Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fur, Scales and Armor

It is no secret that I love all critters, large and small. It doesn't matter to me how commonplace they may be, or how often I see them, I always get a thrill when I'm up close and personal with nature's 4-legged gifts.

Deer are pretty prevalent right here in my neighborhood. I often see them grazing on the golf course in the early evenings and a couple of times have actually had them jump right out in front of my car. Phew! Gotta drive slow through here, and not just for the random kid darting out into the road.

The best though is when I'm sitting out here in my bitch cave, only to look up and see one or two in my own backyard. This never happened when I lived on the other side of this street, so this has been a treat for me. Just yesterday, late in the afternoon, I glanced up only to find two beautiful deer at the edge of my yard. I took some pictures right from my seat, but going through the screen never produces the best pictures.

So I got up and very slowly made my way to the screen door. Very quietly opened it and very quietly stepped out onto the grass. They were both looking at me with curiosity and looked ready to bolt, but for some reason (maybe they sense my love of them?) they stood their ground and let me snap my pictures. I kept moving closer and closer until I was about 15 feet away. I knew that was about as close as they'd let me. In fact, one of them did take off into John and Tracy's yard, but the other stayed and stared at me.

Oh, she was so beautiful!

Click to enlarge, please.

That same night, while sitting outside I heard the brush crackling in the woods behind my house.  I knew it was an armadillo because they are so not graceful and tend to sound more like an elephant moving through the woods.

Whereas some think they're adorable little prehistoric-looking creatures, many others hate them due to the fact that they will tear up your yard in no time flat.  I tend to think of their rooting as aerating our soil.   And boy do they.  I've got a multitude of gaping holes in the dead grass to prove it.




Those are just a few among many.

'Dillos are in my yard all the time, nature's little rototillers, but this night I happened to have the spotlights on in the back so was better able to get some pictures.

Once again, I crept out the door and onto the grass very very slowly.  He/she sensed me and scurried off into the woods, but I was patient; I walked to the edge of my property and stood still, waiting for my dillo to come back out.  It was cold.... near freezing, but I was so excited about my critter that I didn't even feel my toes freezing.


There he is, flashing his hiney at me!  Hey, I said I got pictures.  I did not say I got good pictures.  You try doing this in the dark!



Then, last night I heard it again... the unmistakable sound of an armadillo rooting through the woods.  Once again I grabbed my camera and stealthily made my way out into the yard.  He was in my next door neighbor's yard, digging under the mulch.  Joy!


I stood there, snapping away, each time checking Jim and Lori's windows to make sure they weren't peering out, wondering what the hell the crazy lady was doing.  Or worse, what if they mistook the flashing lights as a UFO come down to earth?

Believe it or not, that's his face!
Now tell me that's not one of the neatest looking creatures that you'd be happy to have tear up your yard!!!

I have another absolutely astonishing animal to share with you, and one that not many people can say they see on a fairly frequent basis.

These pictures are not mine.  They were taken by my MIL's best friend on Thanksgiving day as she was taking a walk through their neighborhood.

Meet one of my favorite scaly critters.


Yes, she was actually that close to a wild gator.  She's standing on the sidewalk which is just this side of the grass.  Pretty cool, huh?


I've yet to see one in any of the retention ponds throughout my neighborhood but I will hold out hope!  It's one of my dreams to get that close to a gator!

Yes, you may call the men in white now.

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my stupid sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

25 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Jill

    Those are some great pics of the deer! I wish I was there to see it! :(
    Now I might be the only one you know that has swan within 2 feet of a florida gator and did for about 2 weeks at the springs.

  • Shelia

    Hi Justiney! Oh, look at that little stinker. You know, I've lived in west Texas and New Mexico and never saw one of there tiny dinosaurs in person! Hope they're of the scardy cat type!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;0

  • Amy

    Oh gross, that armadillo pic with the shiney eye gave me the chills! And not in a good way...Ewww!

    You are braver than me, but who ever said I was?

  • MJ's doghouse

    holy crap....i would be sitting in the bitch cave with you...the dillo thing fascinates me...not the alligater....we have dear here so no we lived on the queen charlotte islands we saw bear all the time...anyhow thanks for th ecool photots

  • Cole

    The deer is awesome, I'm cool with the armadillo... but the gator.. not so much! Those suckers frighten me!

  • thatgirlblogs

    no no no -- time to move! a Gator??????

  • Gucci Mama

    It looks like a helmet with a tail. Strangely, I kind of like it.

  • bj

    OMGosh, Tiney...any of those would scare the water out of me. i am such a scardy cat!!
    Once, many yrs ago, Bill was working in Lousiana and the kids and I went for a visit..saw some gaters and I didn't like them a bit...
    You be careful, girl!!

  • Michele

    OMG...that gator is too close for me..I'm not a fan of them or snakes...ewww!

    It's so weird to see green grass and trees in your pictures of the deer...after this ice fishing trip, I'll be ready for spring!


  • Robin Costello (Delswife)

    Wild thang! LOL

  • Amy

    Never seen an armadillo up close before.. very cool! Deer are pretty common around here along with a whole slew of "farm" type critters. Cool pics!

  • wendy

    WOWZA - that is quite a variety. From deer to dildo's (WHOOPS) I mean 'dillos, to gators.
    I'd die if I came across a gator --they eat people. right??

    I see deer all the time from my yard. Love to watch them as you do. So graceful. We have elk too, and moose --they are sooooo interesting.
    Then of course the continual coyote, fox, badger ---that type of thing.

    I am glad you took those photos cause they were neat.
    and you make me laugh when you refer to your home as your "bitch cave"

  • Life with Kaishon

    Oh, I love this post : ) How cool is it that you could get so close to the deer! I am glad one stayed for you to photograph Justine! So pretty! And an armadillo! That is like the coolest thing in the world. I will show Kaish when he gets home from school. He is an animal lover as well : )

  • blueviolet

    Stay away from those gators!!! But it's super cool to see that armadillo!

  • Grand Pooba

    Oh my god I am still freaking out about the armidillo! (can't spell, whatever)

    I have never seen one. ever.

    That is just crazy to me!!

  • Sara's Sweet Surprise

    J~ I love the Bambi pics! WOW, the armadillo is a rare treat, it's not something you see in the PNW.
    The gators freak me up out. You've got them a little too (much) up close and personal for my comfort.

    Sweet wishes,

  • Picket

    Morning the deer!!! Stay away from gaters and girl don't even get me started on the armidillo thingies!!! You know what they do to me..not only have they dug up intire bushes and killed pretty flower beds but they have more than once scared the life right out of me...need I remind you of the night Bill is in the back yard with gun and flashlight doing 'guard' patrol...dillo runs out..Bill shoots...dillo jumps three feet in the air and turns and heads straight for Bill who falls back into the bushes and then goes running out the front gate waving gun like Jed Clampett..or the time I was minding my own business late at night rocking on the front porch and one comes up on the porch causing me to stand straight up in the rocking chair screaming for dear life....have you not seen the claws on those things??? They look like something from another time!!!! done got me all flustered just thinking about them things!!! You just ain't right!!! lol Have a great weekend Justine...see you on the farm! ~Picket~

  • ♥Georgie♥

    Justine those deer photos are awesome! and OMGosh that was gator a freakin gator...I dunno if i can visit florida lol

  • Mariah

    I like the the armadillo, they're so prehistoric looking

  • Together We Save

    Those deer are beautiful but the gator... no way!

  • Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria

    Oh Justine I'm still laughing over Picket comment I can just see her on that porch screaming like a sissy girl...too funny now stay away from those gators...I'm glad the only thing I deal with are the deers and snakes, mountain lions ha ha!!Hope you have a great weekend my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  • Lavender Chick

    I can't believe you were able to get such good pictures of the armadillo in the dark! I'm impressed! Yes, I like to think they are simply aerating the garden, as well.

    Like you, I love all creatures great and small - but not sure I can say the same about a gator. eeeewwww!

  • Life on the Edge

    This area is thick with deer too! I've found evidence of them in my yard, and there is a Boy Scout reservation right across the road from me. Since that is mostly woods and people can't hunt there, we are rife with deer. Unfortunately, in the time since I have lived in this place, my son, the next door neighbor, and one of my younger son's friends have all hit deer on this road.

    They still take my breath away when I go out to get my mail and see them running across the road one house down!


  • Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

    I'm jealous of your deer friends...and maybe the dillo...but definitely not of the gator! ;)

  • Tabby

    What beautiful pictures! I love animals too. Now a gator in my yard would scare me but the other two I would love. Maybe those deer will come back. I do not know if I have armadillo where I live, probably not warm enough. We have bunnies, and coyotes, foxes, racoons in our yard. The bunnies live under the shed they are so cute.