Here in New Zealand, we have two native bats; one is rare, the other endangered. Yesterday my family, and I joined our local children’s conservation group. We went bat hunting.
Close to our city there is a patch of remnant forest. Our task was to walk through this patch on formed tracks, using the appropriate equipment, listening for bats. On that task we were unsuccessful, hearing no bats at all. A disappointment for me; however, the evening was successful with the children.
The thing is, bats come out a dusk hunting small insects. Consequently we walked the tracks in gathering darkness; into dark night. The forest is different at night. Closed in and somehow huge. Ancient fears fill hearts and heads. We were perfectly safe, there are no predators in New Zealand, we were on a well marked track with adults and torches; however, the response to the immenseness of the forest was strong, the children grew quiet. We felt small in the immensity of nature. That is a powerful experience. Profound and humbling. Accurate as an experience and valuable. An experience for the children to remember and to take forward.