Thursday, March 22, 2012

If You Build It, He Will Come

For Sam's Eagle Scout project, we spent the better part of a morning during spring break building 10 bat boxes for a nearby Nature Center. Jeff and Sam had already spent several hours obtaining supplies, building a prototype so they knew what they were doing, and mapping out exactly what needed to be done to make the best use of our volunteers. It was a beautiful day. With glazed donuts to start out and plenty of pizza for lunch, our eager crew made light work of the task.

You can see the pictures of the whole process below, but first I have a funny story that will explain the title of this post.

It was late Saturday night, just a few days after the bat boxes has been dropped off at the Nature Center.  Just after Jeff and I shut off the lights for the night and climbed into bed, our bedroom door jiggled a bit as if someone was going to open it and walk in our room. No one did. It happened again. Still the door didn't open and I knew all the kids were in their beds. Each time it happened, my heart jumped into my stomach. I said to Jeff, "Why does it keep making that noise?" He got up to check, looked into the dark living room and said, "It looks like there's a bug or something flying around." I couldn't picture a bug big enough to cause our door to wiggle like that and immediately I thought, "What if it's a bat?" Jeff leaned out and looked again. Sure enough, he said, "There's a bat in our house!"

Now what? We've lived here for almost 12 years and we've never had a bat in our house. All I could think was, "Where's a bat box when you need one?!" and of course, "If you build it, he will come." :)

By the time Jeff got dressed and went to figure out how to capture the bat, it had secured itself to the screen in our kitchen window and was hanging upside down like bats do. I took a few pictures but with the poor lighting and my distance from the bat, my flash just wasn't enough to be able to see anything. Rats. It was pretty cool. The bat was about 4" head to toe with his wings folded in.

After a quick Google search on how to get a bat out of the house, Jeff placed a 5 gallon bucket over the bat and we slid some poster paper under it as a makeshift lid and Jeff carried it outside to freedom.  When I was telling the kids about it the next morning, they wished they would have been up for the adventure! (Somehow I think they might have felt differently if they actually had been up...)

Pretty ironic, eh? Okay, pictures of the Eagle project below.  Enjoy! :)

Here are all the pieces for one box waiting to be assembled:
This was my job - cutting grooves in the interior boards with a table saw. The grooves help the bats climb into the box.
 A look inside (looking in from the base):
The open end on this one will be covered with the top board which will be covered in roofing paper to help provide heat and weather protection:
Below is the installation of the hinged door on the bottom of the box. There is a 3/4" gap which allows the bats to enter and exit. Apparently this is the most critical measurement of the project:
Lots of happy helpers!
Several of the youth from church came to support Sam.
Almost done.
Once the roofing paper was attached, I couldn't resist cutting out a little bat sticker for each.
 And finally, Sam dropped them off at the Nature Center.
Apparently, we should have kept one for us... :)  


Karey said...

Wow! You've been a posting machine and I'm lost in space somewhere. Loved your last few posts. Great job on the Eagle project. Looks like a lot of work. Loved the bat story. We had bats that flew above our heads when we lived in the schoolhouse. I'll have to post about that sometime.

Love the flowers and the signs of spring and cute crazy hair. Those days are fun!

Happy spring!

cstowell said...

Sam Stowell....awesome Eagle project. When's the Court of Honor? We'd try to come...