Some mornings we walk outside to water the garden and we find a series of holes. Early this spring, we put a deep layer of mulch around the bushes and crepe myrtles in the front yard, only to find the pits with mulch-y guts spilling out all around.
The response was: those d*@% squirrels!
We have squirrels all over the place. They are very cute and enjoyable to watch. They do, however, like to dig as evidenced by the many baby pecan trees peeping their heads above ground after the rains begin in springtime. So naturally we thought they were digging up the garden.
I thought it was a bit strange, though, because it seems like squirrels were more into nuts than newly sprouted seeds or young plants. My attention turned to possums, especially after finding that baby sleeping in an open bag of potting soil last month.
Late last night my honey was on the phone and took his call outside. It had been raining off and on, so it was cool for a summer night. He came in the door while still on the phone, grabbed something out of our tool drawer, and waved for me to follow him back out. I jumped up – he was shining the flashlight he pulled from the drawer into the neighbor’s yard. I saw something moving but couldn’t make it out….
He said “Armadillos. There are two of them.”
Well, well, well. While there were no exposed soil-y innards dotted throughout our garden or yard this morning, I believe the culprit has been discovered and chased away for one night.
Strong legs and huge front claws are used for digging, and long, sticky tongues for extracting ants and termites from their tunnels. In addition to bugs, armadillos eat small vertebrates, plants, and some fruit.
That sounds about right. Now, if only there was a way to get them to ONLY dine on ants, termites, and small vertebrates, I would be fine with them hanging around. They do seem to have a proclivity for young plants, however, which has been a disappointment on more than one occasion.
On my walk this morning, I saw an armadillo running across a field. It was very cute, almost kitten-like, as it traipsed and halted. Since the sun was out I imagined that he was searching for a cool shelter for the day, waiting for night-fall to come out of hiding and root around in our gardens once again.