We are animal lovers here at the Brampton Inn. We have our adorable Slipper the cat-concierge, well known to many guests. Michael and Danielle have Muffin and Charlie, the Cairn terrier terrors. Rita has her dogs Dalia and Sidney, plus 3 cats that found themselves homeless on the grounds of the inn. Carole has horses.
But beyond the typical domesticated companion animals, and the huge variety of birds and insects that we see here at Brampton, are the often overlooked, and much (wrongly) maligned creatures that are no one’s particular favorites…that we happen to sincerely enjoy:
For example, the black vulture, a common scavenger, is often looked upon with disdain. Most people consider them “ugly”, with their bald heads and big hooked bill. What a shame this is; if you have the chance to see one up close, (as we do here at the inn; we have several residents that hang out on top of the old silo) you would see that they are magnificent creatures. They are one of the biggest birds, and one with an important job. If not for the vultures and other scavengers, the ground would be littered with rotting corpses! Besides this, there are many other benefits to having vultures around.
See how regal this bird looks in the window of the old barn…we think she is earning her keep!
Another critter that we enjoy seeing is the little brown bat. Bats are animals that most people have very strong feelings about…we happen to love and appreciate them. They put on a great acrobatic flying show at dusk when they’re busy eating mosquitos, often thousands a night by just one bat! You can sit and watch them flutter around doing what they do, though it can be a challenge to keep your eyes on one.
They are the only flying mammal (they are NOT rodents; and “flying” squirrels merely glide), and did you know they nurse their young, which are called “pups”?
Earlier this fall, Michael found one sleeping behind a shutter, which he had removed for maintenance and painting. I braved this ladder:
And then climbed another one on the porch roof in order to take this picture:
Just look at that beautiful silky brown fur! I can’t explain it but I think they’re adorable. (Notice the 2 stink bugs embedded in the wasp’s mud just to the left of the bat. These are the non-native, invasive species that inundated the east coast this past year. We do NOT find them adorable. Enough said).
Bats are so important in the eco-system and eat thousands of insects-mostly mosquitos- each night. They have recently been threatened by a disease that is wiping them out at an alarming rate. We hope that the bats here are safe from this, and continue to roost in our trees and behind the shutters! And by the way, we are actually in the middle of the Year of the Bat, just in case you didn’t know.