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The great Jeff Klinkenberg wrote about bats in Florida and some people who love them

Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer

Friday, October 3, 2014 12:02pm

Read it in Floridian in Sunday's paper. Or read it ... now:

CLEARWATER - Bat people develop superior eyesight. They often develop acute hearing. Sometimes they develop painful cricks in their neck. Bat people are always looking up.

Bat people Cyndi and George Marks like visiting their yard just after sunset to look up, though sometimes their dusk adventures take them out of their Clearwater neighborhood. They'll drive to Coral Gables to see a good bat, or to Key West, or they will look for bats in the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades, where ferocious mosquitoes are so plentiful that a billion bats, much less a few dozen rare ones, couldn't eat them all.

Cyndi and George are regulars at Florida's bat theme park, which is in Gainesville on the campus of the University of Florida. Two bat houses, constructed decades ago, are habitat to 400,000 bats. Swarming at dark, the bats can almost eclipse the moon.

When Cyndi and her husband behold winged splendor, they do so with heads up but mouths firmly closed.

They may love bats, but not enough to taste guano. Keep reading.