My walk around Greenlake, with bats

Finally! Some summer bat action. I started the Greenlake circuit counterclockwise at around 8 pm and there were lots of bats in the sky for the first half hour, just a couple of bats for the second — and I don’t know if it was time of day or portion of the lake that made the difference. Maybe I’ll go the other way tomorrow and find out.

The moon is gibbous, tonight, which sounds vaguely menacing, but it just means more than half, less than all the way full. In Lovecraft moons are always gibbous. It was shining on the surface of the lake, so bright that it seemed like a wan secondary sun.

Greenlake is awesome, a tiny jewel of nature surrounded on all sides by urbanness. It is full of young, fit, scantily-clad people. And cute dogs. And ducks. And bats.

There were a few homeless people too. It was odd, how even at dusk they stood out because their body language was so different — slow, shuffling, closed in. The first time I thought, “Oh, that man is really sad,” and then I smelled him and realized he was probably homeless. He didn’t smell bad, exactly, just intensely like sweat. Which is odd because none of the jogging people smelled much like sweat.

At dusk everything goes limited palette, almost monochrome. Light-colored things seem to glow. Mid-tones disappear. Gray dogs become invisible. The light seems hushed, swallowing up sounds.

Whenever I go back to southern California I’m struck by the lack of dusk. The sun sets and that’s it, no more light in the sky. Dusk is one of those things I didn’t really know about until moving north, but if I were to move south I would miss it. I would feel cheated. Dude, what happened to my favorite part of a summer day?

I did grow up with autumn envy. I don’t know where I got this, if it was a cause or an effect of my obsession with Halloween, but every year the fact that trees have leaves that change color and then pile up upon the ground makes me inexplicably happy.

Autumn is coming. The air at the entrance to the park smelled like campfire smoke.


  1. Goth R&R is watching the bats fly on their own courses. It takes me back. Very relaxing, isn’t it?

  2. We have a lot of bats at our new place. We’re planning to build bat houses, too.

Comments are closed.