After chaining myself to the computer all day, I decided to go for a quick walk along the local footpaths before it got too dark. Walking back along the farm track at 8.00pm this evening I had a wonderful close encounter, finding myself totally surrounded by bats.
To my left was a small wood lined with hawthorn. Like many in Durham, it was once a spoil heap for an old mine. To my right a harvested field lined with young rowan and maple trees. The bats – at least five, but they’re very hard to count – appeared oblivious to my presence. Zipping past me they used the track as their very own super highway, pausing occasionally to chase each other round in circles or pluck a hapless insect from a tree branch. They flew so close I could hear their squeaks and the beat of their tiny wings.
I couldn’t help wondering what it would be like if one of them forgot to duck round me – like being hit by a bullet I suspect!