The sound of thousands of chirps pierced the dusky skies. Silhouettes of hundreds of people patiently lined up on the bridge above filled my heart with such hope and excitement. To know that people had all gathered for the same experience. All of us of all backgrounds. All ages. All cultures. All genders. All creeds.
I was honestly so fixated on the anticipation of the event, that my brother was the one that pointed this out to me. “It’s so cool that all these different people are here to see this, isn’t it?”
Down on the lawn, people were preparing their cameras and smartphones. Kids were peppering their guardians with an endless surplus of questions. “When are they coming?” “How big are they?” “Will they bite?”
Laughing to myself at these questions, I relished in the innocence and honesty.
Swip, swap, swoosh!
Swooosh, swip, swip.
The chirps grew louder.
A collective gasp from all in the vicinity. Oh the anticipation. Like waiting for the last few seconds of the timer to go off for your chocolate chip cookies in the oven!
“Here they come!”
Clusters upon clusters of Mexican Free-Tail bats emerged from the crevices of Congress Avenue Bridge blanketing the Texan heavens. Swarming, dodging, and darting to pinpoint their nightly feast: a buffet chocked full of millions of delectable bugs.
I have been wanting to experience this for quite sometime now and couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. Utter awe and completely speechless. So speechless, at moments it was as if everything in the world disappeared and all that existed was just me and the bats. My brother and I shared this experience every evening we were in Austin.
We celebrated every night afterwards with some local beers. A couple of pilsners here and some ambers there while we conversed on this beautiful wonder near our corner of the world.