I think the gable vent on the front of my house looks junky. A few years ago one of the louvers blew off in a storm and couldn't be reattached (WTB tried) so it's had this big gap in it ever since. Thursday morning I told Mare that I'd like to replace the gable vent. Instead of answering me, he went striding off and took a lap around the house. I'm used to this by now; it means he's thinking about something before he answers. "I've got a better idea, " he said. "You've got two more gable vents at either end of the cross gables, so you don't really need this one. Let's just take it out and side over the opening." I thought this was an excellent idea, since I already had some extra clapboards that my neighbor Chris gave me and so this little project wouldn't cost me a dime. Mare picked out a couple of clapboards that he could cut to the right length, climbed up onto the little roof at the front of the house, and yanked off the gable vent. "Oh, shit!" he yelled. This is never good. I ran over to the front of the house and saw him standing at the very edge of the roof holding the gable vent and laughing. "We might wanna rethink this project," he said, "after you see what's up here."
I climbed up the ladder and looked where he was pointing, and this is what I saw:
That roundish object to the right of center is a bat. A very small bat, about three inches long. I think it's a Little Brown Bat. (That's really the name of one of the most common kinds of bats in Missouri.) "Aww, ain't he cute?" I said to Mare. "We can't make him homeless. Let's just put the vent back where it was." So Mare very carefully, so as not to mash my little friend, put the gable vent back on and then he even more carefully painted the vent. The bat didn't think much of this whole project and he grumbled a little bit about it (Mare heard him growling) but I think he's happier now that we're back down on the ground and he's all alone again.
Bats are so cool. They eat thousands and thousands of bugs every summer, so I'm hoping he likes his little home in my gable vent and decides to chomp up a whole bunch of mosquitoes in my yard. Porch-sitting will be so much nicer without mosquitoes.