Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Drought Makes Bats Emerge Earlier, Hungrier

Austin’s air-rodents changing habits in dry heat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Flickr/Noud W

    Commentary
    by Bruce Felps

    This extended heat wave seems to have made things in Austin just a little weirder.

    MSNBC.com devoted more than 4,100 words to the effects the heat and drought conditions have had on the semi-famous bats — an estimated 1.5 million of them, and I say “estimated" because likely no one’s counted much less named them all — that hang under Austin’s Congress Street Bridge.

    Drought means diminished crops, and diminished crops mean fewer bugs, and fewer bugs means hungry bats, and hungry bats leave earlier in the evening to go search for food.

    The earlier exit from under the bridge means a better, daytime view for bat-watchers, and more spectators means snarled traffic conditions on the bridge, which means delayed happy hours, at least to one Austin resident.

    The MSNBC article quoted Lawrence Collins as saying, "They're attracting the tourists to the bridge earlier in the evening, that becomes a serious impediment to getting across the river for happy hour."

    The man obviously has his priorities straight.

    Happy weekend. Time to toast Mr. Collins with a Batini.


    Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. You should see his front yard. The grass, such as it is, is so brittle he doesn’t have to mow. He just walks on it and it breaks.