Y'all may have figured out by now that I'm not much one for being inside.
In fact I've talked before about this little set up I have beside the barn so I can relax outside while still sheltered from sun or rain.
What you may not know - yet - is that I also have a similar little refuge in the woods near the back of the property.
It's about two tenths of a mile from the barn and on the far side of the main ridge.
This refuge isn't elaborate. Just a heavy canvas tarp I had laying around strung up in the trees
with a mixed assortment of cordage I collected from various scrap piles,
and a couple of old folding chairs. One to sit on and one that serves as a table. (That red one is too straight-backed to be comfortable to sit on anyway.)
This is where I was the other day.
Just sitting out in the peace and quiet of our woods working through my daily dose of Spanish lesson.
Oddly enough (you will see how this is relevant in a moment) one of the segments I was working on at the time is titled "Mystery".
It is all about killers, shadows on the wall, monsters under the bed, nightmares, and ghosts throwing clothes out the window. You know, scary stuff.
Well normally, especially here in mid summer when winds are hard to come by, other than bird-songs it's really quiet out here in the shelter back there in woods, which is it's main attraction.
But despite the steady stream of Spanish on my headphones and the constant whine of a raging case of tinnitus in my ears that is my perpetual lot in life, (Nope, not rock concerts, but rather work environments) I became aware of a persistent scrabbling going on behind my back - and getting closer!
Taking a quick break from my brilliant mastery of a second language (Or maybe not so brilliant - - - otherwise why would I still be working at it?) I looked up and craned my neck around (I knew those daily flexibility exercises would come in handy!) to see what this intrusion was about because - well, you know - all alone out here in the middle of the woods - - -.
Was it a coyote?
A feral hog?
(Three days ago I discovered a fresh raccoon carcass in the middle of one of my trails and this morning this is all that remained, albeit in a rather interesting and slightly scary orientation.)
I discovered that I was being mobbed by a teenage gang!
(Apologies for the quality, or lack there of, of the photos. All but the one of the app on my phone were taken with my phone which, not being a $2000 favored-flavor-of-the-current-model-year, has a crappy camera.)
Granted, these guys are only about softball size when curled into defensive mode, but there is nothing more dangerous than a mob of unsupervised teenagers and here I was stranded in the middle of one with no mom in sight! Mine or theirs.
The thing about armadillos is that their eyesight sucks. Even worse than mine when I'm not wearing my glasses! (It's not an age thing. It's always been that way.)
Supposedly they do have a good sense of smell for locating grubs and such and apparently my boots smell like bug (Crap! I hope it's my boots and not my feet!) because this is not the first time I've had one of these armored bulldozers come right up to my feet before they realized that this bug was way too big for their mouth!
Eventually they took their mobbing and swarmed on elsewhere, letting the silence return and leaving me to get back to the business of frying my brain on language. (What do you mean that's the wrong answer? No fair! Trick question!)
Except that later, as I headed back up the ridge to return to the barn and collect my reward-for-a-job-well-done (OK, done, though not always well) of a single fruit popsicle, I nearly stepped on them again right in the middle of the trail.
They stood up and squeaked, I puffed up and growled, and eventually we came to an understanding that let all of us go our own ways with no damage done.
Never a bad outcome after a teenage-mob encounter!