Saturday, May 14, 2011

The dark night

When we walked in the local Markfield park this night to take part in a bat walk announced a week ago, we have found the beam engine working and a live performance being held right in its house.

Live music at beam engine house

It was such an unlikely combination to observe, people singing with moving machinery at the background and darkness outside, it felt like some fantastic steam punk opera:

Live music at beam engine house

Despite the poorest quality of the sound recording, I'll just leave it there:

Well, I've never seen anything like that before.

Now back to the bat walk. When one of the attendants showed a strange home-made device built from an old voice recorder and told it was a "bat detector" I first decided he was a bit strange while very devoted. Imagine my surprise when the event organiser provided everybody with a similar thing:

Bat detector

I mean, hey, they produce BAT DETECTORS for casual use, how cool is that? Joker would give everything to get his hands on one of them!

With this thing, to spot a bat in the dark is relatively easy - when you hear the amplified clicks of its echolocation, all you need is to keep your eyes open wide. After playing with it for some time it is not only possible to tell which bat species are you dealing with but also tell the type of their activity (hunting, eating, returning home).

The next walk is to be organised at the old cemetery and should be even more atmospheric.

Sorry for breaking the posting record today, I hope my next week will be dull enough to keep me silent.

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