Friday, October 12, 2007

Gamone creature

This shy little fellow has taken up residence recently in the ancient stone cellar behind my living room: the place where the monks once made wine. When I opened the door and turned on the light, I found him hanging from the tufa ceiling, so I raced upstairs and grabbed my Nikon. He wasn't very happy to find somebody using a flash on him in the middle of the night. He started to fly around a bit, but decided to stay. So, I quickly turned out the light and left him in peace.

Ever since reading the fascinating chapter on bats written by Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker, I've developed a huge respect for these incredible creatures, whose engineering is far more complex than anything ever designed and built by humans. I'm often spellbound by their flight in the early evening twilight, when they're catching insects for dinner. Besides, they are beautiful creatures, built a little like miniature Formula 1 automobiles, or jet fighters. Suspended upside-down on the ceiling of my cellar at Gamone, this delightful little bat is an excellent antipodean symbol.

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