Monday, August 1, 2011

Bamberger Ranch

We recently visited a 5,500 acre private ranch outside Johnson City that conducts ecotours. The ranch is an inspiration for its beauty, land restoration, and David Bamberger following his dream. This is the official Dept. of Parks and Wildlife video giving an overview of the ranch.

We were visiting the ranch primarily to see the world's only man made bat cave, and the Mexican Free tailed bats emerging from it. The open air ride to the cave by itself was well worth the $5.00 entrance fee!

This cave is made from 3 inverted cement swimming pools, and can house up to a million bats. At present it houses 160,000. If interested, go to the Bamberger Ranch link on our homepage to read the interesting history of the "chiroptorium". Chiroptorium is a term coined by Mr. Bamberger, and is presently in the process of being adopted by Webster's Dictionary as the official word for a man made bat cave. The prefix, "chirop", comes from the formal term designating the order of bats, and "torium" from the word, auditorium. I'm hooked on bats, and look forward to three other observation locations. More on those to come!