January 21, 2005

Carry Me Back To Ol' Virginny - Part I

My pal Marjorie the Unclimber sends along this piece of Legislation for the Ages:

HOUSE BILL NO. 2579 Offered January 12, 2005 Prefiled January 12, 2005

A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 7.1-40.7:1, relating to emblems of the Commonwealth; designation of the state bat.

Patrons-- Stump, Baskerville, Ebbin, Keister, Lingamfelter, Phillips and Pollard; Senator: Puckett

Referred to Committee on General Laws
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 7.1-40.7:1 as follows:

7.1-40.7:1. Official bat.

The Virginia Big-eared bat (plecotus townsendii virginianus) is hereby designated as the official bat of the Commonwealth.

I'm filing this one in the Mostly Harmless catagory. Will it mean that we can get license plates with Virginia Big-eared bats on them? That might be kinda cool. (You can certainly get one with the state butterfly - the yellow tiger swallowtail - so I don't see why not.)

As it happens, I'm rather fond of bats. We have a good many of them around here and in the summertime it's very nice to sit out on the porch at dusk and watch them flittering about.

Once when I was in high school in San Antonio, I took a trip with the local Sierra Club out into the badlands to the southwest of town to visit some giant bat caves. I forget what kind of bats they were or how many umpteen million of them were said to roost there, but I'll never forget them coming out at sunset - a thick, thick ribbon of flying rats, winding its way off into the distance. I can't remember how long it took to empty out the caves, but it seemed like hours. Truly an amazing sight.

Posted by Robert at January 21, 2005 09:22 AM

They were probably Mexican free-tail bats (http://www.batcon.org/discover/bracken.html.)

I also lived in San Antonio (Northeast side of town--Roosevelt HS) and we would watch the bats fly over our house from the Bracken cave mentioned in the link...awesome sight. Are you sure the cave you went to was SW of SA? Don't know about that one. We use to throw footballs or other objects up in the air and watch the bats dive after them...probably not the best idea but we were teenagers and having a great time!

Posted by: Pax at January 21, 2005 02:40 PM

No kidding - I went to Churchill. Chargers RULE!

Yes, the caves were definitely out west somewhere - the country was near-desert scrub. If I had to make a guess, I'd say the drive was probably about an hour from 281 North, but I couldn't guess the final destination to save my life.

Posted by: Robert the LB at January 21, 2005 03:00 PM

Churchill? Geez...at the time I was there (Class of '81), I have to admit that y'all kicked butt in football but I hear things changed in the late 80's. Of course Roosevelt is just 4A now since the student population declined.

Somehow, I can still remember the taunt we'd sing when the Churchill band would play your fight song. Went like this:

Winston Churchill, upon your name we spit,
As far as we're concerned you're just a pile of s*#%!

Ah youth...amazing that those brain cells avoided being destroyed during the college years!

Posted by: Pax at January 21, 2005 03:23 PM

Yeah, I was class of '83. Of course, the school's gone to hell since then (not that it had far to travel to begin with).

Posted by: Robert the LB at January 21, 2005 05:16 PM

Heh...Churchill. It amused me that there was such an outcry several years ago about how Lee High School (my wife's alum) was somehow "racist" or otherwise degrading because of the ties to the Civil War, when just up the road there was Churchill HS, named after the leader of the nation that we went to war with and declared independence from. I know, I know...Churchill was from a different era than 1776, but still.

Oh, and FWIW -- my eldest child spent grades 9/10/11 at Judson -- if I had been a football fan, that would mean something to me. Heh.

Posted by: david at January 23, 2005 01:50 AM
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