In Idaho, there are Osprey that fly above the cabin and eagles that nest in tall trees next door. There are grouse that make drumming sounds with their wings and quail that run in packs through the forest. There are sparrows that try to nest in the wooden eaves and owls that hoot at night. There are gaggles of geese that run awkwardly on the lawn and there are ducks that bob on the surface of the lake. There are hummingbirds that drink the flowers; wild turkeys that look like old men; woodpeckers that knock on tree trunks; crows that caw loudly in the morning and Starlings that fly-strong.

When Rachel came to Idaho, we birdwatched, which means we sat around and looked at the sky and held some feathers that used to belong to an Osprey named Jerome. I love all the birds of Northern Idaho, but hands-down, my favorite bird is the bat, even though the bat isn’t a bird. When we sit outside at night on the deck, bats fly in silent black storms in the air above. Sometimes you can make out their shadows and sometimes you can hear them telling really bad jokes.

One night, a bat flew into our cabin, because he was lost, or maybe he was just lonely. He zipped around like a silent supersonic jet and found corners to hide in. We tried calling him by name, and coaxing him out of the darkness with bribes, but he felt nervous and ignored us. On one mad flight through the kitchen, he almost got tangled in my hair, which made me wonder what it would feel like to have a bat stuck in my bangs.

We think that he eventually found he way out the door and Rachel and I gave each-other invisible high-fives.

But once he was gone, we kinda missed him.

*Thank you Rachel, for making the Idaho trek and for always being willing to hold my feathers. I mean, Jerome’s feathers.