The Bull and the Bat: An explorative essay in photos


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What, may you ask would be the interesting connection and story between a bull and a bat? In this case, nothing, except that they are the only two things I took pictures of on this day a few weeks ago. The bull that I saw somehow seemed to me to be an exemplary example of prime USA beef. Can’t quite decide what gave me this idea…

Does this bull belong to the USA?

I saw the bull while driving my country roads, and it seemed such a bullish bull that I stopped for a photograph. The writing on the wall (it was so large that it seemed like a veritable wall of beef) proclaimed it for what it was, and helped to make the image.

A bat in the hand is worth two in the bush, but in some cases is useless for hitting a home run

Later that day I was at home, and my neighbor excitedly came over. He had come to the aid of another neighbor to capture a problem bat that was living in an attic and making it a little too fragrant. He thought I would be excited to take a few photographs as they worked on a relocation project, and he was correct. (I don’t know if the bat has since returned.)

Rather pointy, needlelike teeth. Also love how translucent the ears seem to be

I’d never seen a bat especially close up, so it was rather interesting to explore it while it was briefly held captive. I don’t especially enjoy taking photographs of captive animals (and will always declare if a subject is in the wild, or captured when displaying said pictures), but not having any images of bats, jumped at my opportunity to explore one of these alien creatures.

Their ears are amazing to look at. Hyper-developed sensory organs that give bats their picture of the world. Notice how small the eyes are in comparison

Their structure is so different from other animals that I have seen… That is, while everything seems to be in the right place, the shape and scale of each of the pieces is different than what I am used to. The thumb with its nail coming out of the bend in their leathery wings for example, the textured snout…

A marvelous and interesting creature. The shapes, the textures, and the scale

After taking a few more pictures, my friend, who is a field biologist, placed the bat into a darkened transport to take it to its new home at dusk. (He didn’t want to release it in the middle of the day when it might present a target to predators.)

Even the feet are so different. Almost hand like, and with those long hairs coming off of them...

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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8 Responses to The Bull and the Bat: An explorative essay in photos

  1. sean lemert says:

    that is up close and personal with Mr. Bat. Thank you. You still haven’t said whether the little bird was able to free itself from the spider web?

  2. Vicki says:

    LOVE the bat photos. Did you know I had a pet(?) bat one summer in SV? It lived in a fold of my tipi, but I used to send a bit of time with it most days, it would sit on my knee mostly. They are interesting creatures for sure. I’d forgotten how alien looking they are. Thanks for pointing out the different characteristics. Do you know what kind this one is?

    • I remember you telling me of your pet bat up in Oregon. Interesting pet to keep I am sure. I am not sure what type of bat it is, but I was going to ask my neighbor. When I find out, I will add the species to my post.

  3. Love these photos. How cool to be so close. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Matt says:

    Cool bat photos. I’ve been able to successfully scoot three bats out of my house without harm in the last three years… my supra-huntress Wachiwi catches them, but that’s it. Presents for me. I wanted to take photos of the bat each time, but I didn’t think handling them was a good idea (?)—and I was alone two of those times, and Everett at three wasn’t going to assist—I put sheets over the hallway, to keep them confined in the front room and I opened the front door and used a duster (without touching them) to direct them out of the house. The only true flying mammals—what else is there to say?

    • I would not have tried catching it myself. (In fact I had nothing to do with catching, I only saw it after the capture.) However the person that did capture it is a trained field biologist, so I am hoping he knew what he was doing. I must however advise against most people handling bats, as they can be carriers of rabies or be harmed themselves by being handled. Amazing creature though. My most amazing bat experience was down in the Saline Valley hot springs, a hidden far off corner of Death Valley. That is a whole story in itself however, and deserving of its own blog post one of these days. These are the only detailed photos I have of bats, and unfortunately it was not in a free and wild state.

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