Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bats in the attic and a tortoise in the loft

This summer when we were in the process of buying our house and long before I saw it, I began pestering my husband about the attic. The house was built in 1850 and I was excited to see what secrets the attic might contain. Unfortunately Roger had only poked his head up there and the real estate agent didn't take a photo. I had to wait to see the attic until I finally got to the house in mid August, and even then it was a few days of cleaning and organizing before I pulled down the hatch and climbed the ladder to look around.


The attic doesn't have floor boards and the space between the beams is filled with insulation. Since I didn't want to take the chance of falling through the plaster ceiling, I stood on the ladder while my eyes adjusted to the dimness, calculating how much storage we would have after laying a floor.


Then I saw them. There were half a dozen common brown bats hanging from the vent at the peak of the roof. How the house inspector missed them, I don't know, because they were quite visible. Rather than look around for more, I quietly descended and quickly raised the ladder. Ironically I had finished reading Dracula the day before, so I wasn't at all thrilled to see our freeloaders. I called my husband at his work and he arranged to have the bat man out to the house later that week.


Bat man found a total of nine bats. He attached a one way door to the attic vents to encourage the little guys to find a new home. I hope they will still be neighbors even though we haven't yet had time to buy and hang a bat house. They are beautiful to watch flying around at dusk and do a good job eating the bugs.


Just a few weeks before I met our bats, I was following a blog called The Tortoise Loft. Sue featured an adorable bat derived from a pattern book first published during the reign of Charles the 1st. Here is her finished piece, stitched on linen with pearl cotton in seed, feather and split stitches.

Photo courtesy Sue at The Tortoise Loft


Who would guess that the pattern is from 1632?! It is a treat to visit Sue's blog to see how she conceived this project and adapted an old pattern for a modern interpretation--no tricks involved!

Happy Halloween!



  1. I hope your bats find a good roost nearby, so that you can enjoy watching them swooping about at dusk. The building behind the kitchen of the Tortoise Loft has swifts, so I get to watch them zooming around like crazy on a summer evening.

    Thank you for using my work and mentioning my blog.

  2. what a surprise to find the bats, I think here in the UK we are not allowed to remove them so you are lucky, what a good idea a one way door exit. No doubt the attic will soon be floored and filled with possessions, I do not use mine as I have a very low roof and cannot stand even in the highest part.
    The swifts visit every year and nest in mine, is is fascinating how they swoop in at a tremendous speed, usually it takes a few attempts before they find the opening for the first time, I never tire of watching them and then they are away after a few weeks until the following year.

    1. Margaret, you can only remove bats at certain times of the year--when the babies have grown up and before it is too cold. They were ok, but I am glad the 2-foot pile of guano is gone!