Tag Archive: bats

Tropical Tromping….

I know you are wondering what is going on in the world. You are asking why the Chicks with Ticks haven’t been around.

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Well, IT’S SUMMER SILLY. That’s right – kids are out of school and adventures abound. So, in honor of summer I thought we would begin to tell you what AMAZING places we have been adventuring so far.

View of the shore.

View of the shore.

We are going to start with Caladesi State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Caladesi-Island. It is only the most beautiful island ever…well at least one we can paddle to.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

So, we load up paddle boards, coolers, kayaks and 4 kids….me with 4 kids isn’t that unusual. In fact, I almost always travel with 4 kids. Just so happens that this trip included my two biologic kids and each of their best friends. IT also included loads of silliness at Wal Mart to get food and stuff, bouncy balls that flew out of the window (another story for another time) and an amazing parking spot.

Allison searching for adventure....and creatures.

Allison searching for adventure….and creatures.

We loaded up and paddled out to the tip of the island from the causeway. I recommend this for above average paddlers as there is a boat traffic pattern, channel, sand bar, and sometimes a strong current and winds. This paddling is very east most times – but occasionally it is a little tiresome for beginners – none the less – it’s a blast.

There are mangrove trails to paddles, crystal clear shallows to explore, lots of sea creatures to selfie with, clean sandy shores, bird watching, shelling, relaxing, and – our favorite – ADVENTURING. SO – don’t miss out. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards on the causeway. Also, if paddling is not for you – take the ferry – it’s affordable and fun. Bring your lunch – camera and RELAX and enjoy the amazing natural habitats of Florida beaches.


For advanced paddlers (and drinkers) there is a marina and beach well into the islands that has amazing lunch and sangria. The beaches host tortoises and beautiful rare plants. You can paddle with porpoises sometimes and see some great mangroves.

Vampires Commeth..

With Halloween coming, the Chicks thought it would be interesting to begin dispelling myths about some of the spookier nighttime creatures. We will begin with bats. Vampire bats do not suck blood. Rather, they lick the blood of cows an other small mammals. Vampire bats are actually very small and are no threat to us!

So, here goes. No more fearing them in the dark. They do not get tangled in your hair and will not suck the lifeblood out of you….here are some truths about



  • A single bat can snap up over 600 mosquitoes in one hour, as well as other little pests!
  • Bats are shy, gentle, and intelligent. They are among the slowest reproducing animals on earth.
  • Most bat species have only one live young per year. A mother bat nurses her baby from a pair of pectoral breasts.
  • The average life-span of a bat is 25 to 40 years.
  • Bat populations in rapid decline, and White Nose Syndrome is threatening them even further. Half the bats in the US are listed as rare, threatened or endangered.
  • While both bats and mice are mammals, bats are not rodents and are more closely related to primates and people.
  • Bats live a very long time.  Most bats live between 10 and 20 years.  Some bats typically live to 30 years old.  The oldest known bat was recently recaptured in Europe at 41 years old.
  • Very few bats contract rabies.  Over the last 50 years, less than 40 people have gotten rabies from a wild bat.  Scientific studies have shown that less than 1% of wild bats test positive for rabies.

http://batconservation.org/drupal/bat-myths Check out the Organization for Bat Conservation!

Shadowed Calls

Mexican Free Tailed Bats - courtesy of Bluedots.com

The flame flickers over last season’s oak and the embers twinkle like a million red stars. I sit amongst friends and smores enjoying the Indian Summer. Laughter and dew settles as we relive the events of the day. Out in the forest, I hear something unfamiliar. A call of some wild thing that seems to be wanton and worried. I sneak away, issuing some excuse or other. There’s always twigs to gather and shadows to explore. I stand at the edge of the blackness and listen. Is that feather? Is it legged and winged? I creep closer needing desperately to know what small wonder is awake in the night. The sound is coming from the canopy. This thing – this mystery is living in my forest. Or, am I living near its forest? I can’t leave. I am drawn further and further into the damp twilight. I listen, craning my neck as if my length will cover the distance between it and me. One more time – I hear the bats in the Spanish moss. I linger a moment and smile. I return to the campfire satisfied.

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