Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Thistle & A Bat House

There is no relationship between a thistle and a bat house.  But pictures of thistles are prettier than bat houses, so I thought I'd start with pretty and close with night flying insect eaters:)

Thistles are just beginning to bloom now; I came across my first full bloom this morning.  The blooms are beautiful and provide a delightful contrast to the thorny leaves and stalks.  You can actually eat the peeled stalks, but we have not tried them yet.
  This is the early flower bud, (notice the web around it, I found that fascinating!)...
...blooming further, (this is another bud, also with a spider web, even more fascinating, some spider must love thistles!)...
...the bloom from the side, note the prickly leaves...
...a close up...
Love thistles!  Pretty pink and prickly!

So what about a bat house?  Well, Mountain Man built one and we hung it out today.  I would love to show you the process, but he built it while I was away, so what you get to see is the end result.  You can find the plan for the house we build by clicking this link to This Old House.  Here is our bat house in it's new home, nestled on some maple trees.
This is a little closer, the gap is where the bats live.
This is a closer look at the living quarters, and the garden netting they use to climb in and hold on to.

 This is Mountain Man completing the attachment process.  The opening has to be 10 - 12 feet above the ground, and it needs to be straight both horizontally and vertically.  It also needs to be stable, meaning no swinging.  It seems simple enough to do, but care must be used when perched on a ladder! (I won't go into the entire story, but my Dad fell from a ladder when doing yard work, and seriously hurt his back, resulting in surgery, recovery time, etc.  He is very lucky he didn't land on the garden clippers he had in his pocket! As the Berentsain Bear Papa would say, "let this be a lesson to you!")

This is the bat house as we see it from our porch.  We selected this sight because it is far enough into the woods that we won't disturb the bats, but close enough that we will see them.  We usually see bats coming out of the woods from the right side of our cabin (to the right of this photo) and then they fly in front of the porch to these woods in the photo.  We are hopeful we have selected the perfect spot.   

We don't know much about the specific bats we have here (yet), but we are hoping to see much more of them soon!  This is a great site for more information if you are interested, click on this link to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences if you like.

I am sure you are asking, WHY do we want a bat house?  Because bats are good, they eat night flying insects, they live where there is good air quality, and they are pollinators and seed spreaders.  Because we enjoy nature.  Because I am intrigued by vampire folklore and love the idea of having a bat house; I'm not silly enough to think I'll get a visit from Dracula, but it's a fun fantasy to play around with!  An OH, because Transylvania County, NC isn't far from here!  And now you know:)

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Susie Swanson said...

I love those pretty Thistles.. Do you have any bats coming yet.. We found two on our front porch this summer.. They were asleep on the rafters...Blessings, Susie

Dad/Pepere said...

Great photos and beautifully described! Love the idea of the bat house...looks great! Looking forward to hearing more about the bats! Hugs.

Lise said...

So far, no bats Susie, but the house has been hanging for only 30 hours or so...I am being patient:(

Dad, I am sure Donald is saying, "are you crazy?", ha ha!