Pat Shingleton: "Bats and Lightning"
I prepared a column years ago concerning bats. Gaines Garrett, also known as “Big Ron,” was sharing a story concerning some bats in Jay Babb’s belfry. I reprimanded Gaines until he verified that the infestation was accurate and it did involve real bats in an attic not Jay's helmet. Dr. Eddie Wren was contacted to resolve Jay’s bats as his specialty is "batology" with a minor in baseball. The Journal of Wildlife Management reported that in Canada, bats suffer from wind turbines. Researchers discovered that migratory bats in southern Alberta were killed by decreasing atmospheric pressure caused by blade rotation, impacting the bats’ lungs. Professors at the University of Calgary reported that bats fly when turbine speeds are low. To reduce fatalities without compromising energy, blades were slowed on 38 turbines during low-wind periods and during peak wind periods when bats are unable to fly. Since then, “Big Ron” and Dr. Wren have a turbine installation business. Finally, from bats to lightning. Many years ago, at the kitchen sink, Mom was hit by lightning and it could be the reason for her instructions at the approach of a thunderstorm. We understood the reasoning of “taking the clothes off the line” once a shower erupted. It was a mad scramble as we bee-lined it outside to basket the clothes. Gathered around the tube watching "The 3 Stooges" she would also instruct us to “close the upstairs windows.” Our screened windows were open all summer, providing cooling breezes. On rare occasions a passing front would require some to be closed. The other “closure” occurred whether it was a few sprinkles or a downpour. Once closed, we forgot to open them, leading to a stuffy evening and a missed episode of Moe, Larry and Curly.