“Natures Little Excavator Pays A Visit”


Photo by Marlin Perkins

We have critters in Texas; lots of them, and they all have the potential to do damage to our landscape in one way or another. My favorite demo-critter is the pugnacious determined Armadillo. Nature’s natural tank.

Thanks to the cowboy-hippies down in Austin during the 70s, the “Diller” is now our state animal. I can’t drink a Lone Star beer without thinking of the Armadillo World Headquarters and all the great music played there.

My wife calls me to our back door this afternoon with a ” lookey here at this, there’s a diller in our back yard.”

Well, I’ll be sprayed in Unicorn piss, rolled in fairy dust, and made into a Tinkerbell biscuit, it is one, and in the daylight, which is unusual since they are known to be nocturnal. Covid has thrown nature’s time clock off by a few hundred hours, so I presume our little visitor is Covid bug disoriented or just oblivious.

We watch him for a while as he travels around our lawn, nose down, sniffing for grubs, of which there are none because I murdered them all with poison a few months back. There is nothing quite as satisfying to a gardener, as the screams of grub worms dying a painful death. The same goes for fire ants, armyworms, and mosquitos.

The little guy is not digging up my lawn so I let him be. After a while, I step outside and approach him. He is too busy searching to notice me, and I walk within a few feet of him, fully expecting a quick exit. Nope, not interested in my presence, too busy thinking about bugs and stuff. He lifts his head, and we briefly make eye contact, human and critter mind-meld type of contact. I catch a glint in his beady little eye that says, ” hey man, it’s cool, I’m just shopping.”

After a while, he meanders over to a flower bed and exits through a stand of Canna Lillys. All of God’s creatures got to eat too.

8 Replies to ““Natures Little Excavator Pays A Visit””

      1. Everywhere in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, LA, and Arkansas. They favor grubs and earthworms so they dig with their noses then if they smell food, the front claws kick in and that’s what does all the turf and plant damage.

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    1. I can never not remember them being around when I was a kid, even in our Fort Worth neighborhood which was near downtown. In the early 70s, when the hippie cowboy progressive country music thing was starting in Austin Texas, an artist named Jim Franklin was drawing concert posters for The Armadillo World Headquarters and the Vulcan Gas Company. Of course, he chose the Armadillo as the main charectar in most of his posters making the little feller an icon. Lone Star beer got on the band wagon as well as all the young’uns in Texas, and there you have it. I like the little guys, but they can be extremely destrutive to your property. I would guess they are in most states by now.

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      1. I always associated them with Texas until they came here…them and tumble weeds. They remind me a little of Possums but are much nicer.

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