Happy Fall!


Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Pumpkins, fall leaves, cooler weather, and my birthday! I’m no spring chicken anymore. In fact... it’s the final year in my 50’s! On the brighter side of that, I LOVE being a grandmother, and it’s one of the reasons I started Francis & Friends. As many of you know, my three daughters all have letter businesses…Letters From Afar, Miss Maisy’s Tasty Travels, and Charm Post. So, I decided to write a letter to my then 3-year-old grandson to test the waters, and here we are today. I now feel like I have hundreds of grandkids from all over the world. Thank you for being part of our ranch family and letting me share my love for animals with your kids!


October Letter

Hope everyone enjoyed October’s letter about Trixie the Fruit Bat. We don’t have fruit bats, aka flying foxes, in the US, so I can only imagine what it would be like to look up and see a colony of 6 foot wide, furry bats flying overhead. I’d love to see it one day. :)

I have to say, during all my research about these megabats, I find them to be amazing creatures! Did you ever wonder why they roost upside down? Of course, I had to find out and learned that their wings are not built like a bird’s wings, so they can’t get the lift they need from a ground position. They are too big, heavy, and can’t walk very well, so they can’t run and “take off.” What they do is hang upside down from a tree branch, silo, rafters, cave walls, etc. and “drop” and glide. This is why you don’t see them on the ground like birds. This is only one of the dozens of amazing facts I learned, so I encourage you to do a fruit bat study with your kids… you’ll be amazed!


And now the sad news…


Flying-foxes play a vital role in keeping our ecosystems in good health. They pollinate flowers and disperse seeds as they forage on the nectar and pollen of rainforest trees’ fruits. Flying-foxes are essential in ensuring the survival of our threatened rainforests.


Almost half the species of this type of fruit bat are now threatened with extinction.

The bats face various threats, including habitat loss from deforestation, but the main one is hunting by humans for food, for their supposed medicinal properties, and for sport. They are also killed by farmers to protect fruit crops.


If the bats are wiped out, it could significantly affect the ecosystem and the economy. Did you know the durian fruit, a multi-million dollar crop, is pollinated almost exclusively by fruit bats?


Last but not least, the primary reason for protecting fruit bats is that they are beautiful, gentle, intelligent living creatures that deserve to live!

Want to Learn More?


When I choose an animal to write about that is in trouble, I like to share the problem with links to more information. I think the best way for us to find solutions and help with conservation efforts is to educate and share. So, if we all learn about what is really going on and share it, then we are helping more than we know.


Here are some great websites with lots of useful information:


https://batweek.org

Celebrate bats with us! Each week, we’ll bring you activities and opportunities to learn about our flying mammal friends, our work to protect them, and ways you can spread the word about how important these animals are to the health of our planet.


https://www.batcon.org/october-is-for-bats/


https://www.batcon.org


http://www.flyingfoxconservationfund.com


https://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/why-bats-need-your-love.php



Holiday Gifts


Consider giving the little animal lovers in your life a 6-month subscription to Francis & Friends this holiday season! (Ages 4-8)


For $35, they will receive:

  1. A letter in the mail each month, addressed especially to them, with a fun animal adventure tucked inside a brightly colored envelope!

  2. An adorable, collectible sticker.

  3. Access to our downloadable FunSheets full of fun facts, puzzles, craft ideas, recipes, and more!



Thank you for supporting our letter!


All our best,

Jamie & Francis

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