The stuff of nightmares

Few years ago, I was leaving the site for home. A young crow was in the road. I expected it to fly off (I wasn't driving fast, still on site). Didn't. I got and killed it. For several days it lay, dead, in the gutter. Looking into its dead eyes and face, I saw a remarkable resemblance to my beautiful black cat. It hurt, hard.

Since then, I have more time for crows and other animals that have a beauty in their own way.

I've stopped having cats. Hurts too much when they die.
You can't have a cat - cats have you.
 
Fruit bats. They used to roost in the trees near the Bujumbura Zoo and Cercle Nautique.

When visiting a mate just outside town we'd sit in the garden drinking beer in the evening and see thousands outbound for the night as the sun went down. Some days the fly past took 20 minutes. Apparently drove local banana farmers crazy with the damage they did.
When I lived on North Shore Sydney they used to fly over in droves every night from Gordon. I quite like them - not to eat obviously...
 
Fruit bats. They used to roost in the trees near the Bujumbura Zoo and Cercle Nautique.

When visiting a mate just outside town we'd sit in the garden drinking beer in the evening and see thousands outbound for the night as the sun went down. Some days the fly past took 20 minutes. Apparently drove local banana farmers crazy with the damage they did.
Ditto one of our sites in Angola.
Apparently their natural enemy is the snake and the locals looking for a cheap dinner as they called them chicken bats.
As it was a fenced off site and we controlled the snake population, the bats were comfortable in the trees right outside the accommodation and HQ buildings. The covered walkways weren't for the rain but to keep you from getting splattered with bat piss and shite.
They'd fly off about 1800 and were back in the trees making a racket by 5am. They were roughly the size of a cats body with enormous wings.
 
They're quite gentle and docile. Pretty much all bats are.

Fruit bats can be noisy though. Their chittering can sometimes be heard as you drove past and the ground under the trees was a mess. Either avoid walking through there or be quick on your pins and with a weather eye out for incoming guano.
 
The first time I saw them I was in Mauritious. Up until that point I had no idea that they even existed and it took me a while to work out what they were.
I initially thought that my drink had been spiked and I was tripping.
 
True dit,up country in Aden '61,came out of tent one morning,found bat had flown onto aerial of my FSC. We angled the aerials at the time,about 30 degrees from vertical,HF Sets fitted.Tip of aerial had gone right through membrane of bat's wing and it had slid down to base of aerial.I undid aerial from adapter and it flew away.Sorry,no pics.
 

Londo

LE
Hi probably thought it'd get caught in his hair. Old wives' tale.
Lot of bats where I'm living . See quite a few if in the garden at the right time of the evening

.Just after we moved here I stepped out the kitchen door and as I did a bat that was on collision course with my head braked hard in mid air to avoid me
.
Actually heard its wings beating to stop it's forward motion then it was over my head and away before I even thought of ducking .
 
They're quite gentle and docile. Pretty much all bats are.

Fruit bats can be noisy though. Their chittering can sometimes be heard as you drove past and the ground under the trees was a mess. Either avoid walking through there or be quick on your pins and with a weather eye out for incoming guano.
Well it is the Century of the Fruit Bat...


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About four years ago in a hostel in Mancora, (North coast of Peru.) a bat of some kind got into our room. Herself, in between screams, manages to sob, “Sam, turn the light on so it can see to get out.”
 
Entebbe-Bunia 015.jpg



There's a table on the balcony on the left of the above pic, against the wall and under the eaves. I'd try to grab it every evening for a quiet pint while the sun went down to watch the bats exit their roost for the night's hunting.

Tiny little guys, around the size of a side plate with wings spread, they'd bail out of a crack under the eaves right above the table, swoop over my pint missing it by a couple of inches and head off into the night. Fascinating to watch and see them pass right by me within a few inches, feel the disturbance of the air from their wings, and if I sat quietly they paid me no attention at all.

Best part of the day for me.
 
@loofkar FYI, story goes Idi's generals and those who could find some empty space on their uniforms to pin bling* were up on that balcony getting pissed when the Israelis showed up. Apparently, at the sound of gunfire from the airport they decided the commandos were there to get them and all scampered off home to lock themselves in the bathroom or hide under the bed.

*Ran into one in DRC with para wings and asked him where he trained, jumps and so on. Didn't have a clue what I was talking about, just wore them because he liked them.
 
@loofkar FYI, story goes Idi's generals and those who could find some empty space on their uniforms to pin bling* were up on that balcony getting pissed when the Israelis showed up. Apparently, at the sound of gunfire from the airport they decided the commandos were there to get them and all scampered off home to lock themselves in the bathroom or hide under the bed.

*Ran into one in DRC with para wings and asked him where he trained, jumps and so on. Didn't have a clue what I was talking about, just wore them because he liked them.
I haven't heard that one.

On the subject of decorations, the decoration-shy IDF just set up a committee.....
In practice, campaign awards are only issued as ribbons but anyway...
A whole generation of combat squaddies endured the Lebanon gig that ensued after the war of June 1982.
 
"
"Panel will consider whether to grant official recognition to Israel’s 18-year military presence in country and, if it does, what to name the campaign"

Operation Reinhard.....?
 
I haven't heard that one.

On the subject of decorations, the decoration-shy IDF just set up a committee.....
In practice, campaign awards are only issued as ribbons but anyway...
A whole generation of combat squaddies endured the Lebanon gig that ensued after the war of June 1982.
Peace for Galilee medal?
 
Peace for Galilee medal?
No - we were awarded that for participation in the actual war of June-September 1982.
The period being discussed was the ensuing 18 years in the various "security zones" in South Lebanon, which the IDF finally vacated completely in 2000.
 
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