Autumn Lore

by Kathleen Jenks

Artwork by Teagan White

As autumn returns to earth’s northern hemisphere,

and day and night are briefly,

but perfectly,

balanced at the equinox,

may we remember anew how fragile life is —

human life, surely,

but also the lives of all other creatures,

trees and plants,

waters and winds.

May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest,

may earth’s weather turn kinder,

may there be enough food for all creatures,

may the diminishing light in our daytime skies

be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance

in our hearts.

Sunday, October 24th marks the beginning of International Bat Week, and runs through Halloween on October 31st. Bat Week is an annual celebration of the role that bats play in nature. In a way, it’s unfortunate that this celebratory week coincides with Halloween as I imagine it could perpetuate the idea that bats are spooky. I hope that the work NCF Science Department conducts on Northern long-eared bats has helped persuade at least a few that there is nothing to fear from these incredible creatures.

With dramatic declines in populations of many species of bats across the country, we should be doing all we can to protect them. Nantucket bats are voracious insect hunters and on these warm fall nights they continue to be active at dusk, fattening up on moths before heading into hibernation within the coming month or two. Consider an evening walk in pine woods, or near a small pond, and keep a sharp eye for a quick glimpse of our nighttime hunters.

Northern long-eared Bat with wing band on Nantucket. Photo credit: Danielle O’Dell

In case you missed it, our bat work was recently featured in an N Magazine article by Ben Camm. Additionally, we will be presenting the latest data on Nantucket bats at the upcoming Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Research Conference! Register now to attend either in person at the Nantucket Hotel or virtually via Zoom.

Stay tuned through Bat Week as we share Nantucket bat news on Instagram, follow us at @ackconservation.

As always,

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit land trust that depends on contributions from our members to support our science projects, conservation property acquisitions and land management efforts. If you are not already a member, please join us now!