*****

What a big mouth you have Mr. Alligator!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Eight Dead Armadillos

As we drove south through Oklahoma City towards Texas, we noticed another big landscape change. The large brown wheat fields with rocky outcroppings and scattered mesas dwindled and gently rolling hills became more prevalent. Sage brush and juniper was replaced by more and more deciduous trees.  Along Interstate 35 the much wider roadsides were covered with lush green grass, and in many places wildflowers were plentiful.

[From Craig] It felt like we were driving through a golf course...

Now then, I'm not inclined to count roadkill, but I happened to comment when I saw the first dead armadillo.  We kept count for the rest of the day and the total was 8.


OK,
 a dead armadillo picture was too gross!

With not much else to post about, I have to relate my dead armadillo in the freezer story...



Thirty-six years ago we moved to Texas from Wisconsin. I was already making animal head sculpture wall hangings and decided that I should make an armadillo. When creating new designs I would look at pictures and if possible go to a museum and look at taxidermy specimens for details.  Early one Saturday morning, while driving down a quiet country road, I spotted a dead armadillo on the side of the road.  I pulled over to take a look at it. Just to look at it, mind you.

But, oh my, it was so fresh and didn't have a mark on it.  I had some plastic garbage bags in my van, and I was only a mile or so from home. 

So, I bundled it up and took it home so I could take some measurements and maybe do a drawing or two.  

Now then, we had a very large chest freezer in our garage. Craig had gotten a good deal on it because few people really need a 26 cubic foot freezer. There was lots of room to keep things separated.

When I got home I put the armadillo on a tray and wrapped him in some clear plastic.  He was to one side, and not mixed in with the packaged side of beef and other food we also had in there.  

[From Craig] Merikay then went back out on her errands. At the time I was working at a company that had quite a drinking culture, and I had quite a hangover, and went looking in the freezer for some of the frozen [non-alcoholic] Margarita mix that I had learned helped with a hangover.

I opened the chest freezer and was confronted with an armadillo. NOW I KNEW I HAD GONE OVER THE EDGE INTO HALLUCINATIONS!  So I closed the lid, went back in the kitchen and made coffee, and tried to work out how to deal with my problem.

The kids had fun showing their friends their mother's dead armadillo. 
I hope no one got the idea we were planning on roadkill for dinner!
He was in there for a long time.

We are at the Post Oak Place RV park in Denton Texas. I looked in my resource books and the internet to find our next stop. There was a nice sounding place in Carrolton, a public park near Lake Lewisville, and this place in Denton. The reviews for this one were rather negative saying it was old, full of large, low hanging trees and not "big rig friendly". When we were about 100 miles out we started to call for "availability." My first choice in Lewisville was full, and the Carrolton site didn't answer their phone. This place did and said yes they had a couple of spots that would fit our 35' motor home.  The lady also told us not to try to pull up to the area where the office was because of all of the trees.


When we pulled in I could see there were four or five back-in spaces open right along a fence close to the entrance. There were trees, but there were a couple of spaces without trees directly over the rig or blocking the southern sky, which has become  priority now that we're using our satellite system. 



All of the rest of the place was wooded with rather small spaces, that were full of smaller trailers that mostly looked like they were there on a more permanent basis.  There was a loud train that goes past the fence on the far side of the park, but the trees muffle the sound quite nicely.

This is one of the reasons we have decided to keep our 35 foot Alfa instead of trading up to a 40. Personally I like these older, somewhat run-down parks. 


The people here are "real." I met a nice gal at the laundry the other day that told me her story. She and her young husband are just out of the Marines. They are living here while he gets experience in his new job. She said that living in their 22' trailer gave them an opportunity to save some money for their future home.

I also chatted with an older woman who lives here so she can be near her grown children.  She said she really didn't want to live with them, but liked to have them nearby. Not all seniors can afford nice condos.

This park is not really "big rig friendly" except for one of the few spaces where we are. If you want more information, best to call ahead. Post Oak Place RV Park, Denton Texas. With 15% Escapee discount, $23.80 per night.

On Tuesday we enjoyed driving around and seeing how the area has changed in the 35 years since we left. Everything is so different. Where there were large sheep pastures there are now shopping centers, and all the little back roads are boulevards between subdivisions. 


The house we had lived in looks rather sad compared to some of the larger, newer homes on surrounding streets. The lawn is patchy and the curtains in the windows hang at tattered angles. Perhaps it is a rental. There was a huge new-looking boat in the driveway, and we could see a trampoline and many bikes and toys in the backyard around the pool area. The residents may enjoy playing more than tending the grass and landscape. Other homes in the area had beautiful lawns and trimmed plants.





We were delighted to see that the water tower still displays the delightful school team name "Fighting Farmers."  Craig took this with his new zoom lens zoomed all the way in.

[From Craig] Tamron 28-300mm, better performance than the Nikon equivalent that costs almost twice as much :-)

We will be here for several days so that we can visit a friend.  We're looking forward to visiting some Dallas area attractions.

14 comments:

Judith Bell said...

Never heard of a dead armadillo curing a hangover before! ;)

Nan Talley said...

Soooo, how did the armadillo taste? lol....

Donna K said...

Great armadillo story. I can relate - my son is an artist and many years ago he found a dead possum in the street in front of our house...fill in the blanks!!

Peter Bedard said...

And what became of that Armadillo? Did you make the artwork? How interesting. Ha Ha great story.

Maura

Jim and Sandie said...

Love the armadillo story. That's as good as pink elephants any day. Some of the older parks really do have a personality. Others, like the one we stayed at a couple of nights ago, are just plain sad. I love our little Bungalow because it will fit just about anywhere.

Susan Alton said...

I got a real good laugh out of your armadillo story.

Teri said...

I agree, I like some of the older parks. The bad reviews are usually from someone driving a really expensive huge RV.

Nancy1340 said...

I don't know if you would be interested but this is the weekend of the Dallas Egg Show. Eggs-bit International Egg Show. & Sale. It's at a hotel near 35 and 635 aka LBJ freeway. which is not all that far south of where you are now. 2645 LBJ at the Night Hotel North Dallas. It's only $5 to get in.

They have a Facebook page up with many photos of some amazing eggs.

Carol K said...

Now you don't have that big freezer, so maybe you'll have to let the future roadkill lie there. You could always take a picture, though, using that zoom lens! ;-)

Faye N Dave said...

Love the armadillo story. In the late 80's my folks lived in Flower Mound,on Miracle Lane-always loved that address.

Cj Cozygirl said...

Fighting Farmers...Lv that!

Kathi Boozer said...

Love the armadillo story. It's fun to go back to the places one used to live.
Kathi
arlonboozer.com

Bob and Jo said...

Until the freezer I kept expecting the armadillo to revive :-)

Laura Skjenna said...

LOVE the armadillo story :-) It must feel strange to be back visiting a place you once lived, especially to see your house still there.