Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Nuts & Then Some

I love wildlife. Years ago, my sister and her family did rescue work and often would house all sorts of wildlife babies whose moms had died in various ways. She once had a red fox in her basement. I remember a fawn trying to get into the kitchen. And more than once I had two pockets stuffed with litters of itty bitty skunks. (yes, they stink, even as babies.) They even had a toucan, but he died. they loved that bird and I should be ashamed for her to tell you that she took him to a taxidermist and to this day there sits a dead toucan on her end table.

We got this love for animals from our father. Mom could care less; as an Italian, wildlife meant only one thing to her; stew. My sister insists that she even saw mom make a stew one time from a woodchuck roadkill. I think she's making this up tho. You simply cannot trust anyone who has a dead toucan on her end table.

I am about as anthropomorphic as a person can be. No joke; I even give names to the squirrels in my yard. My favorite squirrel is a little guy I call 'Two-Nuts.' I don't call him this because of any physical attribute, but because he never, ever grabs just one pecan from my neighbor's tree like all the other squirrels. He always, always has two nuts, one hanging just outside of each jowl. I've tried to take a photo of Two-Nuts but he's just too quick on his feet.

My yard abuts woodland. This is a paradise for someone like me. I won't go so far as to say wildlife abounds, but there is enough of it to keep me entertained. You would not believe the fox that live in these woods. There are many of them. When we first moved into this house, I sat on the front porch just as night fell and a fox strolled in front of me. I thought, "Wow, that is the biggest cat I have ever seen!" I jumped off the porch and slowly walked toward him. "here kitty, kitty. Here kitty, kitty. " I softly called to him.

He started to take off but I stood my ground and whispered, "I'm not going to hurt you, kitty kitty." And as God is my witness, this is what he did; he turned around, came back and sat on his haunches about 20 feet in front of me! Then I noticed; he has a pointed snout. Cats do noy have pointed snouts. Sweet jumpin' jeezum, I had lured a fox to come to me! I slowly walked backwards to my porch and he sauntered away.

We also have litters of armadillos back there. The dog and I both get very excited when we hear them rooting for food under the brush. They are soooo cute when they're little. Only once have they ever made me nervous; Again, I was sitting on my porch when I noticed a litter of five armadillos under a nearby mock pear tree. I sat there, minding my own business, not bothering a soul, when these little guys, not more than six or eight inches long, suddenly came, en masse, to my porch, climbed up the short stairs and ran to my feet! Little is more startling than to have a wild pack of armadillos corner you! Trust me on this. I, the great animal lover, stood, back against the house, screaming like a banshee.

Here is a photo of my marvelous backyard wilderness. (and btw, those bushes lining the backyard are big azaleas and from about March to August, they bloom profusely and I have a little Eden back there:


  1. Absolutely beautiful back view!

    I love wildlife too. it is probably the biggest source of joy in my life. I am nuts for animals and love hiking and seeing them...love nature shows too. I have done some volunteer work with rescue of wild animals too. In Toronto you can see a lot of wild animals...coyotes,rabbits, foxes, beavers, deer. Seriously in the city parks and walk ways if you are lucky. Eagles hawks. It's unbelievable.

    I've seen a bit of wildlife in Chicago to. A deer in the suburbs, lots of rabbits (rabbits are all over the pace here in downtown residential areas). I've seen hawks and eagles too looking for prey (cats?) just on our street! On the open main streets too. Not quite as much as Toronto...but then again I'm not as familiar with the nature walks here within the city.

  2. Wow amazing. I have never seen a real armadillo. I bet they are cool to look at but not have that close to you.. I have seen photo's but nothing real. Arent Armadillo's only Texas?? Stupid question but was thinking before I leave for today..

  3. Candy, again I say, you and I are kindred souls. I even love the snakes. And you won't believe this, but I am telling you it's true..I have no great love for worms but after it rains and they are on my back patio, I swear to God they follow me. I have tested this by moving from place to place and they turn around and find me!

    tweetey, we are about an hour north of the Gulf of Mexico so we are south enough to get lots and lots of armadillos. They are everywhere down here where i live and they are adorable little fellows! When they get scared they roll up in a little ball. I even looked on the net to see if it is possible to keep one as a house pet and it is..but they will eat your carpet so i figured they can stay outside. I already have big lizards anyway, so I guess they'll have to do.

  4. Amazing wilderness there in your back yard.

    A northern boy, I saw my first armadillo in Texas this past summer. "Rooting" is putting it politely. They plow. Again, I was amazed, but then, I am easily amazed.

  5. It just dawned on me y'all here are Yankees! Thats a weird concept for some reason. Now I'm the one who's amazed!!! armadillos are not in the north at all, are they? Have any of you seen a scorpion in the wild?

    Wilderness is ok. But I like anywhere that i am.


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