Saturday, October 20, 2012

Going Batty!!

Bats!  I love them.  They are one of my absolute favorite creatures, and something about them makes them seem very akin to Faerie.  Of course modern society likes to relegate bats to Halloween decorations or Goth home decor, but it was by no means always this way.

My favorite exhibit at the Columbus Zoo, by leaps and bounds, is their Flying Fox Bats.  In December every year, the zoo has a "Wild Lights" Christmas light show, and they keep the zoo open after dark for people to enjoy the holiday glow.  The first year I went, I made my way straight to the bats after dark, and was rewarded by seeing them stretch and fly and grow active in the twilight. 

Me visiting my beloved Flying Foxes

I even wrote a short story for my new niece for Christmas last year involving a Flying Fox Bat doctor who saved the life of a little swanling.

This year's story involves Doctor Bat and the story of how he got his magical faerie stone.

The Victorians seemed to embrace fully the idea of bats contrasting and yet somehow belonging-with the pastel loveliness of faeries.


Indeed, Shakespeare's sprite from The Tempest, Ariel, says:

Where the bee sucks, there suck I.
In a cowslip’s bell I lie.
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

The Victorians embraced the batty.  How badly do I want to make one of these costumes below??

Especially this one.  Bad Faeries Ball at Faeriecon 2013 maybe??

From silent film, Les Vampires

Even the master of graceful ethereal glass, Tiffany, created a gorgeously gothic bat lamp.

I am in love.

 And the modern masterful company I've featured here before, Century Studios, created their own version.


19th century glass artist Galle was known for this exquisite style of bat lamp:

Link for above and below

And Lalique even went a little batty too.

Freiwald Art Pottery is known for making bat pottery vessels so exquisite, you wouldn't be faulted to think they were 19th century examples from a museum.

 And then there is this actual Nouveau antique:

 And this modern piece from Door Pottery.

And a beautiful bat faerie from a favorite modern doll sculptor, Nenufar Blanco.


Love this design for a bat faerie.  Definitely batty, but not evil.  The style reminds me a little of Tony DiTerlizzi.


Blind as a bat.  Get it?  Too cute.  A pillow from Plum.

 And an enchanting Faerie Door on Etsy.


And a screenprinted pillow and original art both available on the Etsy page for the incomparable artist, Kelly Louise Judd of Swan Bones Theater.

Link above & below

I found this image of a creative craft idea for combining whimsy and the mystery of bats.  Sadly it appears the original link is broken, but it looks pretty simple to create with a bat paper punch and different paper.

Finally I would be entirely remiss in doing a post on the magic of bats without mentioning Ari Berk's new phenomenal children's book, Nightsong.  I just read this book when it arrived for me at the library, and I had a hard time sending it back.  The gorgeously illustrated picture book tells the story of Chiro, a little bat who learns for the first time how to use his echolocation ability.  Berk describes this experience in absolutely enchanting magical language, describing the bat singing out into the world, and the world singing its song back to him.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who knows children who appreciate the wondrous, or any of we adults who respect the same.


  1. SUCH a lovely post Grace, I want everything!! :).

  2. I was thinking about doing a post on bats -- you beat me to it! Here's a lovely piece from Dwellings by Native American writer Linda Hogan:

    "The bat people are said to live in the first circle of holiness. Thus, they are intermediaries between our world and the next. Hearing the chants of life all around them, they are the listeners who pass on the language and songs of many things to human beings who need wisdom, healing, and guidance through our lives, we who forget where we stand in the world. Bats know the world is constantly singing, know the world inside the turning and twisting of caves, places behind and beneath our own....

    "How can we get from there to here, I wonder, to the center of the world, to the place where the universe carries down the song of night to our human lives? How can we listen or see to find our way by feel to the heart of every yes or no? How do we learn to trust ourselves enough to hear the chanting of the earth?"

  3. What a wonderful post--I adore bats! And your images were fabulous and so out of the ordinary.
    Thanks to Terri as well for her interesting addition.

  4. I love to see the bats flit by my window in the dusk,thanks for this great post and terri's native american addition.

  5. Thank you so much, Terri, for sharing this, and for the simply beautiful quote/meditation by Hogan. Brittany, Diana and Angela, thank you!