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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teacher Tuesday: Texas state . . . rodent?

Yesterday I shared pictures of the beautiful Indian paintbrushes that blanket the field behind my house.  When I was walking back to the house after my chicken wire expedition that day, I stumbled upon (almost in!) this large hole.  


I was like, "What the?"  It was the diameter of a soccer ball, at least!  Lucy was wandering about so I called to her to come check it out.  Of course, she stopped a couple of times as she ambled over.  No big hurry, you understand, and certainly not TOO much interest.  But check it out she did, when she finally got to it.


She was braver than I was.  She stuck her whole head down in that hole.  I wouldn't have ventured even a toe.  Too many snakes in my neck of the woods.  I keep a respectful distance from holes.

Hubby said it was an armadillo hole.  Mom filled it up with dirt the next day so she wouldn't accidentally break an ankle on her daily walk around the field.  

Later that evening I found more evidence of the little varmint in our backyard.


Much like feral pigs, armadillos dig holes in the ground looking for grubs and insects.  These two-inch diameter holes were all over the place next to the shed.  Maybe that's what Whitey was barking at the other night!

Image from here

Weird-looking little creatures, aren't they?  Covered in bony armor, they are vulnerable underneath, and have a defense mechanism that causes them to jump straight up when threatened.  It doesn't work well when a vehicle rolls over them on the road.  Many an armadillo meets its maker on Texas highways.  

I guess it's kind of cool to have the Texas state animal making itself at home on our property.  As long as it stays on the other side of the fence, we're okay.

XOXO