Two of the great things about living in Austin are the wildlife and the music. One of my favorite Austin bands is The Austin Lounge Lizards, and one of my favorite Austin Lounge Lizard songs is “Arnold”. I feel like I’ve posted this before, but I can’t find it. And if you’ve listened to it before, I know you will love to listen to it again.
We have a lot of armadillos around here. I have yet to take a picture of one, because they’re usually out at night, and the ones I see in the daytime are mostly dead, and blocked from view by the turkey vultures.
Armadillos are clumsy animals. No bigger than rabbits, they make as much noise as a drunk human.
My first encounter with an armadillo was twenty years ago, on our long road trip, before I moved to America for good. T and I were camping wild in the hill country, and around dusk I was in the bushes, getting ready to pee, when I heard this loud crashing through the brush, the sound coming straight at me. I quickly pulled up my pants again, expecting a guy, but I didn’t see anyone. So then I adjusted my eyes to expect a deer. Still nothing, and it was rally close by now. I finally looked down, and there it was, not five feet away, and still heading right toward me.
I tried yelling softly for T to come and see, but the armadillo finally heard me over his own din, stopped, hesitated, then backed up like a truck, in a three point turn, and went crashing through the brush in the opposite direction.
They don’t see very well, you know. And since they make such a racket themselves, hearing anything else can be a challenge as well. But the main thing you need to know about armadillos before you listen to “Arnold” is that they don’t see well.
So click here to listen to “Arnold”. Sadly, Tom Pittman, the main singer in this song, recently left the area. He’s also missed as a DJ for KUT, the Autin area public radio station. But the Lounge Lizards always live on, with or without turnover.
Enjoy. And then check out other Lounge Lizard songs. They’re all hilarious.
I love the Austin Lounge Lizards! I also managed to see one live armadillo by the side of the road during my three years as a Texan, and I got a picture!
Cool! I’ve seen plenty live, and once I even tried to coax one in the other direction when it was walking along the side of the road in our subdivison, heading straight for the highway, but I didn’t have a camera or my phone with me. But one of these days…
An armadillo has also been rooting around our plants in the front and it is probably the same critter that dug a hole under our fence, to create shortcut to the greenbelt. Maybe one of these nights I’ll lie in ambush with my camera.
The first time I saw live armadillos, I was camping with a friend out by Lake Travis. It was late and she and I were lying outside the tent looking at the stars when we heard something loudly tramping steadily through the underbrush in the woods behind us. It got louder and sounded quite close before we finally summoned the nerve to turn on the flashlight. And we found 2 armadillos foraging. Then they would amble a couple of feet, making a remarkable amount of noise for such small animals, and stop and root around in the brush for bugs for a moment and then move a couple more feet. Our light didn’t seem to bother them at all and eventually they wandered away.
Yes, they rely completely on their armor, because otherwise they would never survive as a species.