Woo-Hoo… Armadillo Rodeo!

We actually saw two of these amazing creatures today, which in itself is quite unusual. On our way back from the barn, low movement in the under story caught husband’s eye. It was a nice, big armadillo heading across the far end of the pasture towards “the back forty”. It was already after noon at this point, and it’s quite hot today, so we think it had been down in the creek bed, which is still damp from rain earlier this month.
After returning to the main yard we were piddling around outside when husband (ever on alert) heard the rattling sound of “digging at chain link” and went to fuss at the two outside dogs who where in the garden. Only thing was, they weren’t the ones doing the digging! He discovered a very large one-eared armadillo diligently digging under the garden fence from the driveway INTO the garden. By the time he got a long handled tool to try to discourage this behavior, the champion digger had already made it’s way under the fence and was now proceeding to dig under the pump house foundation.
This is when I arrived on the scene as I had been on the far side of the house knocking down wasp and yellow jacket nests. Together we moved the rain barrel and other obstacles so I could attempt to pick up the intruder to relocate it. We are presuming it MIGHT be a pregnant female, hence her determination to burrow under our pump house?!?! Any way, they are strong critters, and although I could get my (gloved) hands on her, I could never manage to hang on a full 8 seconds to transfer her into the awaiting pet carrier!!!
We managed a merry chase out of the garden and across the side yard, where I had hurriedly opened two gates, in hopes of “escorting” her out into the adjoining pasture. This didn’t quite go as planned, either. We were all getting hot running around in the noon day sun, and I was beginning to worry about how stressed we were making it/her. I had brushed my bare legs up against some Stinging Nettle that grows wild up there and was quite uncomfortable myself at this point! We were up on the rock knoll now and I said to Troy that if it/she makes for the niche under one of the big rocks we would just leave her there. Luckily she agreed to THIS plan, and dove under the big suspended rock and furiously began digging a borrow. Here is where we exited. 
I don’t know if it/she will simply spend the day snoozing or take up permanent residence. Either way is fine. It could NOT remain in the garden for several reasons. The most obvious being the two outside dogs who spend their days in that area. For its own safety, it needed to be relocated. In the side yard it won’t be bothering anyone or anything and nothing should harass it. Well, with that second gate wide open the two mules quickly entered the side yard and are there, still, pretending to “mow” it for me! They do a pretty good job, so they can stay there for now, too. I don’t think they will bother the armadillo as it’s buried itself completely by now. As for me, I washed my lower legs with real soap to sooth the sting from those nettles and hubby and I are relaxing and sipping lemon aid.

By the way, there is apparently an adorable book about an Armadillo Rodeo, by Jan Brett. Click on the title (in blue) to learn more! Sadly, neither of the armadillos we saw today were wearing a blue bandanna! armadillo_rodeo_bo_sleeping_300

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