Oct 29-03

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2003: October: Oct 29-03
Pasty Cam goes batty    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Robert C. Wetton

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 08:43 am:

Robert C. Wetton has some interesting photos of different creatures in his gallery. After yesterday's Cam shot with the comments about the "bat cage", I couldn't resist this one for today! Besides, I thought it would help get everyone in the mood for Friday's festivities.

He/she seems to be hanging there quite precariously. I'm just wondering what species this little guy might be. I'm used to seeing the smaller black ones around. Somewhere I read there are nearly 1000 kinds of bats and they amount to approximately a quarter of all mammals. There are about forty species in the United States and Canada, but the majority inhabit tropical forests where, in total number of species, they sometimes outnumber all other mammals combined. Does that include us human mammals I wonder?

Halloween countdown........ 3 more days to pick out a silly mask to wear while handing out the goodies!

By . on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 08:54 am:

Yes, if anyone knows the species, please share.

By Chris, IL on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:02 am:

Northern Lights Alert 2:

Well, maybe tonight's the night? If it is clear, keep an eye towards the sky....


By Chris, IL on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:14 am:

For more on the solar flares, see the following link:


This site is maintained by MTU Astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff and others. It also provides an Astronomy Picture of the Day.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:27 am:

Tonight's the night (Northern Lights alert)?

Good luck with that -- the Copper Country looks to have fairly solid cloud cover with showers after midnight through at least Friday morning.

Look up into the sky, get a raindrop in your eye!

By Mary Ann, WY on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:40 am:

Enjoy the picture of the bat. When I was young I was always afraid of them, but after I visited Carslbad Caverns in New Mexico and saw all of them leave the cave at dusk, it made me more interested in them. Now I enjoy seeing them. Another good web site to find out about northern lights is space weather. They email you once or twice a week and let you know what is happening. It is a great site. All you have to do is type space weather and you should find the site.

By Mark in Chicago on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 10:12 am:

www.spaceweather.com gives current pictures of the sun showing sun spots. Kind of a Pasty-cam for outer space. They also give updates on probability of Northern Lights and asteroid near-misses. Very nice, compact, concise e-newsletter, too.

Mr. Nemiroff's APOD page is a daily stop for me. I'm not sure if more of his pictures or Pasty-cam's have shown up as my PC wallpaper, but both sites are wonderful sources.

By Toivo from Toivola on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11:31 am:

In the house taking a break from piling wood, sipping a kuppi of hot kahvia and heard them say on the radio that it would have been Bella Lugosi's birthday today! I'm thinking how perfect is that, with Mary's choice of pictures today? Then I checked on the good old puter here and found that Bella's birthday really was Oct. 20th, close enough for me!
Thanks for the break Charlie. Welcome Maija!
Kahvia's got me warmed up, so back to the pile--

By Ruthie- Downstate Michigan on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11:34 am:

EEeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Great pic for this time of year,yet I dont think I would want to step outside my house to find that lil guy hanging upside down ; )
Happy Halloween all!

By Troll, MI on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11:36 am:

This bat's name IS Bela.....Blah!!!

By Mary from Maryland on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11:58 am:

For forty years such creatures have inhabited the attic of what was my grandparent's summer home near Gwinn, which became my mom's home when she retired North, and is now her children's (us four). Oh, the stories we tell about those rascals that bring tears streaming down our cheeks, from laughter, after the fact. We think we finally have found a way to divert them from entering the attic, without endangering their lives. Think of all the luscious bugs they eat when they stream into the night...

By BCT,Mi on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

We had one come out of a Bosch beer case one time. Didn't look like he had drank much though,as none of the bottles had been opened.

By Dave - Colorado on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 12:37 pm:

Great Picture!! That looks like your basic "Big Brown Bat" (Eptesicus fuscus)... They are a great eater of insects... particularily mosquitos... A single bat can eat upwards of 600 mosquitos per hour! Bats look nasty, but they are actually quite timid and even fragile... Even the stories about them carrying rabies are way overstated... A few years back I visited Braken Cave in Texas bewteen Austin and San Antonio... There is a breeding colony of approximately 40,000,000 Mexican Freetail bats that live there... We watched as the colony emerged from the mouth of the cave for their nocturnal feast... Imagine how many mosquitos that colony eats each night!!

By Dave on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 12:45 pm:

If anyone is interested, here is a link to information about the Big Brown Bat...


By Jennifer - New Mexico on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 01:31 pm:

I found this on the Bat Conservation International Webpage. www.batcon.org

The Great Lakes Bats and Mines Initiative

Bats from as far away as Kentucky migrate to the Great Lakes region to winter hibernation sites. To protect these sites, The Great Lakes Bats and Mines Initiative began in June 1999 with a field review. BCI met with the National Resource Conservation Service, the Michigan and Minnesota departments of natural resources, the U.S. Forest Service, private landowners, and contractors to evaluate mines for gating. The project will protect between 10 and 20 key winter hibernation sites for between 300,000 and 400,000 little brown and big brown bats. Gating began in October 1999, and the project will continue for a two-year periods until all designated mines are gated. The Quincy and Pewabic mines were gated in early 2000 with bat compatible gates (which replaced inappropriate gate designs). The Quincy Mine Hoist Association plans to develop interpretive trails and promote the site as a "watchable wildlife area," especially during the fall swarming.

By Sue on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 02:38 pm:

I have a fear of bats. It seems that everytime I go for an evening walk in the dark, a bat swoops down at my head. Anyone ever get one in their hair? Creepy feeling! Why do they dive at people in the night?

By Lanna, currently residing at MTU on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 02:54 pm:

To Sue:
Actually, bats won't get in your hair because they use sonar to sort of "hear" where they're going. The bats make a sound, listen to the echo, and then "see" the objects. The bats are probably going for bugs that are in the air around you. They're not aiming for you.

Great picture! I've always wanted to see a live bat up close, but i think this is the closest I'm going to get.

By dave - colorado on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 03:14 pm:

If you are interested in seeing bats up close I would imagine that there is a group at MTU that does caving trips or visits into the old mines in your area....

and to Sue:
Lanna is correct in that bats use their sonar to avoid running into objects - including people. When we visited Bracken cave in Texas, we walked down into the mouth of the cave as the 40,000,000 bats were exiting for the night and not one of us was touched by a bat... as they emerge, they fly outof the cave into the amphitheatre-like opening and circle three times around (counter-clockwise) then they fly off into the night sky... There are so many bats in the air that from a distance it looks like smoke coming from the ground... To help you imagine what it was like as we walked into the amphitheatre... every cubic yard of airspace around us was occupied by at least one bat, but when one would get within about 4 or 5 feet of us they would swerve to miss us... and they never ran into one another either... they are very agile flyers...

By Missin the UP from NJ on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 03:52 pm:

As usual this site is chock full of info. All so interesting. The Bat info really intrigued me. If only humans could maneuver their vehicles as well as bats can fly!!

By dmahoney, Baltimore MD this week, anyhow on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 04:30 pm:

Heck, I didn't even have to leave the residence hall at Tech to see bats - they used to sleep during the day at the top of the stairs (in the back of Wadsworth Hall.)
In fact, one of my funnier tech memories happened one evening when I was working at the front desk of Wads. A bat went flapping past the desk towards the East Entry, followed closely behind by the Residence Hall manager - who was chasing the bat with a tennis racket in one hand, and a fishing net in the other.

By Trish in WA on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 05:45 pm:

For anyone interested in learning more about bats, try
Bat Conservation International's website at
They've got info on bat-friendly gates for mine shaft
openings, as well as featuring a bat colony, complete
with vocalizations -for example, you can hear a
newborn bat and her mama. There's even a bat web
cam that updates every minute. Explore this site and
Also, there's a book by Diane Ackerman that has an
interesting chapter on bats. The title's The Moon by
Whalelight. She opens the chapter by visiting Bracken
Cave with Merlin Tuttle, the world's authority on the
little crittur (he founded Bat Consevation Int'l)

By rita pie on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 05:55 pm:

Great information and funny stories today. Thanks. I'm just wondering how the eaves of that house can be so clean. Eaves or whatever it's called there.

By Mark, Ellsworth, MI on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 05:58 pm:

Has anyone ever seen the bats come out of Quincy mine? What time do they come out in relation to sunset? Would love to watch them sometime during one of our trips to the Keewanaw.

By Bill Fritz, California on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 06:25 pm:

There are generally two kinds of bats in the Copper Country: the smaller and plentiful myotis myotis, and the larger myotis lucificus. I never have scanned or digitized the article I wrote with Bob Stones. When he was the Department Head of the MTU Biological Sciences, he organized many studies of the physiology and natural history of local bats. For years, we explored many of the mines and counted bats. In the summer, male bats live in the trees, so they are hard to count. Female bats gather in warm places (like camp attics) where they raise baby bats. In the winter, when the bats are in the mines, they are very easy to study. It takes several minutes for them to arouse from hibernation. You can 'unhook' them from the wall and hang them on your jacket.

It was awesome to enter a widened stope and see the walls packed with little furry bats. The drops of moisture on the fur sparkled when they reflected the light from your lantern. Some of the old mines were not very steep. The tunnels followed the veins of copper, so sometimes they spiralled. There was one mine near Eagle River that had a locomotive still in it. You can find the following article in the peer-reviewed Michigan Academician at university libraries.

Stones, Robert C., and Fritz, William, Bat Studies in Upper Michigan's Copper Mining District, Michigan Academician, Vol. II, No. 1 (Summer 1969): 7785

By RIW on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 07:31 pm:

Anyone else recall that the Laurium Theatre used to run three movies on Fridays and/or Saturday nights back in the late '50's? The third film was usually a "horror" show. About the time it started, more than once a bat or two would emerge from somewhere and fly about. You could "feel" them swooping over your head and when they flew in front of the projector, it would make a large shadow on the screen.

That was when Art Hamel I think his name was, ran it. His wife had a pet monkey which used to sit on her shoulder in the ticket booth.

By Mary Lou on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 08:24 pm:

Very interesting discussion.....it is apparent that our group includes some experts!!....I have a new appreciation for the bat......until now they just frightened me........It is never too late to learn.... I don't think I will ever be fond of bats.... but thanks for the information.

By John on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:31 pm:

If you would like to see bats up close and have a nice day doing it, go to Mackinac City in the summertime. Under every store front's awning is a great gathering of the little "buggers". They captivate my children to no end.

By RGG - Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 09:33 pm:

This web site and its contributors are what makes the Web worthwile.

Thanks all!

By Ken from da UP on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 11:25 pm:

RCW, that's a cute pic of 'Daisy on the jet-ski.' We enjoyed the album. Do you have any of those bat 'boxes' set up?

By James, CA on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 12:10 am:

As a former Eagle River resident I enjoyed to bat.
Now living in Los Gatos, Ca. the coffee house we
go to has a great show every night. Across the street from the outdoor tables is a store that has
ivy from the ground to the roof and a family of
bats living in it. At sundown they come out and put
on quite a show as they bob and weave around the
street lights for bugs. I have been enjoying the
web site for some time now and hope to move back
to the area soon.

By troll in eagle harbor on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 07:00 am:

GOOD MORNING!!!Early this A.M.I stepped outside for a bit of a break from work.LOW AND BEHOLD!!!!The skye was clear and the northern lights were dancing.Did anyone else spot them?

By Yooperyoosetobe on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 08:20 am:

I "wish"... but it was too cloudy here... alas!

By *** Do Not Disturb *** on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 08:30 am:

Bill, bats use lots of energy to awaken from hibernation, during a time that they're not taking in any food. It's unwise to mess with them at this time.

By Sminty on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 01:44 am:

I am soooo impressed with all the knowledge and good will shared about our friends the bats!!! Keep spreading the word!!!!! From a bat friend

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