by Stefani on 29-January-2008

In case you missed it on Flickr, we’ve had a little visitor in our yard the past few mornings.

A couple of days ago, my boys had begged me from the time I pried my eyes open in the morning, to run out to Daddy’s office and play Wii for just a few minutes before breakfast.

This is unheard of. Wii is kind of the stuff of weekends or at the very least late afternoons, but apparently they were “this close” to reaching some new level and could not see fit to eat or concentrate on anything at all until they’d had just a few minutes.

I think they’ve figured out that I’m not a morning person. Really, they could ask me to have their next birthday party at Hooters, and might agree to it if they catch me early enough in the day. No, they don’t actually know (or care) what Hooters is, I’m just saying, I don’t have any principles before 9 AM, none whatsoever.

Anyhow, they were opening the back door (the only TV we own is out in Daddy’s office, behind our house) when I hear a blood curdling, “MAMA!!!!!!!!”

I race ’round the corner to see a sight that is truly special. An armadillo! In our backyard! Now, having lived in Texas for all of my 33 years, I can tell you that we see a lot of them. Only, every single one that I’ve ever seen, alive, has been in the zoo. All others had met a nasty roadside fate.

Here though, was this lovely lady, in our own yard! She was gathering up dried leaves and grass under herself, then hunching around her pile in a sort of ball, and hopping it back to my husband’s office. Then, she and her pile of nesting materials would disappear underneath. She went at this for three or four more trips before she apparently snuggled in for her day’s rest.

Waltzing Matilda

We’ve named her Matilda, and we think she’s fantastic. I’m kinda thinking too, that we may have the pleasure of a whole litter of wee beasties before too long. Spring is on its way, friends. The Texas version of the groundhog proclaims it so!

If you are still unconvinced, have a look at my mint.


I’d long since given it up for dead, but it’s green as green can ever hope to be now, and sending out loads of new little leaves. My boys steal one off every now and again to rub all over themselves. The talk has turned to when there will be enough to make ice cream.

I know that several of you are still hunkered down, under your tables, but believe me, it IS coming!

Just look at this!


Ms. Hyacinth is sticking one slippered toe out of the carriage, eager to get on with the ball. It won’t be long now, until she’ll step out, in all her spring finery, to usher in the awakening.

prairie daze January 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm

please, i need spring more than any other year.

and dang, matilda! how really very cool.

and how far away is daddy’s office from the house? i just dream of having a study of my own a stone’s throw away…

Ellie January 29, 2008 at 7:48 pm

What an amazing backyard visitor – she sure has chosen a wonderful place to make her home.
Oh, hyacinths popping up, how beautiful. What lovely little moments of Spring returning.
Here, in Australia – it is still well and truely hot and steamy Summer!

Irene January 29, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I am glad to hear that Matilda is a welcome guest and that she will be enjoying springtime in your garden with you. I have never seen an armadillo in real life and it sort of looks like an other world creature. Something left over from the dinosaur era maybe.

Sarah Jackson January 29, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I love Matilda! Spring is definitely on the way here too. The lantana is coming back, the rosemary is blooming. Hooray for spring!

Livia January 29, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Armadillo? Really? When you live in Finland that sounds soooo very mysterious. Squirrel, yes! Armadillo? Err… no.

Here in southern Finland the winter hasn’t properly started yet. It’s too warm and that’s why I think we jump directly from autumn to spring. Sad, so sad.

Tracy January 30, 2008 at 5:35 am

Dude, I love armadillos, I hope that i have the pleasure of meeting one in person someday, in the wild. My friend came across one in Florida last May when we were all down there, all she really saw was a streak in the night, but I was so jealous.

Jessica Hood January 30, 2008 at 5:47 am

we had a family of possums a couple of years ago, but no armadillos yet. will have to keep my eyes peeled!

kirsten January 30, 2008 at 6:07 am

spring? nah. i can’t believe it. we’re getting POUNDED with snow today – again. i still love snow, but i must admit, it’s getting a tad old…

amanda January 30, 2008 at 6:15 am

I’m going to try to take your word for it. I think we still have MONTHS ahead of us though. Sigh….I’ll just have to think of Matilda when I’m feeling dismal about it. 😉

tara January 30, 2008 at 6:42 am

What a lovely surprise! Both the armadillo and the first signs of Spring. Up here in the nether regions of the artic- (Maine)it sure feels as if the winter will drag on forever. I hope you are blessed with some baby armadillos!!

Crystal January 30, 2008 at 6:46 am

Matilda! Darling! Oh please be a Mama Matilda… I cannot think of a cuter thing than baby armadillos. I have never seen an armadillo (living or dead) in person. I once saw a hedgehog in Germany and nearly passed out from the adorableness of it and I am sure that it almost passed out from all our screaming and carring on. Looking forward to hearing more on your divine Ms.M.

Jenna January 30, 2008 at 7:15 am

Matilda is so cute! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an armadillo in real life. She’s great. Are they gentle? Did she seem scared of you? Is she nocturnal? Are they rare?

Lori January 30, 2008 at 8:42 am

that hyacinth peeking out is a cruel thing to show a midwesterner in january! lol

i am ready to come visit you just to see the baby armadillos…

miguette January 30, 2008 at 8:46 am

Welcome Matilda! It’s so nice to meet you.

Heather January 30, 2008 at 10:45 am

I just stumbled upon your blog today and am enjoying not just your armadillos, but also your thoughts about children, mothering, crafting–I guess life. I’ll be back. Thank you.

miss chris January 30, 2008 at 11:07 am

I’ve never seen a live one either. She’s adorable! I’m hoping we get to see lots of armadillo babes.

molly January 30, 2008 at 12:17 pm

i really don’t know where to start–I’m catching up with you–hottest mommy blogger?? your boys making quilts?? a book swap i missed????

But between you and me, and whoever else reads this comment, I’m not a morning person either. case and point, this morning, I woke up to a three year old in bed with me eating a bowl of cereal. Don’t tell my husband! poor thing who is out the door long before I roll out of bed.

I’m campaigning for hottest mommyblogger next year, just so you know. 🙂

Lynn January 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Ooh. I am so jealous. Signs of spring. Sigh. It is five degrees here today and the windchill is so cold it was painful when we went to town today! P could hardly stand in the wind. We had to go into a favorite shop just to warm up on the one block walk from the coffee shop to the car.

Lynn January 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Ooh. I am so jealous. Signs of spring. Sigh. It is five degrees here today and the windchill is so cold it was painful when we went to town today! P could hardly stand in the wind. We had to go into a favorite shop just to warm up on the one block walk from the coffee shop to the car.

molly January 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm

What a cute visitor you have. Spring is definitely on its way. Yesterday it snowed, today we were out riding bikes in the sun.

katherine January 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm


are you pregnant?

jessica February 1, 2008 at 10:35 am

say hi to matilda for us too!! we get so excited about birds and bunnies. an armadillo is soo exotic!!

jessica February 1, 2008 at 10:37 am

say hi to matilda for us too!! we get so excited about birds and bunnies. an armadillo is soo exotic!!

Lisa Clarke February 3, 2008 at 8:53 am

I *so* hope you are right about spring. I am just not a Winter girl.

That armadillo is the coolest thing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close. They don’t tend to wander free around the backyards of New Jersey 😉

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