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Bat houses


I finally got my bat houses put up yesterday. There were carpenters here to work on making Acorn Abbey more waterproof, and while they were here I asked them to use their ladder to put up the bat houses. I bought the bat houses from the Organization for Bat Conservation. The bat houses are at the edge of the woods behind the house, above the new fire pit.

I do have bats here. They can be seen any evening at dusk, dive-bombing for insects. I’ve learned that I don’t even have to go outdoors to watch them. If at dusk I stand upstairs in front of the gothic windows and turn on the outdoor floodlights, soon the bats will come, chasing the bugs drawn by the lights (there are two big floodlights mounted under the eaves on each corner of the house). Sometimes the bats will dive-bomb straight for the windows. This gives an effect that is both gothic and a bit techie. It reminds me of the scenes in Star Wars in which the evil emperor sits in his big chair facing a big window looking out on a space battle, with the fighter craft swarming. The bats’ dives sometimes come quite close to the gothic windows, then they make steep turns to avoid the windows. You can see the underbellies of the bats.

The carpenters, actually, were my nephew, Russ, and his helper. They caulked around all the windows, installed metal flashing at the bottom of each window to deflect the water that runs down to the window sill, installed metal flashing around all the eaves to keep runoff from the roof from hitting the wood facia, and installed a large attic vent so that when I turn on my attic fan there’s enough vent space for the exhaust to escape. Though I do use air conditioning at Acorn Abbey, I also tried to build the house so that it’s livable without air conditioning. If I open north-facing downstairs windows and turn on the attic fan, strong breezes from the cool side of the house pour in. The fan is huge and has the capacity to change all the air in the house every few minutes. The fan is mounted in the living room ceiling, 21 feet up from the floor.


  1. mountain madness wrote:

    Very interesting… Did you put gutters on the cottage? How many bats can live in one house??

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    When I saw the avalanche of snow that came off the roof during the winter, I realized that I can’t have gutters, that heavy snow would rip them off. The metal flashing probably protects the eaves better than gutters would, but it means that I can’t catch the water, and I have to deal with the runoff where it falls. Oh well.

    According to the bat conservancy, the bat houses I bought can hold up to 300 bats each!

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  3. mountain madness wrote:

    WOW!!!! It does’nt look big enough to hold that many bats!! Talk about close living quarters!!! You must really love your neighbors to live that close to each other… I thought zero lot lines were bad.. LOL

    Great insight on the gutters… I don’t think I will put them on my cottage either after that bit of advice… I know when I was in Asheville in February and March we got so hammered with snow. Almost one foot in one night and the pitch on that roof is wicked… My builder said it will be the steepest pitch he will have built yet…

    Found some great lots this week with some bold streams and level ground.. Now I have to research the flood zones on them… Water is nice but not in the house…LOL

    Friday, July 16, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

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