Having a quiet evening and sitting with the door and windows open listening to the rain hammer down and waiting for the next flash of lightning. In flew a bat, large, about 40cm wingspan.
It did half a dozen circuits of the room and then found its way out. It reminded us that it is Hallowe’en back home.
I think it must have been a young fruit bat (Cynopteris sphinx). There are thousands and thousands of these here. At dusk they fly silently along our valley over the river on their way to any fruit trees. There are so many that, where the valley is narrow, they darken the sky.
During the day, they hang upside down on tree branches. Often in very dense groups and as you walk underneath there is a distinctive sweet smell – and maybe something else if you are not careful.
They know where the fruit is. Sinhala people know not to leave ripe fruit on trees overnight because it will be gone by morning.
It is best to avoid handling bats. It is difficult to do without you and the bat getting damaged. Some bats carry rabies, a disease with 100% fatality unless you get vaccinated within 24 hours.
According to wikipedia, fruit bats engage in interesting sexual habits. We won’t go into that and further.
To keep us in touch with ‘reality’ we have just received a delightful picture of our grand daughter in her black pointed hat and with a little broomstick.
Have fun but don’t be scared. There are no ghosts out there we have to make our own.
Post Series: Dispatches from Sri Lanka, by Mike Sedgwick:
- Back to Sri Lanka
- Bats and Hallowe’en
- Dispatches From Sri Lanka
- Kandy Lake vs Chandler’s Ford Lakes
- Self-Employment In Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan Wedding
- Sri Lankan Food
- There’s Some Corner Of A Foreign Field
- The Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka
- This Is the Record Of John
- Tuk-tuk: My Transport Of Delight
- Life On The Road
- Commonwealth Games In Kandy
- A Temple For A Tooth?
- Dawn Train Down The Mountain To Colombo
- Traditional And Modern Medicine in Sri Lanka
- Ancient Vedda Tribe Becoming Extinct
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