This crusty fellow wandered by after a wild rainstorm swept through the desert Monday near Sheffield, Texas.
He was rooting around for bugs. I happened to be walking across Independence Creek Preserve, a Nature Conservancy property near the confluence of Independence Creek and the Pecos River, when our paths crossed.
The nine-banded armadillo appeared completely unfazed. ‘Dillos have terrible eyesight; they rely on their sense of smell to find food. This one didn’t seem to notice – or care about – my natural odor, either.
He strolled closer and closer, and at one point dug his nose in the dirt just a foot from my camera lens. Then he reared up on his back legs, his wriggly, pink-tipped nose wagging. And look at those ears! Nubbly and tough, but at the same time delicate like rose petals.
Our eyes met – his tiny and squinty, mine wide and curious – and then we continued down our respective paths. I think we both appreciated the magic of a rare July rainstorm in West Texas.