Sunday, August 16, 2009

"How much is that Froggie in the Window?" and "Going Batty"

OK, I admit it. I stole this idea of photographing the frog from inside the window and juxtaposing it with the same frog photographed from the outside from MidMarsh John who recently showed a seven spot ladybird photographed this way on his blog (http://midmarsh.blogspot.com/2009/08/3-thanks-and-7-spots.html). This is a little tree frog of some kind. It was sitting on the window next to our front door a couple of nights ago.



That was an exciting night. It started with Jazmin sniffing the vent that is the air intake on our fireplace insert. The vent is connected to the chimney. We couldn't tell why she was sniffing, but in about 3/4 hour we knew -- we heard the chittering of a bat as it crawled out of the vent, with Jazmin only inches away, waiting to grab it. Instead I grabbed Jazmin, Dennis grabbed a dish towel, we crashed into each other as I was heading away from the bat and he was heading toward it. I got the cats shut into the bedroom and Dennis got the bat into the dish towel. But before he could get to the front door to put the bat out, the bat got out of the towel and began swooping around the house.

Oddly, our house doesn't have too many doors; the den (where the fireplace is), kitchen, diningroom, livingroom, and foyer are all contiguous. So for the next hour we tried to get the bat to fly out any of the 5 windows we had opened for that purpose. We both really like bats, and would never kill one by intent, but since some are known to carry rabies in this part of the country, we proceeded with due caution. Finally the bat flew into the laundry room, which fortunately does have a door and a window. Dennis went into the laundry room long enough to take the screen off the window and open the window and then shut the door behind him as he exited. Then we left the bat to its own devices. As we checked around the house to see if there were any other domestic-minded bats, Dennis noticed the frog on the window.


Well, that prompted me to get my camera out and I took the two photos of the frog. I really like the suction cup toes. As I took photos from the inside and outside I remembered MidMarch John's ladybird composite photo and tried to reproduce it for frog.


While I had the camera out, I took a couple of pictures of the bat. By this time, it was hanging from the ceiling. I couldn't get a good POV because its head was pretty close to the wall and I was a little more timid than usual (probably a good thing, I often throw caution to the winds) because a colleague of mine is currently going through rabies vaccination shots after getting bit on the head while he was in the wilderness of Wisconsin. The vast majority of bats do not have rabies, however, if you are bitten, you really need to have the vaccinations and also get gamma globulin injections. My colleague says the gamma globulin injects are very painful. With that on my mind, I did not get the step stool so I could get the camera to within 18 inches of the bat. Instead I stayed at least 4 feet away! ;-) I'm afraid that is as much caution as I can muster. In the picture below you can see the bat has one wing partially stretched out with what I seem to recall is its little finger equivalent hooked onto the ceiling.

These bats, called little brown bats, are quite small, only about 3-4 inches long. Their wings make them appear much larger when they are flying. I got a little closer in the next photo by standing on a sturdy plastic box (and I also cropped the photo severely). You can make out an ear toward the bottom left; its "tail" is at the top of the picture.

The bat was still there when it was time to go to bed, so we just left the window open and the door closed in hopes it would fly out during the night and not invite all its buddies to this new place it found to hang out in. Luck was with us and the next morning it was gone.

8 comments:

  1. A fantastic post, Wilma! The frog's foot suckers must be very effective to support such a body mass. A bat indoors would challenge anyone, I think - teamwork worked. Well done.

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  2. Oh deja vu! - this is one of the first summers we have not had bats find their way into our old farmhouse, though there are some droppings in the barn loft. The white-nosed fungus has taken its toll, plus we have closed up many of the openings they could have used. I think most of the ones that get inside are young bats that haven't quite figured things out yet. We occasionally have found a family. Anyway, with the plummet in numbers due to the fungus, I'm glad to hear of bats in someone's house - and just slightly gladder its not mine, although they always keep the cats entertained!

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  3. Love the shots of the frog from both sides.
    Lots of excitement with the visiting bat, not something that happens to me. lol
    Glad he eventually found his way out. :)

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  4. Great stuff, and good seeing wildlife from the other side of the world wilma, it's not often bats enter a house you were fortunate, quite exciting, presumably following a moth coming indoors with a light?

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  5. Rob - the teamwork was very slapstick. I imagine if it had been recorded it would have a lot of hits on YouTube. The little frog was only about 2 inches in length, but has a really plump belly, doesn't it?.

    Chris - we get them every couple of years. Unfortunately we may not have escaped the white nosed-fungus; I have come across 5 dead bats, 2 in the house.

    Keith - it was a relief to find no sign of the bat in the morning. And I really couldn't resist copying MidMarsh John's ladybird.

    Andrew - I think the bats roost, nest, live (?) in some part of the chimney structure and the occasional young bat gets disoriented and winds up all the way inside the house. We had them in our house in Georgia, too, along with flying squirrels.

    Thanks to all for visiting and commenting.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  6. A great post Wilma, I could picture the chaos and it did make me smile :) We used to have bats in our loft but I haven't seen any for some years now. I loved the photos of the frog!

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  7. Phew Wilma, what an adventure. I would have been in front of you if I had seen the bat. I was actually holding my breath as I read through. I've had one experience of a bat in the bedroom and ended up phoning a friend for help!

    You seem to be like me when it comes to beasties you don't like - photo first, panic second :)

    Great dual photo of the frog. It is nice to see the parts which are normally out of view as they often have different colours and markings. I only get tiny things crawling up my window.

    Thanks for the mention and link.

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  8. Shysongbird and John,

    thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the recounting of the events.

    John - you obviously keep your windows far too clean and slippery. A little dirt is great for traction!

    cheers,
    Wilma

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