Friday, January 28, 2011

Armadillo Sighting

I have recently returned from a week long, internetless camping adventure at the Guadalupe River State Park.  Although the nights were below freezing and the days a little crisp, I enjoyed the time to myself in this amazing habitat.  I pretty much had the campground to myself, which, on moonless nights, got pretty spooky.  But I did meet a new friend.

This very junior naturalist was visiting the park
for the day with his parents. 
He was very proud to show me all the bells and whistles
attached to his vest.
There were lots and lots of pockets.
I love pockets.
He was pretty excited because he had just seen an armadillo.

Nine-Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

I was pretty excited, too, because
I knew armadillos to be nocturnal.
But I wasn't the only one observing these daytime visits.
While I was away, Marvin at Nature in the Ozarks
shared his knowledge about these curious little critters,
and I learned from him that because the temperatures were so cold
they stayed in their warm little burrows during the night,
and had no other choice but to forage for food
during the daytime.

I don't believe they see very well, but they have a great sniffer...

...and can run pretty fast when they feel threatened.

It was delightful to be sitting at the picnic table in my site,
reading or writing,
and hearing a rustling sound nearby,
only to look up to see an armadillo rooting through the dirt,
right there, in MY space!

The Nine-banded Armadillo is the Texas State Animal.

                Armadillo Rodeo

   Jan Brett is one of my favorite children's
   authors and illustrators.
   This book will make a delightful
   addition to you child's library.
   It graces mine!


Lily Hydrangea said...

that is so cool! I've never seen one in 'person' in its natural habitat! Your new friend must have been thrilled.
You're very brave to go camping alone in the pitch black like that. I bet it must have been awesome to be in such a quiet place though.

Stephanie said...

Who would guess these armored critters could run. The only time I've seen them is dead on the Texas highways. I didn't know the get up on their hind legs either. Sounds like you had a nice retreat.

eileeninmd said...

Very cool! I would love to see one of these critters. I'm sure this park was a great place to see birds too. Wonderful photos of the armadillo.

Marvin said...

I'm fascinated by these critters because they have so many quirky attributes and behaviors. Still, I'd prefer they fascinate my in the wild and not in our garden.

Nice shot of the diller sniffing out its surroundings. Thank you for the link.

Carver said...

What a great sequence. I have never seen an armadillo and they look like very interesting animals to watch. You got great shots. I also love the shot of the young naturalist. You can never have too many pockets.

Linda Reeder said...

Fun post! Armadillo sightings are not something we have here!
So this camping by yourself - are you in an RV? What facilities do you have? I think I would get spooked, and maybe a bit stir crazy.

Dixxe said...

Im glad to see one alive and well! I too have only seen them as roadkill and thas not a good thing--hope they will become roadwise-

Cindy said...

The pics are SO cool. I never knew...

sue niven said...

such a great post! I adore the armadillo!

The Early Birder said...

How cool is that .. I have been watching a TV programme tonight showing a wildlife maniac trying to catch one in the dark in a Louisana swamp and the Armadillo was far to quick!!

swamp4me said...

I've never seen an armadillo in person...maybe I need to go to Texas! :)

Just Ramblin' said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful experience, although I'm not sure how comfortable it would be at night with very few people around. Your new little friend is adorable and I love all the little things attached to his jacket. And, it's true, one can never have too many pockets. The pictures of the armadillo are fascinating. I have never seen one up close (in fact, never seen one anywhere) and you got some great pictures. Especially love the one where he is standing up and sniffing. Also had no clue they could run so quickly. Thanks for sharing. Nola

Audrey said...

What fun!! I don't know if I could survive a week without the internet - would definitely have to go somewhere that it was not available :)
LOVE the photo's and what a cute new friend!

Kyle said...

Sounds like you had a pretty fun trip, Karen! Love the armadillo pics. We don't see much of them most of the time, although we used to hear them rooting around at night under the farmhouse when I worked summers in the country.

Kay said...

The little junior naturalist is priceless! I hope his parents saw the photo.
The trip sounds like fun. We did so much camping years ago. We need to hit the road again.
Love your blog!

Chris said...

Wow an armadillo! Amazing

Johnny Nutcase said...

aww armadillos! i love these little guys, they always make me smile. Great shots - the one standing up is super cute!

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

What a great adventure for camping.

Darryl and Ruth : )

Carrie P. said...

Sounds like a fun camping trip. The little boy is so sweet.
Hey, that armadillo is pretty cool. I remember seeing one when I was kid but don't remember where.
Cute little bird too.

Rambling Woods said...

How cute is the little kid with all the pockets and how smart of the parents to start them early.... I am going to look into that book as I think I may be lucky enough to be a grandma in the next few years...if not, I will donate it....

Mark Kreider said...

I'd love to see an armadillo too. Are they from the Pleistocene era or what?

Marit Johanne said...

Such a cool animal! We don't have them in Norway :) I would love to see on alive! And that little boy - so CUTE!!

trav4adventures said...

I have that book in my classroom and the kids LOVE IT! They read it all the time!