the mothers

Aware of their whereabouts
we attuned to high-frequency
transmissions, espied the routine
evening leavings from the far wall.
Forty or more mustered there
decamping in ones and threes
out of the eaves
dropping like burnt rags
then sky-high in a trice
small as moths.

According to The Bat Conservancy Trust information, bats residing somewhere under the roof barge board of my daughter’s house are probably maternity roosts

The same number of words as bats for Kim's quadrille prompt: eavesdropping.  

41 thoughts on “the mothers

  1. I have a niece who adores bats. Me? Not so much.
    This description of them is so perfect:
    “dropping like burnt rags
    then sky-high in a trice
    small as moths.

  2. I love to watch the movement of bats you have captured that motion perfectly here with the description of them ‘dropping like burnt rags/then sky high in a trance.’ Great use of the prompt!

  3. We used to get bats where we lived previously, sometimes they flew so low they brushed the top of my head when I was out walking the dog. I am fond of them, but there are none around here, I love the way your quadrille includes me/the reader in the observation of the ‘routine evening leavings from the far wall’, and the description of them as ‘dropping like burnt rags’ – perfect!

  4. This is such a splendid write, Laura! I can picture them “decamping in ones and threes out of the eaves.” 💜💜

  5. I have the same view out my window as they gather then sweep up, up and away!

  6. One of the first things we did when we moved here in 2011 was put up a couple of bat boxes: one from the store; one that a cube-mate’s son, a Boy Scout, made and was putting out with the trash (I eavesdropped the convo and volunteered to take it off their hands.) So far no bats living in either, but one had paper wasps in it. Still the bats come out at dusk from somewhere and have their fill of nightwings. Wonderful your daughter has a maternity roost! Valuable for these tiny creatures of the night.

  7. I love bats and have a couple of bat boxes in my yard. You described them perfectly as burnt rags.

  8. I love your word choice, or rather choices. The sound of “evenings leavings” is so pleasing, and your alternate use of eaves dropping is clever. We have bats in our 100+ year old barn, and the image of “burnt rags” is just right.

  9. Am scared of them. Luckily nothing here close to us. Anyway loving the energy of your words:

    dropping like burnt rags
    then sky-high in a trice
    small as moths.

  10. What an interesting take on the prompt! Bats really are like dirty black rags free falling out of your eaves only to take off and disappear into the sky! Well done! You can keep the Bats!

  11. great imagery here Laura – I particularly liked the title and the last line – ‘small as moths’ – as I’d read through I had images of large (largish) creatures clattering about – and then this last line and the scale shifts (and I read it again – smiling).

    1. your observations are astute Peter – small as moths when sky high but still quite small compared to say your grey-headed flying fox! Our largest is only 3″

  12. Lovely descriptions–burnt rags is wonderful– and I like how you are eavesdropping on them, as they drop from eaves. It is cool to see them fly up at dusk. I think some mornings just before sunrise, I’ve also seen them, too.

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