Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Playful Armadillos

When my husband and I were sitting at the old picnic table working on the low boarder fence, we heard this heavy trampling in the woods.  We couldn't see anything or anybody but on further investigation, we saw a full gown nine-band armadillo digging around the thicket of bushes.

It reminded us about the three young armadillos that came to play in the water from the irrigation system.  They scurried around in the water and can you believe this:  they rolled, yes, rolled around and over on their backs in the water spray.  They were like little children frolicking in the backyard.

Playful Armadillo
I rushed in to get the camera and the long lens.  "Use the long lens!  Use the long lens!" I urged my husband.  Why?  I didn't want themarmadillos to come charging at him.  I didn't need to worry.  The armadillos continued to play and didn't pay us any attention.  They even ran between my husband's legs!  They finally disappeared into the woods on Back Forty and we have not seen them again.

Armadillos means "little armored one" in Spanish.  The little armored one is a tenacious digger looking for grubs and insects, ants and termites.  Although they leave holes in the lawn, they are welcome to forage in my yard.  I consider them as aerating the lawn.
Nine banded armadillo

The armadillo tend to jump straight up in the air when surprised and consequently often collide with the undercarriage or fenders of passing cars according to Wikipedia.  When the armadillos are frighten, they tend to roll up into a ball or hide out in their burrows along creeks and streams.

The following information is from Texas Park and Wildlife:  Breeding occurs in July; the embryo remains dormant until November; and four (I thought it was three) young ones are born in a burrow in March.  They are always the same sex and identical quadruplets (triplets) developed from the same egg.

We still see an occasional armadillo around the property.  One stays around the shed and thick brush by the scenic creek and one has made a burrow in an outside corner of the house.  It might be the same one that is roaming.

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