Thursday, June 14, 2012

And Then There Were None

The strange fruit has abandoned the branches of the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. The garbled cries of the fruit bat colony adds a fantastic layer to the prehistoric feel of the beautiful gardens. Eery as they are, it was eerier to stroll through this morning at noisy bat bedtime and notice silence.
I looked up and there were no bats. There are usually thousands. It was like looking at the Interstate and seeing it empty.

The effect was so troubling I sought out a gardener who informed me that the bats were evicted. They were damaging too many trees, so the city council tried a new method of playing "industrial" music at dawn and dusk, an "unwelcoming noise" (her words) which forced the bats to abandon their home.

"I'm sad about it too," she said. What's most sad is that in a city with so many rules, regulations and restrictions - the nanny state has come to the treetops. Sure they damaged trees, I could see that. But they were physically relocating many already, why drive them all off? Those who are cast out, I embrace! The freaky flying foxes were a huge tourist attraction and gave the city something special.
One of the most spectacular things about Sydney was the bats at dusk, dotting the sky on their daily pilgrimage across the city to Centennial Park. You could set your watch to it.
The skies are now that much less awesome.

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