Getting Batty at the HMN Annual Meeting


Saturday, January 20, 2018, Headwaters Master Naturalists gathered at the Bridgewater Community Center at Arey Hall to socialize, reconnect over a pot luck meal, and support our bats through continuing education and outreach.

It was an absolutely beautiful and yes, an unseasonably warm winter day, adding extra energy to conversations, as around 30 HMNs perused the annual book sale titles, and the bat-themed door prizes. These included some perfectly witty bat-themed stationary designed by Erin Murray, a “Resist White Nose” T-shirt promoting the Save Lucy Campaign, and several copies of “A Guide to Bats of Virginia” generously donated by Paul Bugas of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Leslie led us in some fun “batty” exercises. Photo thanks to Sandy Greene.

The HMN 2017 Board met briefly, and the attending Chapter members voted on the new additions to the 2018 HMN board.

Following, Leslie Sturges of the Save Lucy Campaign had everyone attempting to think like a bat, pointing out the physical characteristics that enable a bat to catch insects in flight and dangle from a cave ceiling. Learning more about how these flying mammals have been affected by our changing landscapes can inform how we may best protect our remaining bat population.

Paul Bugas followed Leslie with some information about the challenges to bat populations in Virginia and introduced us to a new bat survey project, NABat. Some bat resources are available on the VDGIF website HERE.

Thanks to Program Committee Chair Chip Brown and his committee, Sandy Greene and everyone else who helped organize this event, and thanks to all those who participated in this day of camaraderie and learning! We’ll look forward to doing it again next year!

– Mary Gatling-Finks, Cohort V, January 2018

Top photo by Carl Droms. Click on a photo below to turn the set into a slide show.