It’s one of those quintessential Austin things you’ve got to do, so we did it. Thankfully it lived up to the hype. It was nicely weird and unique in that offbeat Austin- y way. My camera is keeping it weird as well, still uploading photos upside down, sometimes. But some people say the photos post right side up for them on their computer. There’s no telling what the heck is going on. Well, even if they’re upside side down, you can tell there are tons and tons of bats flying around downtown.
Austin is apparently home to the largest group of Mexican bats in the world. There’s some trivia for you! At first they tried to get rid of them and then realized they were actually a big draw. Cha-ching! Now there are restaurants and riverboat cruises geared to seeing them as well as kayaks, paddle boards and canoes to rent. Apparently the bats smell horrible and may leave droppings (called “guana”) on you if they fly directly overhead. That why we didn’t stand on the bridge like these gung-ho people. Plus Sam stole my baseball cap AND wouldn’t let me take his picture…
So the bats are known to come out at dusk from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, and there’s even a bat hotline to call for the most recent times when the bats have made their grand exodus. For us it was just a few minutes after 8 PM. We were ready as well as a whole bunch of other people making it their Saturday night activity.
Here we are on “bat beach.” Just made that up, so you heard it here first, folks!
Just when people started to get restless (and 45 minutes after Sam got restless), out they came. At first it was an itty-bitty trickle.
Then all of a sudden things got really batty! Holy smokes, Batman!
Oh my gosh, it was like a river of tiny bats emptying out on the river.
Thankfully none flew overhead, so no guana surprises for us. It’s amazing there are any bugs left in Austin after that many bats are out every single night eating the night away.
If you think the first few pictures are just me playing around with a fine tip Sharpie, check these out!
Then we boogied out there to beat the bat-traffic and get home to our own “bat cave.” Alas, it’s in Bee Cave, not Gotham City.