I decided to take a walk in the woods one evening this past week, and boy was I ever in for a treat! I had been walking for a couple of minutes before descending into what we call wild rose canyon, when I started hearing a lot of crunching noises up on the hillside. It kind of caught me off guard at first, since I wasn’t quite sure what it may be, and especially since it was near the “mystery hole” in the ground, the one we just weren’t sure what lived down there. So I stopped and watched the forest floor a short distance from me, and I could see movement. Looking closer, I could finally tell what it was . . . it was an armadillo, and a baby one at that! I was thrilled, as I fell in love with armadillos as a little girl whilst growing up in South Florida! As I closely watched, I saw a second one . . . and then a third, bringing the total to three babies!
Suddenly another one came into view, and I was over the moon that there were actually four babies! I’ve since learned that armadillos usually have four babies, which was something I didn’t know before. I couldn’t believe my perfect timing, and wanting to try and get some photos and videos, I quietly slipped away and ran back to the house. I grabbed the camera and told Wes what I had discovered.
I walked softly back to the area that they were in and stood still, watching as they started making their way down the hillside, all the while their noses were searching the forest floor for edible treats. Each time one found something, their noses were instantly buried beneath the leaf litter until they got something, then their nose popped back up and they quickly munched down on whatever it was. Several times they fought over something as soon as one found it, pushing and shoving their noses together, much like small human children fighting over treats and toys . . . LOL! By this time Wes had joined me and as we stood there, they kept coming closer and closer.
Armadillos have very poor eyesight, and rely on their keen sense of smell, so we knelt down and kept our voices to a whisper, as they approached us. They went up to Wes first, sniffing his shoes and socks, whilst occasionally pointing their nose up in the air and sniffing it. They were so small and absolutely adorable and we couldn’t resist slowly reaching out and touching their incredible armor-like shell, which feels really hard.
As you can imagine, we were all smiles the entire time they let us hang out with them, watching as they continued to sniff and check everything out, occasionally finding tasty treats buried beneath the leaf litter.
We remained there for quite awhile just relishing in the magical moment in nature, and I couldn’t resist saying “Ahhhhhh” as one of them touched my toes with its soft wet nose, whilst sniffing it! Wes had gone to get our phone to get a few photos, since we weren’t sure if the other camera was doing well in the low light, and when he returned, he accidentally stepped on a twig and when it snapped, it sent all four babies quickly scurrying into the mystery hole! We were bummed that our time with them had ended for the evening, but were delighted to finally learn what lives in the hole! I went back around the same time the next evening and they were no where to be found. However, I went back last evening, and after listening carefully for a few minutes, heard the faint sound of rustling leaves, and lo and behold, there they were again! So . . . guess what I’ll be doing in the evenings for the next couple of weeks . . . watching and waiting for the baby “Dillers” as I’ve always called them to come and and play!
We took another “day-cation” this past week and spent it kayaking, hiking and exploring a new area. Although there was a chill in the air, the water was calm and smooth as glass when we headed out in the kayaks, and was so clear, it gave us the illusion that we were snorkeling! The mountain laurel were still in bloom, which delighted me, so we found a sunny spot next to a couple of them to enjoy our picnic lunch. It’s amazing how food always tastes better when eaten outside and especially on or near the water.
The mountain laurels were absolutely gorgeous and the blossoms on one bush in particular were really starting to turn a darker pink and were quite beautiful!
As I was paddling along after lunch, a big dragonfly dropped into my kayak and landed on a cover I had over my legs. Looking at it, I could see that it was missing part of one of its wings, so I asked it what had happened. Of course its lips were sealed, but it decided it wanted to stay with me and made its way up onto my shoulder where it remained for almost the whole time I was kayaking.
I just can’t resist taking photos of my kayak with pink flowers that I find while paddling along, and thought these wild roses were so lovely!
At one point Wes called out to me saying “There’s the Smurf village over there“, and as I drew closer and the group of little white mushrooms came into view, and I saw that it did indeed look like a Smurf village! I felt as if any second I’d see a wee blue creature walking about that looked like Smurfette or Papa Smurf!
After kayaking, we took a nice relaxing hike to stretch our legs, and decided to do some exploring afterwards, taking a new road that we had never been on before to head home, but had wanted to check out for many years now. The pavement soon ended and it turned into a dirt road that grew steeper as we went along. I named it “Lottabigholes Road” as it was filled with the most pot holes we’ve ever seen, and not only were there a bunch of them, many of them were very big and deep, keeping Wes on his toes, as he tried to miss as many of them as possible with the van. One thing was for sure, I was able to do a lot of great sightseeing out the window, going at such a slow speed. We stopped along the river several times, to look for fish. We didn’t see very many, but did manage to spot at least one large chub and a beautiful war paint shiner, which made my afternoon! I couldn’t resist stepping into the water and wading out a little ways, and as you can tell from the photo below, it was still icy cold! It was another fun day in which we brought home more great memories!
SEE OUR PAINTINGS IN PERSON THIS WEEK
Our traveling exhibition Exquisite Miniatures is now on display at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, located in West Branch, IA, and will remain on display thru September 24, 2023. We will be traveling to this lovely museum on June 24th to demonstrate miniature painting and do a gallery walk through the exhibition with the public.
The Art of Miniature XXXI
Through June 10, 2023: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows, please
visit our WEBSITE artofwildlife.com Email us
Until Next Time ~ Rachelle