Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Happens at 5:00 a.m. in the Jardin Encantado

What were you doing at 5:00 a.m. this morning? Snoozing happily I hope. I, on the other hand, was experiencing an adventure and, no, it wasn’t in a dream. With our first cool days and nights of the coming fall, I have opened the windows to air out the house. This means I enjoy the all the sounds of nocturnal nature. . . .and so do my dogs.

Holly Berry
Harriet Beecher
 This morning around 5:00 a.m. (I refer to this time as Cecil time – which will be explained, I’m sure, in a later blog), not a creature was stirring – not even a mouse. Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter that I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the door I flew like a flash, turned on the light and then started to dash. When, what to my sleepy eyes should appear, but my two dogs and one armadillo.

Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)
The nine-banded armadillo did not see the dogs until they were nose to nose. It jumped straight up in the air and ran off directly into my pond. Oh, good, I thought – now I must rescue a drowning armadillo. But, fortunately, it clawed its way out and scampered down the hill to parts unknown. By this time the dogs were bored and wanted to go back to sleep.

The state mammal of Texas, the nine-banded armadillo, is a cat-sized, armor-clad, insect-eating rototiller. Grub worms are its food of choice but it will occasionally eat berries and other small invertebrates. Breeding occurs in July but the embryo remains dormant until November. Four young are born in March in a burrow. All four are the same sex and are identical quadruplets formed from a single egg. The armadillo was originally native to South America but now can be found as far north as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana.

Most people only see this kind of armadillo

In an effort to keep my gardens from being tilled under by Mr. Dillo, I have resorted to using the humane-trap and release method. These are my results.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog.
    My "Cecil time" was just about on time this a.m.
    BTW, I have always thought that the "state animal" of Texas was a dead armadillo on the road. LOL

    We have had the A/C in the "OFF" position for several days now.... enjoying sleeping under additional covers.
    Do you mean to say that your dogs did not go into an attack mode when they saw the 'dillo'?