Night and Day: Wednesday, July 28 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Winged Conservation

The earliest reference to bats in Irish history is in the Fionn MacChumail saga (set down sometime in the 11th century) ó when Fionn is kidnapped by the King of Tara, the ransom includes a pair of every wild creature of Ireland, including bats. Sorry, but thatís the best we can do in terms of drawing connections between Celtic music and the creatures from the order Chiroptera.

The local environmental organization R.E.L.E.A.F. will do a better job, though, when it hosts its fifth annual Celtic Music R.E.L.E.A.F. Benefit. The proceeds from the festival always go toward an environmentally oriented charity, and this yearís recipient is the Bat World Sanctuary. Many of these beneficial (insectivorous and plant-pollinating) animals are killed because they freak people out, but the strangeness of these flying rodent-like creatures is what makes them fascinating. The more than 800 species of this animal allow for amazing variations, including the nearly transparent skin of the pallid bat, the hairless naked bat, and the mobility of the vampire bat. Bats are often given evocative names, from the Indian flying fox to the bulldog or mastiff bat to the wrinkle-faced bat. (Then, of course, thereís the monumentally unimaginative name of the big brown bat.)

Because many species are endangered, the benefit will raise awareness by having live specimens on display. And if those do nothing for you, you can simply enjoy the live Celtic music and dance performances.

The Celtic Music R.E.L.E.A.F. Benefit is Sat-Sun at American Legion Post 569, 400 W Felix St, FW. Tickets are $15. Call 817-913-7047.



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