Founder's Circle ecotours – now Conservation Leader Circle trips –offer Bat Conservation International members the unforgettable adventure of observing bats and other wildlife in exotic locations. Those who make the trips usually describe unique experiences – but few are as striking as this story shared by wildlife photographer Les Meade.
Who would have guessed back in October 2007 that sparks would fly between two ecotourists on the BCI Founder's Circle Ecotour to Australia and New Zealand?
Well, that's exactly what happened to me, Les Meade, at the time a bat biologist from Kentucky, and Michelle Steinmetz (now Meade), a biologist with the Washington State Department of Transportation.
We got to know each other by spending several weeks watching wildlife, visiting bat rehabilitators and feeding baby flying foxes Down Under. Our love of bats brought us together, and we celebrated our second wedding anniversary on October 3, 2011.
Given the role that bats played in bringing us together, we decided that bats would have to be incorporated into our wedding, as well. And so they were: we even had a bat stamped onto the envelopes for our invitations.
We will never forget that spectacular trip to Australia and New Zealand and all the wonderful people we met (in addition to each other). A special thanks goes to Fiona Reid, Miriam Schulman, and Bruce Thomson. And a very special thanks goes to my lovely wife, Michelle.