My husband and I visited Bracken Cave for the fourth time this summer, and watching 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats pour out at dusk was no less thrilling this time around. (Be sure to click on the link so that you can vicariously experience what it’s like!)
We’d been invited by Bat Conservation International to celebrate the successful purchase of 1,521 acres next to Bracken Cave, protecting both the bats and the Edwards Aquifer. City Councilman Ron Nirenberg is given much credit for championing this grassroots effort through to fruition with the help of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Taking Care of Texas, The Nature Conservancy, the Department of Defense, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Green Spaces Alliance, and private donors.
Bracken Cave houses the world’s largest bat colony, making it the world’s largest colony of mammals and the world’s largest maternity ward. My favorite fact is that bat mothers can find their baby bat (literally one in a million with 500 pups crammed together per square foot) when they return from their 100-mile round trip journey each night. My second favorite fact is that the bats eat 250 tons (500,000 pounds) of insects each night.
Treat you and your sweetie/family to a BCI membership so that you’ll be able to experience this awe-inspiring exodus, which occurs March through November. Not only will you share an evening like no other, but you’ll come away with a better appreciation of bats and Mother Nature. Watch where you step, though! A baby rattlesnake was spotted along the trail on the night we were there.
For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. ¡Viva San Antonio!