Monday, July 7, 2008

Batty Evening

Dick signed up for a "Photography at Night" class with Leisure Learning. The class met at the bat viewing platform at the Waugh Street Bridge. The what?!! We drove over several days before class and sure enough there was a platform overlooking the bayou and bridge. Near the platform is one of our favorite fountains.

Doesn't this fountain look like a dandelion?
We believe it's official name is the Wortham fountain.

Dick printed this picture out for his drawing class.
Two point perspective!

Downtown Houston

Dick said the most interesting part of the class was the talk about the bats! The bat colony numbers around 300,000. It is a matriarchy - only the moms and their youngsters live at the bridge. The males pack their bags and move out when they reach maturity. When the bats make their nightly flight to dine on mosquitoes, they fly down the bayou toward downtown Houston. Sometimes there's a heron or two waiting below the bridge just in case one of the bats gets too close to the ground. The peregrine falcons from downtown also think "bat" is a tasty treat.

Here come the bats -
just starting out on their dinner meal.

The view from under the bridge.
It's an older bridge and built in a way that makes
it an easy place for the bats to live.
You can just make out the parallel lines
under the bridge - bat condos!

The most famous bat colony in Texas is probably the one in Austin under the Congress Street Bridge. It is said millions of bats live there. Leisure Learning even has a class to go bat watching in Austin that includes dining in a restaurant on Town Lake before the bats make their nightly foray.

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