May 26, 2009

05/25/09: Carlsbad and Exit

Last night Scott and I witnessed the bat flight from Carlsbad Caverns. Because of the dry conditions locally the usual number of bats had not been making this flight; there were not enough insects for them to forage. The previous night the rangers told us only 10 bats had come out. The usual size for the colony is 400,000 bats. When Thom and my nephew Bruce and I saw this event in the early 2000s, it was an awesome vortex of black rushing out of the natural opening of the cave.

Well, fortunately, last night a respectable bat flight did occur. Though smaller in size than I remember it, the flight still probably had 100,000 bats or so exiting over 15 minutes.

Today, we are leaving early to descent into the caverns for the two to three hour walk (goes about three miles). This will be my sixth time through, and I have yet to tire of this spectacular descent into a wonderland of colors, shapes, and spaces.