One thing about motherhood is that it's very rarely predictable. Yesterday I was all set to make yogurt for the first time from some of our raw goat's milk. Those of you who don't have to feed your kids non-cow's-milk products would probably gasp at paying $6.50 for a quart of yogurt. I gasp too, but goat's yogurt is the only kind my kids can eat, due to a cow's milk allergy. Fortunately, we buy our goat's milk from a local farmer for $7.00 a gallon (you're probably still gasping, but it was costing us $12 a gallon at the store), so I can make yogurt a lot cheaper than I can buy it.
So there I was, embarking on our yogurt-making adventure, when one of the kids hollered out that there was a bat in our garage. A Little Brown Bat, to be exact (yes, that's the official name), and a very cute one to boot. The night before, I had accidentally left the garage door open, so I was thinking he might've gotten closed in there and confused, but then he looked like he might be injured so we weren't sure. Because one of my great mom strengths is that I'm not in the least bit squeamish (and also to protect my kids from possible rabies), I volunteered to corral the bat into a shoebox. We gave him a shallow dish of water in there, but he continued to look lethargic into the evening hours. Once night fell, we put him in his box out on our deck, hoping he would fly away, but no such luck. He was still there this morning. He was looking not very good at all, so I decided to try to feed him some raw milk (figuring he's a mammal, so what the heck). He immediately took to that, licking out hungrily with his teeny tiny pink tongue at my eyedropper, and then he perked up substantially after that.
I told the kids I would call a wildlife rescue facility if he wasn't gone by morning, so I put him back into the box and into the garage on a shelf and called around until I found the local Bat Lady. She's really gung-ho about bats and said she would come over and transport the bat. Unfortunately, when I went out to check on the little guy he was nowhere to be seen! He had escaped out a hole in the box - apparently anything they can get their heads through, they can squeeze the rest of themself through also, so his tiny little dime-sized head went through the breathing hole and so did he. So the Bat Lady helped me search the garage for the bat, but with all of our camping gear and stuff it was pretty much a lost cause. She suggested going out tonight and trying to hear him scrabbling around, and that might give us an idea of at least which quadrant to concentrate on. For size reference, that's a mason jar lid he's sitting on in the photo. He's tiny! Hopefully we'll be able to find him tonight. In the meantime, check out the Bat World Sanctuary link for more info on these amazing creatures!!! We're building some bat boxes this summer for sure.