Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's true what they say

Everything really is bigger in Texas. Except for this poor little bat, that is, who was barely as long as the palm of my hand. His radar honing must have been off because he smacked straight into a window and fell to his fateful demise. 

Did you know that Austin is home to the largest urban population of bats in the world? They're Mexican free-tailed bats, and they migrate from central Mexico each spring to roost under the Congress Avenue Bridge right downtown. At sunset, about 1.5 million bats and their pups soar out from under the bridge on the hunt for insects to gorge on (of which there are plenty in these parts). This hairy guy, though, was on another path and for some reason ended up west of the city and never made it back to that bridge. 

Otherwise, though, things really are bigger down here. Just last night, I nearly stepped on a toad the size of my foot. Seriously. Lizards bask on every tree trunk. And giant cockroaches scurry away when light or movement threatens. No wonder they've been around for so long. 

Locals raise Texas flags the size of tennis courts, waving proudly in the breeze. Food portions/containers are often ridiculously large (try finding a small jar of salsa). And the cars are too - or trucks I should say - lumbering along (or sometimes slightly over) that double yellow line, taking up way more space than their cargo occupies. 

These and many more things about Texas will take some getting used to. In the meantime, I'll enjoy awing over these super-sizes - and hopefully there won't be anymore bat casualties in the process.

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