Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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18/11/12: bats from the flats

One of the amazing sights from the window of my living room is a great swarm of bats which appear at twilight.  As I understand it, this is the best time for them to be eating mosquitos which also come out at that time.  Please do leave a comment below to share any insights into the behaviour of bats which means that huge numbers can be seen for a short period of time and otherwise hardly at all.

Anyway, here are my attempts to photograph them:





































If anything, even more remarkable is the short walk home from the office at twilight, they fly just above head height and can then be seen hanging upside down from trees.  I'd love to find a way of photographing this, but this is, of course, happening as daylight is failing, and security of equipment is also a bit of an issue.  Any advice gratefully received!

Students have now joined us.  I have been listening to some of the stories of journeys that people have made - 50 hours by bus - with families left behind, and am very aware of the trust our students put in us to work with them on our masters course.  What a privilege to be working with them.  I'm starting 'mathematics part two' this week with a second year class, planning a few rounds of 'hurrah for timestables',I'll let you know how it goes!  With pictures if students don't mind!

Thank you for reading, as before, I keep an eye on usage figures and am amazed at the number of people who visit this blog.  Do drop a comment or send me a private message, it would be great to hear from you.

2 Comments to 18/11/12: bats from the flats:

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tonypreston on 21 December 2012 06:37
We had a house built in 2003 in a small village called Ayalabe, just outside of Karatu, which is the last town going west to Ngorongoro crater.Sometime in 2009, our guard informed us that he had seen some bats flying out from under the eaves one evening. I asked him how many and he replied mingi sana (swahili for many).He was so right AND they were multyplying by the day.The smell was awful and the 'mess' just worse, so we decided to get rid, as harmlessly as possible. We engaged a local roofer we knew and he duly appeared with a gang of 6 men. Firstly, he blocked all openings from the outside( bar the one main exit point most used by the bats) and he then disappearded up into the loft with 2 of his men armed with faggia( hand sweeping brushes)and brandishing torches and wearing protective gear of many kinds c/w face masks.An hour later he re-appeared almost unrecogniseable but with a triumphant note and arms aloft beamed saying "they have all gone".the "popo"(swahili for bats) are all out.TIP- Don't invite them in, EVER
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Geoff on 21 December 2012 09:29
Really interesting to hear your experiences, Tony. Actually, beyond other reasons I've given for living in a tower block, being 8 floors above street level, and the distance that gives from the street both in terms of smells and noise, are also two good reasons! Happy to promise not to invite any bats into my flat, I shall just enjoy watching them flying past at a safe distance.

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