July 25, 2009, My Son Richard came over that morning to help cut out a piece of concrete sidewalk in preparation to repair the area from last weeks plumping leak. There is no way to identify how long we had the underground water leak at the house. It became noticeable when the grass was green in a small section next to the sidewalk and a crack in the sidewalk bubbled a small amount of water. The rest of the yard was brown from the drought conditions in San Antonio. Bexar county is in stage two water restrictions, which makes it difficult to keep the lawn green during this time of no rain and 100 degree days.
It took us several hours to cut out the broken section, normally Richard comes over on a Saturday to help me with my backyard project. That will be a different essay maybe a DIY episode on lessons learned. We returned the rental saw from Home Depot and took Richard back to his apartment. We had dinner first and then started driving to Comfort Texas to watch the bats come out at night.
The impromptu day trip left us unprepared – Malinda and I can do without water or snacks but we should have known better when Trini our grandson cried out in the back seat “Im thirsty”. We should have taken a small cooler with water. The place is located in the middle of no where. Malinda was able to scrounge two cups of ice water at a nearby restaurant.
The article from the San Antonio Express News was interesting enough to make a spontaneous decision to take a late evening drive in that direction. Most folks from Texas have heard of the bats that live in the Congress Street Bridge in Austin Texas which is a big tourist attraction for those that visit Austin. We have never been there but that will be on our list of day trips for the future. The Bats in the article are located in an abandon railroad tunnel between Comfort and Fredericksburg Texas. Once we got to Comfort we started looking for signs that would take us to the State park. It wasn’t hard to find and we arrived around 630 PM.
The article does mention that it is a Texas Wildlife management area, we tried to use our State Park pass to gain entrance but the wildlife management areas are not included under State parks pass. The price of admission was reasonable at five dollars for adults. We were lucky that we had purchased the passes early because they had sold out for the lower level prior to the 845 PM bat viewing. The best seats were at the lower level closest to the entrance of the Tunnel. The upper level is free but it is further away towards the top of the tunnel. Malinda, Trini and I made our way down to the lower level around 730 PM and the presentation did not begin until 830 PM. I scouted further down the trail with my camera to find a view of the entrance to the railroad tunnel.
I was more interested in taking photos of the bats in flight, with my Nikon D 700. I have two lens – the Sigma 24 70 mm 2.8 and the Sigma 50 mm 1.4. My decision was to use the my 50 mm because it was a faster lens. Not knowing what to expect and how dark it would get before the bats came out I took a chance. The photos that I did take were acceptable but could have been better if I had a Nikon 70 200mm telephoto lens.
The trip was educational for Trini and an overall good experience for all of us I recommend this trip for any age. During the question and answer period of the presentation period Trini raised his hand and wanted to ask a question – this is the first time he has taken real interest in a topic for his age of 5 years old. He is growing quick before our eyes.
If you are interested in local history and desire more information about the tunnel please visit the following sites: