The Night Visitor

Every morning we find numerous holes dug in the grass in the backyard and have long suspected the culprit was an armadillo.  They’re nocturnal creatures that we very rarely see during daylight hours except, sadly, as roadkill on the highway. 

Tonight we were lucky enough to catch one in action right outside the backdoor when hubby went to take our decrepit little dog out to do his business. 

It–the armadillo, not the decrepit dog–was rooting around in the space between the grass and some cement stepping stones.  It seemed quite oblivious to our presence as it gradually snuffled its way toward us only about three feet away.

Our visitor was about one and a half to two feet in length, although they can reach a length of up to thirty inches.  The armadillos in Texas are the Nine-banded variety.  They have large eyes but very poor vision, which may have accounted for us being ignored.  It certainly wasn’t afraid of us at all. 

In the past I’ve inadvertently frightened a few armadillos off when I came upon them unexpectedly.  The clanking sound they made as they ran sounded just like the knights in a Monty Python movie!

By the time I got my camera, it had gone into the bushes alongside the house, but the flash from the camera startled it enough so it emerged from hiding.  Although, even the flash didn’t seem to disturb it much.  It just meandered out into the grass, continuing its hunt for grubs and other, er…armadillo goodies. 

That’s where I managed to catch this photo.  The yard out there wasn’t illuminated by our outside lights so I just had to kind of blindly point the camera and shoot in its direction since I couldn’t see anything but blackness in the viewfinder.

Anyway, a fascinating creature that one rarely gets an opportunity to see up close in Texas.  Almost as rare as a fellow Democrat.   🙂

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16 thoughts on “The Night Visitor

  1. I’ve never seen an armadillo, not even in a zoo. Somehow when I see a photograph of one, I always think of the groom’s cake in “Steel Magnolias.”

    And when I think of Texas Democrats, I always think of Ann Richards and her keynote address about George, born with a silver foot in his mouth.

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    • The only other ones I’ve seen up close are the stuffed (taxidermied) variety. There were a lot more holes dug in the grass again last night, but at least we know it wasn’t from the skunk who sometimes comes around. Where are our outside cats when we need them?

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  2. Looks like a giant rolypoly bug with a possum snout.

    I was looking at the newspaper pictures of the big rains we’ve had and they had at least two pictures of fireants clinging to blades of grass. You’d think that 22 inches of rain would kill them. Send in the armadillos.

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  3. Of course I think it’s TOTALLY cool you have an armadillo, since we don’t have THOSE around here!! (Probably you’d be fascinated by one of my beavers or moose!) Great photo!

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