are so tiny! And your writing room is beautiful – almost enviable but in the warm kind of way. My favourite part of this post was the humming of wasps in your walls for two years – then mysteriously vanishing. I don’t like wasps on a sunny day, but yours sound wreathed with fantasy and mystery. I am inclined to think they are mystical wasps that entered our realm for a short time, and now that their job was done they flitted through that thin gauze that separates our worlds. One can dream!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. I don’t know if my wasps were magical, but I love the idea! I was never stung even though there were always a few dozen flying around my head. It was a little weird sitting in the middle of their hive. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to read about my bat adventure. 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. elixssam says:

    This was one of the most delightful reads of my night. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. It was a bit batty up there. The space is smaller than it looks in the picture, and those little guys look a lot bigger when their wings are extended and their diving at your head! Lol. I’m glad you enjoyed my adventure. 🙂 Happy Writing!

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  6. noelleg44 says:

    What a charming writing room, Diana! I have a healthy regard for bats – they are so important for keeping down the bugs but they are also great pollinators! We have a couple of bat houses out back – so they don’t want to roost in the house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Noelle! We have bat houses too and they are a noisy bunch squeaking while we sit outside. My writing room isn’t quite air-tight, so those little guys took up residence. They’re gone now, and I’ve reclaimed my space. 😀 Have a great week and Happy Writing.

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  7. […] all over the place, so, moot point. Any ideas? I’m desperate. (Link to Diana’s post on bats: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2018/05/02/bats-in-the-writers-belfry/) **Ps: SOS is a distress signal, and it doesn’t stand for Save Our Soul or any other […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bel says:

    Lol! Oregon Bats do not turn into vampires – and I had such high hopes 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. I just stuck that in there in case anyone was wondering. My husband isn’t so sure. Lol. I think you still have to go to Transylvania for the genuine article. I am still bat-free! Thanks for making me laugh. 😀

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  9. I don’t envy you at all! I spent a summer looking after the house of a friend of my grandmother’s. this sounds easy, right? And then, as she hands over the keys, she idly mentions that there might be bats trying to invade the house (*What?!*) and that if they were to get in, I was to wrap them up in a towel and chuck them outside!
    I should mention that to do this in England would be *highly illegal*, and that you have to call the local bat-men (no really) to come and get them.
    Thankfully no bats invaded that summer, but I lived in fear of having to deal with flying furballs the whole time!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Some other people commented about the strict bat-rules in England. That would have been a nuisance and you were lucky they didn’t invade! They tend to fly around inside at night. My brother had one land on his pillow when he slept in my writing room. Um… even for me that would have been way too creepy! Thanks for stopping by, Cameron. I hope you have a great day free of flying furballs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    Love your writing room, Diana! It looks peaceful and inviting! I’d not be as relaxed as you dealing with bats though. Glad they are cleared out and free. Enjoy your incredible writing room. 📚 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Christine. It’s an inviting room when not swarming with wasps or covered in bat guano. Ha ha. It’s still a little chilly in the morning up there, but when the sun comes out, I’ll be up there. Thanks so much for the visit and the kind comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your writing room – I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone. Although it could be an interesting experiment to write the same scene a few different times and see what happens to your story, depending on whether it’s wasps, bats or birds circling your head?!

    Liked by 2 people

    • They do end up in the details here and there, Tara. I have a mention of bats in my current WIP, but just a mention. I’m much more likely to reflect my mood! And thanks for the compliment on the writing room. I love it up there. No TV! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t imagine hanging out in a room that has bats and am so impressed at how relaxed you are about it! Our bats are the big, black fruit bats with toxic poo that wrecks car paint and stains fences if you don’t clean it off straight away. Plus, if you get bitten you can get some deadly disease (easily treatable though). Your writing room looks wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I realize that bats are different around the world. Toxic poo and rabies are not my idea of fun. My bats are tiny and relatively harmless. We have lots of little beasties around here (and some big ones that I’d rather not meet!) Thanks for the visit and I’m glad you like the room! Have a great day. 😀

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  13. What a delightful room, Diana. I can see why the bats moved in. It looks very inviting, fresh and calm. Perfect for daydreaming or naps.
    We have a bat house near us. I’ve seen then fly about at night. As they keep the insects away from me, I always wish them a ‘good night’ before closing my eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Bats as such don’t bother me it’s just that many contract rabies. That’s a shame but a fact of nature. Yours sounded healthy but I wouldn’t want one to bite me. This was an enjoyable memoir. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You have a writing room?! So envious! I wouldn’t be so accommodating to the wasps, though. Bees, maybe. As long as I don’t see them. But bats… I like bats fine, but I draw the line at letting them hang out long enough to make a poop mess. And psst, for next time, just pick the little guys up gently and carry them outside. Years ago we had a bat in the house one night (they like to sneak in when my husband feeds the dogs on the deck), and of course it disappeared somewhere. The next morning my daughter came downstairs and said there was a furry bug in her room. When she showed me, it was the bat hanging on the door jamb! I got my gloves on, picked it off the door jamb, and released it outside. I hope it found a more suitable place to sleep!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Furry bug. Lol. Thanks for the tip! I definitely could have picked it up since it took a little nudging to get it going. I was surprised that it didn’t just fly out the window. Next time, I’ll know better. The wasps were definitely flying around while I wrote, Julie. They’d drop from the ceiling onto my laptop, get up, and fly away. I was glad when they moved out! I’m glad you liked my room. A little warmer and I’ll be moving in there. 😀 Happy Writing!

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  16. Oh my goodness! Thanks for the lesson on bats, Diana. Like you, I live in a rural area, but that is one creature I don’t have to contend with. I can’t imagine finding bats hanging behind picture frames!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Jennifer. I really had to track them down and the poop below the picture was the give-away. Gak! So gross. And I was surprised how tiny they were! But they’re all gone now and the place is spotless. For now. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Tina Frisco says:

    You’re such a tolerant soul, Diana. Kudos on reclaiming your writing room. I love critters and all of nature, but I’d have drawn the line at wasps 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • No one seems to mind the hummingbirds, Tina. Lol The wasps were very tame. It was weird. I wasn’t stung once. The bats could have stayed too, but they were way too messy. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, my friend. May your weekend be immersed in a gentler version of nature. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my goodness, Diana. I don’t think I could have managed against a den of bats (wasps either). I surely couldn’t handle any tools more complex than a screwdriver. I’m so glad you have your little cheery room to yourself again! I had to chuckle about your husband running to the car. When my girls were little, we lived across the street from an elderly couple who had a Chow dog that hated me (I don’t know why because animals usually like me really well). They would let it outside in the front yard (why, oh why) every morning when it was time for me to go to work. I would literally have to run from my front porch and dive into my car. That creature would watch for me! I finally managed to have a talk with the lady who finally decided the backyard was the way to go, LOL. Have a super weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, Lana. My adventure actually points to how lazy I am. I’d rather write with scores of wasps buzzing around my head than do anything about getting rid of them – like make a phone call. Same thing with the bats. Only the impending visit from my parents got me motivated. Lol. You poor thing having to run and dive into your car every morning! That dog must have loved the daily chase. You were an awfully big and exciting cat. Ha ha. At least your neighbor listened. Super weekend to you too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  19. […] via Bats in the Writer’s Belfry — Myths of the Mirror […]

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Your story with the bats sound amazing. I find bats super attractive!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, Neha. I don’t mind them, but to be honest I’m in no hurry to cuddle with them. 🙂 And they are quite messy. But just fine to share the world with. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  21. What a batty thing to do! Sorry about that- I couldn’t help mysel. 😜 Actually, I love bats. Love sitting outside at dusk on our porch and watching them flit like fast dark fairies. I heard that bats are smart; where was the smart in your house bats? I think that they were just shocked that you didn’t want them to stay.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad that you enjoy bats too. Dark fairies! That’s an awesome description, Pam. They are huge poopers, though, so out they had to go. And the weather’s getting nice so they can handle it. Have a great weekend my friend. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • The first time I visited Texas, I went on a tour of one their amazing caves. We walked deep deep into the center of the cave. The guide turned the light on, and we could see absolutely nothing. Very neat. Then he turned his flashlight back on and aimed the beam toward a huge, and I mean huge, mountain of grayish white in the center of the cave. You know what it was – and the thousands of bats were hanging up on the cave ceiling where we couldn’t see them. So yes, I know what you mean about needing to ask those tiny little critters to leave your cheery writing space.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I really enjoyed reading your story of bats and yourself. Being an island girl, I know them too much, it is like they grew me up. My islands are the only island country in the world that bats are eatable. Our bats are “fruit bats.” And trust me, back home if we have a mango tree in the garden, my days, when the mangoes become ripe, these guys won’t allow you to sleep at night, their noises are absolutely disturbing, and they will eat all the mangoes on the tree. I love bats, they are beautiful animals, and foreigners that visit my country never leave without eating bats in coconut curry, it is delicious. I am sure they loved to have you there. I am glad you found your writing corner in the world. Well done!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think that fruit bats are bigger than the tiny ones that invaded my room. I wouldn’t like it if they were eating my mangoes! I’d want them all to myself! I’m not certain I’d eat bats, but I’ll take your word for it that they’re tasty. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot to mention that if they get caught up with the new dawn, they remain hanging on the tree, they don’t fly until night. There is a say on the island that they don’t see in the daytime, and they come out only in the night time. And plus me and my little brother were so happy having them hanging on the tree at home, guess what – we sang the lady bird song with them “bats bats fly away home, your house is on fire.” hahaha laugh, your story reminded me of them days.

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