Down Under: Day Six

22 Jul

I’m going to combine my first bat day with the second. I went to see the bats again with my husband and his coworkers a few days later, but you don’t need repeat posting, so we’ll make this an all out BATastic post.

I knew the bats were at the Royal Botanic Gardens, but only because I read it somewhere. People here don’t talk about the bats. They don’t think it is a big deal. DUDE. These things are BIG and a DEAL.

When I first entered the gardens I saw what you would expect to find in a place like that. There were fountains with birds.

There were cool trees with roots growing from the top.

There was an art installation of painted beehives (no bees).

There was a tropical center in a pyramid.

There was a turtle swimming in a pond.

I even saw some cool fungi growing on trees,

and pretty spider webs. Then, I turned a corner, looked up into the trees, and…

What is that big thing hanging there?

BATS!! They were everywhere.

They have orange furry heads.

They make creepy gremlin noises and mess with each other while napping.

Here’s the deal with the bats. They roost (sleep upside down) in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. The trees they like to hang out on (ha. ha.) get damaged and eventually die. The Botanic Gardens wants to relocate the bats so they don’t kill off all their precious trees. They were planning to do this relocation this year, but they discovered that some of the females are underweight (they look plump to me – for some size reference, they are about as big as my head when all wrapped up). If they move them while they’re underweight, it will put too much stress on them and they could die. These bats – actually grey-headed flying foxes – are protected by the government, so they can’t move them until the females get back to normal weight. I think they should let them stay and just plant more trees, but hey, what do I know…

My husband took this video when he came to see the bats. It is amazing.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=13541861&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
BATS! from Amy Carter on Vimeo.

That’s some crazy Halloween sh!t.

Once I got over the fact that every time I looked up, I saw hundreds of bats hanging from the trees, I managed to see a bit more of the gardens.

Hmmm… what are those white birds hanging out on the lawn over there?

Oh, just a bunch of cockatoos. They hang out like pigeons around here. Really beautiful pigeons.

After the gardens, we headed to the Domain, a park across the street. The gardens close at 5pm, but the bats fly out around 5:15pm. A lady I befriended who worked at the tropical center said we should go to the Domain when the gardens closed to get a good view of the bats flying out for the night.

First, we saw one of these.

I’m pretty sure this spider kills people.

Then, we waited… and waited… and…

BATS!

My husband’s coworker was hoping that the sky would “turn black,” but they don’t happen to fly out all at the same exact time. There’s no bat alarm clock that goes off at 5:15 to wake them all off and send them all into the skies at once. It was a very cool thing to see, though. Some of them even landed in the trees at the Domain and crawled around looking for bugs and things to eat. They are super creepy when they crawl around with their winged hands.

That night for dinner, we had Yum Cha, Australian for Dim Sum. SO much food. I couldn’t even touch the last course.

Up next, my very favorite part of the city, Surry Hills! Stay tuned!!!

2 Responses to “Down Under: Day Six”

  1. Jakeandjess July 23, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    the bats we have here are a lot smaller…we thought there would be a huge cloud of them but were told that they don't because they would be exposed to predators…ANYHOO I am loving all of your posts and feel closer to you already! hehe

  2. shimmery July 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I love reading your views as a visitor to Sydney! Lol about the bats, can take you by surprise when you look up and see thousands, it's quite a sight every night when they all fly off to their feeding grounds, especially in summer!

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