Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunset Bats at Carlsbad Caverns

I guess I'm in the mood to post sunsets right now! I scanned a bunch of random negatives a while ago from my stockpile of photos, including this one I shot at Carlsbad Caverns in 2003. It was the first time I took an actual vacation by myself (on my drive between Texas and California.) I had fallen in love with the bats at Carlsbad when I was very small and this was the first time I had gone back. I spent the day wandering through the caverns multiple times, hiking in the area around the caverns (and stepping into cactus....) and I managed to see the bats leaving the caverns multiple nights!

The intensity of this experience isn't something I can really fully convey. It was so overwhelming to watch the bats fly out over the open landscape and spiraling out and later dispersing. (bats are.. I don't know. They click with me. Their freedom of flight, their misunderstood nature, the ways they quietly make this world live and grow while simultaneously weirding people out when they don't take the time to actually listen....) I remember standing out over the landscape having this super intense moment and experience and trying to call my not-boyfriend at the moment, but future boyfriend and he didn't pick up. He was busy with another woman that thought he would marry her, I think. There's something significant in that moment of me trying to reach for him at such a time and him not being there and realizing I had to enjoy it alone, but I still  barreled ahead w/ that situation. We learn!

(When we went to Carlsbad in 2012, I learned that you're no longer allowed to take any photos at the bat existing each evening anymore. Supposedly the flashes on people's cameras and possibly the electronics mess with the bats. I think this is mostly the result of smartphones and people generally not knowing how to use their cameras. I want to see what I can do to get approval to shoot pics since I have a ridiculous number of cameras with nothing resembling an electronic component...)

Bats exiting in the evening at Carlsbad Caverns, August 2003

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