The Bats of North Star Mall

For many years, a couple of friends of mine would take any opportunity they could to bring up the city they called home – Austin, Texas. If you talked about somewhere you visited, they’ yammer on about a place in Austin that was just like it…only better. If i mentioned a bar, they’d bring up Sixth Street. If you talked about music, they’d remind you Austin is the music capital of the World. And on and on, ad nauseam.Thankfully, I lived very far away and whether Austin stayed weird or not, had nothing to do with me.

A couple of years later, I ended up working in San Antonio for a time. Once my Austin friends found out where I was, it wasn’t long before they insisted I come and check Austin out. We met up early and they gave me whirlwind tour of the city. We ended up near Congress Avenue Bridge in the afternoon. My friends assured me, I was going to see the “greatest thing ever.”

As the afternoon wore on, crowds started to form on the banks of the river and along the bridge rail. People on the shore looked up towards the bridge and the people on the bridge stared down at the water. Soon, oohs and awes filled the air, and the people all pointed at….bats? The greatest thing ever was watching bats fly out from under a bridge into the dusk?

Continue reading