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Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Petting the Armadillo...

It Is the little things In life that seem to most Intrigue me and hold my Interest....
My alter ego Is an Individual that Is Indeed fearless and an out doorsy gal...In real life, not so much.
However, when behind the lens of my camera....I am Indeed fearless....ok, maybe not so much fearless...more like my camera Indeed comes between subject, object....It Is my talisman...warding off evil.

During a walk out to the mail box with NIkI a while back I noticed a hole dug In the garden out front, right next to the foundation....hmmmmm
What could It be....I start researching online and guessed It to be an Armadillo. Made so much sense for I also had been finding areas of the lawn, dirt dug up....pretty decent holes.

Now, I have been told these could also be found where I used to live, however...In all the years I never saw one. Have seen pictures, have seen them on TV, never up close and personal.
So...after I read about them I thought It might be best to get a professional to catch and release him/her. Further research stated that often times you will Indeed have more then one...they are not very easy to catch If using traps which Is how the professional wild life wranglers catch them. Having contacted a few local professionals, well just way to expensive. Of course If this continues....possibly to prevent further damage I will just have to hire someone...though not at all sure If that would work, add to the fact that there Is acres of woods behind my house I am sure the woods has a great supply of armadillos and more will find there way under the fencing....may just have to put a donate button here on the blog, call It the Catch and Release Program with a picture of the Armadillo ;-)

The hole found In the front of the house was filled In only, of course to once again be dug out. These are nocturnal critters....a few days later another hole/ burrow found next to the air conditioner foundation...major problem. The borrows which they dig are harmless, that Is If not near your home. They can cause major destruction to the foundation of your home. The holes In which they create In your grass and dirt can be pretty damaging as well....not too much of a concern, however I noticed the holes around the base of the trees. Hmmmmm, If they can cause the type of damage to your foundation, house I can only Imagine with trees such as pines. Lots of damage this critter Is causing.

My research suggested using moth balls....hmmmm did you all know just how very toxic mouth balls were. I did not either until a box was purchased...nope, not gonna do that. Pepper, and anything with a strong odor for they apparently have sensitive sense of smell. I again went hmmmmm....for It would seem to me this would cause them to move a few feet away...thus moving their burrow....I can only Imagine this would cause more damage....In more locations.
I also cannot figure out how many there are for one can dig numerous though to throw you off their track ;-)

After a few weeks I still had not caught sight of them....not for lack of trying.
Realizing my best strategy will be to spray my yard....sadly, I must be careful for I do not want my dogs getting Ill from all the toxic chemicals...then one thinks might as well just use the moth balls....there just has to be a better resolution. My yard does not have to be the prettiest and greenest, especially at my dogs and the environments expense. I am still researching for I have read about a few repellents.....just need to make sure that they will not harm the dogs. Meanwhile locals are telling me to kill them.....hmmmmm, maybe a big pot of armadillo stew, how about armadillo BBQ, dillo-dog (like corn-dog)... probably tastes like chicken.

It was not until a couple of weeks or so ago while brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed I noticed Rocky standing at the front door growling....I looked out and of course did not notice anything, however he was pretty convincing that I should Investigate.
I looked out my bathroom window which faces the front and low and behold....running here, there....digging...very fast diggers, on to the next spot....munching away...was my very first armadillo sighting.
Toothbrush goes flying....quick spit and rinse....reach for the camera and out I go....jammIes and all. I grabbed the camera realizing I would have to be pretty close due to the lens on the camera. As I approached he did not notice me until I was very close and It seemed he sensed, heard...smelled me first. I am guessing vision to not be the best. I followed him up to his borrow and watched how he retreated into his den.

After the first sighting for a couple of nights the dogs and I went out and did not realize he was In the yard, they chased him/her out...boy they are indeed fast when digging out of the fence.
'til finally late one evening I was turning over In bed when I noticed the back security light go ready with better lens I ran out back...leaving the dogs to watch out the door. I was being oh so quiet as I approached....until I bumped Into the dogs empty water bowl on the patio....too much noise and my presence now known. The armadillo did not retreat at first....frantically digging up here and following, him turning In my direction. I did manage a few shots, sadly like the armadillo my vision Is not great at night ;-)

Since I have been In the company of the armadillo a few times they are Indeed non aggressive critters. I have gotten up close and personal....harmless....that Is until I read that a small percent of the armadillo population carries leprosy. petting the armadillo!!!!

Having for a few nights followed him/her around I was thinking with a good cage close by... sporting a really good pair of thick long gloves, looking through my lens...up close and personal would seem to be so very easy to reach out, grab and trap....but then that would require me putting down my talisman....the camera.

Please know that no critters were harmed while photographing them...neither did any of my neighbors seem to be bothered by my roaming my property in my pj's, or the flash going off between the hours of 1 and 4am.



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