Friday, February 19, 2010

Chasing A Fast Running Arlington Armadillo In Village Creek Natural Historic Area

Today I decided I needed to alter my ongoing Groundhog Day tendency and be real wild and different.

So, instead of going to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake, today I went to Village Creek Natural Historic Area to walk around Village Creek.

Such a drastic change has been very stimulating.

We are not hitting 60 today. I was a bit under dressed for today's walking. So I walked real fast to try and warm up.

As I was walking along it crossed my mind that I'd not seen an armadillo in a long time. I wondered what those funny little beasts do when it freezes. When I do see armadillos they are always in heavy duty rooting around for food mode.

Well, about 10 minutes later what do I see? An armadillo. It was a mid-size one. When I saw him/her it was standing on its hind legs. This I had not seen before. I quickly got out my camera, but not quick enough.

Armadillos do not have good eye sight. They rely on sound to warn them of danger. I was making no sounds. But the armadillo took off running. I had not seen an armadillo run before like this guy did. I chased after him, snapping pictures on the run. The little guy out ran me and disappeared into the brush.

I did not get single picture of the armadillo.

Why was this guy such an alarmist? Usually you can walk right up to one. You can easily pick one up if you want to. An armadillo makes a funny squeaky noise when you pick one up. I thought the armadillo defense when scared was not to run, but to roll up inside the armor. I've seen that behavior before, I've not seen the speed demon armadillo defense before.

My previous armadillo run-ins have been like the one in the picture, where they could care less that you are right by them. These guys were in River Legacy Park having themselves an ant buffet.

I was laying on the sidewalk taking pictures. One of them must have thought I might be a fresh log full of ants, so it started coming towards me. I kept waiting for it to stop. It was like a game of chicken. I blinked first. I did not want that armadillo snout trying to suck ants of me.


Don Young said...

Speaking of River Legacy, they have signed up for a booth at Prairie fest. So has New Belgium Brewing. We now have about 40 exhibitors. Get on board!

Dr. Bill, "Memory Medic" said...

Great photo. They don't normally group like this. Maybe they are starting to mate.

For more about these biologically magnificent creatures, see my recent book at

Bill Klemm