The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation puts on the Selman Bat Watch annually, which the other half and I have been attending the last two years. The Selman Wildlife Management Area is outside of Freedom, Oklahoma, and contains millions of Mexican free-tail bats in a nursery cave. The cave was explored several years ago, but the researchers apparently did not want to attempt a return trip through the over seven feet of guano that have built up in it.
The area is only open for viewing in July, when groups are bused out three nights a week to watch a bunch of bats black out the sky in an awesome display.
Well, okay, these ones didn’t black out the sky. The adult bats fly in a tighter formation and fly out before the pups, some of which are pictured below.
The second-most important part of the trip, however, is obviously the free water, since even temperatures in the 100’s won’t deter avid batwatchers like us.
Before the bat watch, most visitors go on a tour of Alabaster Caverns, which is one of the largest gypsum caves in the United States.
Some of the signatures and drawings in the cave date back to the 1800s. No word on the date these bunnies were drawn.
You can even walk around on a nature trail where you can drool over the sand plums and complain about how prairies are mismanaged.
If you have never tried sand plum jelly, make sure you have really good friends willing to help you reach into the thorns. Trust me, it’s worth it.
For more information on the Selman Bat Watch, visit their website here.