Julyin’ Around

The title is deceptive because I’m doing no such thing. Like everyone else who begins the summer thinking it’s actually going to be a ‘break,’ I’m being swiftly disillusioned by the hectic, flyby nature of July. So much to do, so little motivation. 🙂 I’ll be brief about a couple of things I learned last week so you, too, can get back to running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

Remember that teensy-weensy rant I made about the bats with white-nose syndrome? Well, I retract the harsh words I used. Okay, I didn’t use any harsh words; and I didn’t rant on the bats but, rather, the practice of erecting metal gates to keep people out of the caves.

Last Monday, my family and I were at the mouth of Sauta (a.k.a. Blowing Wind) Cave at dusk to watch the exit of the largest known summer population of gray bats in the Southeast. While we waited for the sun to go down, our guide discussed what the endangered gray bats would face should white-nose syndrome be introduced into their colonies. The illness spreads rapidly with a bat mortality rate of 95%. Ninety-five percent! The first cases of WNS were documented in New York, and the steel bars at cave entrances are the only means researchers have come up with to hamper the spread of white-nose syndrome in various bat species. No one seems to have a clue how to manage the illness or the bats that contract WNS.

List of mammals of Florida
List of mammals of Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can you tell I’m feeling a little more forgiving about the barriers that keep me out of the caves now? Amazing what a little knowledge can do. One more thing I learned about bats: It is not their natural practice to swoop out of a cave en masse. That’s only if you scare them. They stagger their exits, circling around for a bit and winging away. At least the gray bats do.

Now, on the 4th I learned that if I allow my son to attempt to steer me down a small river in a kayak, there is an 100% possibility that the kayak will flip over; and I will come close to losing my sandals, my lunch bag, and the oars. And there’s the same probability that I will shriek and thrash around like the crazy woman I am for a good ten minutes before I realize, yes, I can stand up in the water.

Have a happy rest of the week!

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Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I write about this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come.

8 thoughts on “Julyin’ Around”

  1. Gotta love those boys! Mine would then lecture me on not panicking. For instance, took my 2 boys to see movie, Phenomenon. Was crying at the end. #2 son, age 10 or 11 at the time, looks up (without any sympathy) and says with a twinge of disgust: “It’s only a movie, Mom, he’s not really dead!” Where would we be without our little preservers of sanity?! Does this not sound like an article in the making…down the road?

    Hope all will be well with the bats! I’ll have to check in on their progress from time to time.

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    1. Definitely an article in the making! Yes, my son has preserved my sanity many times…one time when he was only five. But he’s tried my sanity, as well.

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    1. I know! I can deal with losing interest in amusement park rides and opting to hang around the elephant ears and chicken on a stick stalls instead. I’ve even become reconciled to my lack of excitement when getting up way too early on Christmas morning–so different from how I felt as a kid. I can’t seem to get used to the speed of summer, though…

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  2. I always enjoy being entertained while I learn something new. 🙂 I’ve never tried kayaking because I’m pretty darn certain I would panic and drown if I capsized….

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    1. As panicked as I felt, a small thought floated up. “Take note of your reaction here. It could be useful when you’re writing about (a particular character) during the (particular scene).” Either I knew I wasn’t going to drown, or I was in denial about it. 😀

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