Capital Bat Cruise Austin, TX 2008

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October 1st 2008
Published: February 22nd 2012
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Treaty OakTreaty OakTreaty Oak

Long lasting trees of importance have always fascinated me. Its hard to believe that I had been passing by this tree for more than ten years before its importance was brought to my attention.
I had a list of things to do for the month of October that were Halloween themed. I had to read Dracula and Frankenstein and watch all of the Universal Monster Movies and read several ghost story books such as the Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark Series. It was great fun! Sure made the month interesting. On that list (along with visiting a cemetery and doing Day of the Dead things) was going to go see the Bats leave the Congress Avenue Bridge.

There is Three Best Ways To See The Bats:

1) Invent a flying bat backpack attachment to fly out with the bats in search for insect food.
2) Stand at the Congress Avenue Bridge and watch the bats flow out.
3) Take a Capital Cruise boat under the bridge to watch the bats.

Choices 1 and 2 were out so my friend Rob and I went with #3. Beforehand, we decided to stop at the Treaty Oak just off 5th street. The tree has been there since Stephen F. Austin founded the settlement, and probably even way before that. It’s a huge majestic oak where treaties used to be signed by
Stevie Ray Vaughn StatueStevie Ray Vaughn StatueStevie Ray Vaughn Statue

People bring flowers and leave beers and guitar picks behind to celebrate the life of the late and great Texas blues guitarist.
the Native Americans and early pioneers. Several years ago some crazy bastard decided to poison the tree. Miraculously the tree survived and its story became immortalized in a children's book.

Afterwards we took a couple of moments to eat at Whole Foods and take in the Austin skyline from across the Colorado River. Its a beautiful skyline to look at. Then we headed over to the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. I've never been a fan of the music but I guess lots of people like him.

Our tour started at sundown. We received a great lecture from our guide about the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat. Unfortunately it was too late in the year to see them come pouring out of the bridge in droves. Instead they just trickled out in small groups, flapping their way into the night to feast on tons of insects.

Being on the boat was a great experience, especially once the sun goes down and the Austin skyline night lights start to get brighter and brighter. The gentle autumn breeze that blows over the river slowly starts to sooth you into sleep. It is very romantic and existentialist at the same time. I almost
Austin Skyline During the DayAustin Skyline During the DayAustin Skyline During the Day

The Skyline has changed since I've moved to Austin. There are more condo towers being built but at least there aren't as many cranes as there were before.
forgot about the whole bat thing.

I would very much like to try it in the summer where the bats are more visible.

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


Bats Under the Congress BridgeBats Under the Congress Bridge
Bats Under the Congress Bridge

You can't really see the bats since they move fast and blend into the backgrounds but you get an idea of the place.
Austin Skyline at NightAustin Skyline at Night
Austin Skyline at Night

I could of stayed on the boat all night long looking at the skyline.

22nd February 2012

Really enjoyed your blog.
You've got some great photos.

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