Herding Armadillos

by Donna Lewis

Early this morning (July 21), I was putting out my bird feeders when I heard rustling going on in my pollinator garden. For about a week I have seen evidence of an armadillo doing their thing in the garden. Some of the little critters’ actions are very beneficial to the garden. The soil is aerated, and the grub worms are eaten and removed.

But the other action is not so good. The armadillo is also pulling up some of the remaining plants I have left that the drought has not killed off. So that is not so good.

Anyway, I had not been able to find the perpetrator just yet.  So, I looked and there inside the fence was a young armadillo. We will call her Amy. I rush around the fence and open the gate to my garden.  I thought I might be able to herd her out the gate to my pasture.

This is not Amy, but it IS a running armadillo! This is by Brandon Adams on iNaturalist, just his second observation!

Also, I might add that our little 13-pound Papillon Mix dog was also outside for his morning constitutional. I kinda forgot about him.

Well, herding an armadillo is not easy. They are fast and do not cooperate with the program.  After 20 minutes, I finally got Amy to the gate opening where lo and behold…Cujo was waiting!   

The excitement was about to begin. Our little pup decided to chase the armadillo back into the garden and around and around everywhere. The dog is barking, the little Armadillo is hollering and I am shouting to the dog. What a crazy sight it must have been. I wish I had a video of it.

I had to catch our little dog, take him back inside the house and start to herd Amy back towards the garden gate again.

All this took about an hour.  What a way to get some exercise. It was not too good for my bad back. BUT, no animal or human was hurt doing the event.

Now, that’s how a Master Naturalist wrangles and saves a cute little Armadillo.

Have fun in your garden.

Here are some more photos and more information on nine-banded armadillos on iNaturalist.

Observations of the Bird Station During a Summer Visit

from the notebook of Ann Collins

August, 2019

Our chapter mascot shows up on my property.

The Bird Station is an important component for my wildlife exemption. Plus its just a great place to enjoy the woods and the wildlife.

Since there are lots of ferns, I feel I must water often. It gets a couple of hours of water about every four days. It’s very hot and there’s no rain at all!

When the August temperature gets to 100 degrees, plants simply cook; they just about curl up and die or go dormant.

Every year I plant more and more ferns. This year I want to plant some flowering trees, red bud, camellias, and maybe a few azaleas. I can’t help myself!

Continue reading “Observations of the Bird Station During a Summer Visit”

Amy in My Garden

by Donna Lewis

Spring is upon us. It’s March. So I have been spending the last six weeks getting the garden cleaned up, ready for the pollinators: raking leaves, trimming bushes, and pulling up dead plants so I can put the pollinator seeds in.

This year, I had an early visitor to the garden – “Amy” the nine-banded armadillo. Dasypus novemcinctusSomehow, she managed to get inside the garden fencing and the garden gates.

One of Amy’s kin. Photo from USDA.

Now, Amy didn’t just stroll around looking at my plants No, she decided to dig a little here and there.

Amy has been visiting the garden for about four weeks now. All of my efforts to persuade her to stay outside the garden and dig in the pasture have failed.

So, I ask the question, whose garden is it?

Continue reading “Amy in My Garden”