This morning I went out to water my puny pepper and microscopic cabbage plants. (Can you tell they're not off to a great start?!?) Sprinkles and showers are in our forecast for the next several days, so I almost didn't. I sure am glad that I did go out to water things.
We have several rain collection water barrels around our home. These have a spout on the bottom and a lid with a mesh covered hole for the rain water to run into. We also have two barrels that are just plain ol' barrels... no spouts, no lids. We have found drowned bats a couple of times in the past and thought we'd taken enough precaution by shortening the downspout that pours into the barrels so that they are several feet above the water line. (Thought being that they fly down the drainspout after bugs and can't get back out.) Now I've discovered that that was not enough. Poor guy.
As I was about to dip my little bottle in to fill with rain water I noticed movement near the edge. At first I thought it was just a beetle and almost just said, "Eww!" and ignored it. Then I realized that that would be a rather large beetle then, looked closer and almost shrieked, "Eww!" again. Not wanting to get bit I decided against reaching in and scooping it out, as I would an insect. Fortunately there was an empty plant pot around the corner. I easily scooped him out and lay the pot down on the ground on it's side so the bat could easily get out. His body heaved so hard and fast, I'm sure he was exhausted. I attempted to gently dump him out but his tiny pink mouth opened and one of his wings appeared to twitch in refute. So I let him be to dry out and rest. After about 15mns I went out to check on him and found that he'd pulled himself out of the planter and is resting, with his limbs all pulled in close for body heat no doubt, under the hollyhock plant you see in the first photo. Sweet little bug catcher... I wasn't sure he was still alive even. So I whistled and his little ears twitched each time I did so. I think he'll be fine. But, of course, I will go out and check again and hope to find that he's flown off.
Lesson learned: Get a cover on every rain barrel, silly! Not sure if we have any screen around, but I certainly will get out to buy enough to tack on to these last two uncovered barrels.