(127): It’s Spring! That Means Lots of Animals on the Road and All Over My Yard

See those claws? The armor? That one little beady eye? This area of Under the Porch Land is the cozy abode of the armadillo (or a couple of ’em) who tore up my yard this winter.

You ever notice how the amount of roadkill increases around this time of year? The smell of skunk is in the air, the squirrels are playing chicken with the rednecks, and the deer are on the move. My father-in-law even said he has seen a wildcat of some sort (may be a mountain lion) running around here in the foothills. That could spell heartbreak for the family up the road, whose 2 moderate-sized blue heelers run free and sometimes tear across our yard, chasing deer for fun.

It’s probably also the reason our little bull terrier mix Yoko (aka Curveball!) was found wandering in a lane of traffic. I think she would have been doomed had she not been rescued when she was. She walks funny and may have already been hit by something once, but she’s definitely feeling better since she’s been here! We’re also feeding her as much as we feed Kamikaze to fatten her up.

There are large masses of deer who gather in the afternoon behind our house, but that’s not because of Spring. My in-laws feed them regularly and even have an automatic feeder set up now. Naturally, all the critters in the county know exactly when that thing’s set to go off and dump out corn. A group of maybe 20 wild turkeys beat the deer there most days. I think this is why we have a (possible) mountain lion. After all, predators will go where the prey is.

The bunnies seem to stick around all year; they’re a fixture in every corner of the yard and beyond. I often see them tearing out from Under the Porch Land, and Kamikaze even found one inside the dog pen the other day (it was too fast for him though). It’s still too cold for the snakes to come out, and I’m hoping the black snakes will crowd out the rattlesnakes this year. The in-laws kill all kinds of snakes they find at their house, but I like to keep the less harmful ones around here to control the rodents.

The only thing (well, not the ONLY thing) that worries me is whether the armadillos are coming back. The one pictured (part of it anyway) above hasn’t been active since around January or so. I also wonder if the new dog will have the same kind of extreme reaction to armadillos as Kamikaze does.

I suppose that does it for the cavalcade of critters here at Chez Betta! (And just because I said that, I’ll probably see a new kind of critter here soon…stay tuned!). ‘Night y’all!

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