Archive for the ‘creation’ category

The Incredibleness of Carlsbad Bats

October 8, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    October 8, 2017

                             

Carol and I visited Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico yesterday. Since we now have our National Parks’ Senior Passes we’re on a mission to check off the parks in the coming years. As we checked in at Carlsbad yesterday the ranger asked to see my ID. Obviously, she couldn’t believe I looked old enough to have a Senior Pass…or something like that!

We explored the caverns for about three hours. Incredible! Mammoth Caves in Kentucky is another national park that we need to visit, but I wonder if Mammoth is kind of like going skiing in Michigan after you have first skied in Colorado?

And then we stayed around for the “bat show”. Each evening around dusk the Brazilian free-tailed bats exit the caverns and take flight for a night of finding moths and other bugs to feed on. One of the park rangers tells the hundreds of people gathered in the “bat amphitheater” located by the entrance to the caverns what is about to happen, gives some interesting information about the bats, and, if the bats haven’t exited yet, answers questions.

And then it happens! Without any alarms or horns sounding the bats begin emerging from the cavern entrance…and it is incredible. Bats use sonar to guide them. As they exit the cave they use a swirling motion, almost like a tornado, to exit and head off into the sky. the number of bats that call the caverns home is as much as 1.2 million. When they exit the cavern it is an event that goes on for 30-40 minutes. The quieter the crowd the closer they will come to the people sitting there. Carol and I stayed until the end. By then most of the audience had cleared out, and we noticed that the bats got closer and closer to where we were sitting by the end.

They were quiet…kind of! When we cupped our hands behind our ears we could hear the faint sound of their wings flapping, and little squeaks. Mostly, their presence was announced by a scent in the air that was a bit nose-wrinkling.

It is encounters such as this that causes me to praise the Creator. The care and concern that God had for…bats, for how they live, how they survive, how they help the environment. It reminds me of Jesus’s words in Matthew 6:26-27 about God carrying for the birds of the air. God’s hands of care seeks to take away some of the worries of life that bring chaos of our day.