Tag Archives: Michael Criswell Photography

Austin Bats


One of the things I wanted to experience on my return trip to Autin was to check out the famous Austin Bats that live under Congress Ave. bridge, the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge to be exact, one of the busiest roads in Austin. Underneath the bridge lives the largest urban bat colony in North America, Mexican Free-tailed Bats. When they emerge in the evening during “bat season,” it’s like a cloud flying toward the east.

The bats migrate back to Austin from Mexico during the gestational period in April–May, the mother bats are very hungry so there are a lot of good nights to catch the 750,000 bats exiting. They all give birth in the same 2-week window in early June, which causes them to leave later in the night and lowers our chance to see them. In late July/early August, the nursing period is ending and the babies start flying on their own. This is considered “peak season,” since the entire population of over 1.5 million flies out to hunt.

The bats came out pretty late the night we were there, probably due to the nursing season, but once they started it was a sight. They actually did not exit the bridge as everyone had hoped, they started flying out under the bridge then headed upwards towards the South side of the bridge and on their way to happy bug hunting but I still got some shots of them regardless. I could imagine how cool peak season would be when you see more bats flying than practically the whole population of Austin.

Thanks for looking!

Posted in Austin, Furry Friends, Texas Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |


One of our first stops on my second Texas trip was a drive out to Fredericksburg TX to check out the Enchanted Rock State Natural area. Enchanted Rock is an enormous Pink granite batholith located approximately 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas. The prominent granite dome is visible for many miles in the surrounding basin. Folklore of local Tonkawa, Apache, and Comanche tribes ascribes magical and spiritual powers to the rock (hence the name ‘Enchanted Rock’). While attempting to hide from Anglo settlers in the area, the natives would hide on the top two tiers of the rock, where they were invisible from the ground below.

Dave and I battled the intense heat and visited the area for sunset and then returned in the morning for a climb to the top which was quite the view. The colorful sky vanished as we made our way up the summit trail and we were left with gray bland skies, not really enough to even get long exposures so I opted for a B&W. I decided to play around with the new 11mm lens, this was a shot on top of Enchanted Rock looking out over the Texas Hill Country. You cannot tell by the picture but I was very close to this tree when I shot this frame, the lens has an amazing range.

Thanks for stopping!

Posted in NXNW, Texas Also tagged , , , , , |