Wednesday, April 1, 2015

INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP and A TO Z CHALLENGE

Happy April Fool's Day. This month is hopping. So, take a breath and let's get started.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!



Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!



Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG


Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of the IWSG
Alex's awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG will be Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!
Today, I'd like to share what Lexa Cain says we all should have on our "To Do" lists.
She is absolutely right. I've added her advice to my list, and I'm going to make these three
items a priority.
 
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF.
ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
BE HAPPY.
 
Wonderful thoughts. Thank you, Lexa.
 
Now, on to the A to Z Challenge.
 
LITTLE ARMORED ONE
My theme for the A to Z Challenge is animals. There are a lot to choose from. I tried to pick the most interesting and the ones I like best. For the letter “A” let’s talk about the Armadillo.
Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning “little armored one.” Armadillos are the only living mammals with bony plates that cover the back, head, legs, and tail.
The armadillo is the state small mammal of Texas.
 
This is an armadillo I saw in our pasture.
 
 
 
 
My son found these babies near our pond.
 
There are 20 varieties of armadillo. All of them live in Latin America, except the nine-banded armadillo. They are related to anteaters and sloths and usually have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. They vary in size and color, from the 6-inch-long (15-centimeter-long), salmon-colored pink fairy armadillo to the 5-foot-long (1.5-meter-long), dark-brown giant armadillos. Others have black, red, gray, or yellowish coloring.
 
Can you roll into a ball?
The three-banded armadillo is the only armadillo able to roll up like this.
The others are covered with too many bony plates.
Sweet babies. No, they're not soft and cuddly.
Did you know that all four young are always the same sex, and are identical quadruplets that developed from the same egg. Breeding occurs in July, but the embryo is in a dormant state until November. Four young are born in a burrow in March.
 
 
Their average life span in captivity is 12 to 15 years.
 
They are found in all but the western Trans-Pecos portion of Texas in a variety of habitats; brush, woods, scrub and grasslands.
Originally native to South America, the armadillo now ranges as far north as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana. They are not found where the soil is too hard to dig.
Fun Fact:
The nine-banded armadillo is run over by cars so often that it has earned the nickname “Hillbilly Speed Bump.”
 
Here's a little beauty, don't you think?
The pink fairy armadillo, also known as the Pichiciego, is the smallest species of armadillo known.
The pink fairy armadillo generally is between 90-115 mm in length, not counting its tail. It weighs less than a pound. This is the only species of armadillo that has its dorsal shell almost completely separate from its body.
This animal lives in the dry grasslands and sandy plains of central Argentina. When threatened they can bury themselves in a few seconds.
They stay underground  and come out only to feed at night. Usually the female gives birth to one young, whose shell will not become completely hardened until it is fully grown.
The pink fairy armadillo have been listed as Threatened since 1970.
So, you think you want one for a pet? You might check
http://www.ehow.com/about_4572448_armadillos-as-pets.html to see how that would work out.
 
 
They may not be soft and cuddly, but I have a soft spot in my heart for them. I even wrote a picture book about an armadillo family, after I saw those on our land.
 
 
 As one little boy told me at the book store where I was reading to the kids, "Armadillos aren't blue." Kids are so cute, and smart.
Happy Reading!
 
 
 
 
 

36 comments:

  1. Great entry for the first of the A to Z Challenge, I love animals and wildlife and this was right up my street to read. Well done and good luck with the next 25 entries.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. I love animals too. 25 more - I'd best get busy. :)

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  2. After that video went around with the armadillo playing with a toy last week, someone on my Facebook page decided she wanted one for a pet. She finally got her husband to agree, only to learn that it's illegal where they live. I think it probably is most places...

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    1. I didn't see the video, but the link I posted does not recommend them as pets.

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  3. Very interesting! We don't have armadillos where I live, but I wish we did. They are a very unique animal. The ones that get run over all the time where we live, is the possum. Enjoyed your post and the pictures, Beverly.

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    1. They are interesting, Janet. They dig up your yard looking for insects. I'm not sure we have possums here. Can't recall seeing any.

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  4. We don't have armadillos up here either but they are cute. Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the letter B.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie. I wonder what you have in store for us tomorrow too. :)

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  5. Very interesting post, Beverly. We don't have armadillos here in Ohio; the soil is definitely too hard to dig into for many months of the year. I enjoyed reading about them!

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    1. Thanks, Susan. They can't survive really cold weather either.

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  6. Meant to mention I found you through the A to Z Blog Challenge. :-)

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  7. I love Lexa's advice too. I have added her ideas to my to do list- and I wonder why I never included putting fun down as a must do before. :)

    I have never seen an armadillo in person. I had no idea there was such a wide variety of them and I certainly learned a lot about them here today. I read in your comment that they dig up yards- that is what I was going to ask you about- do they do anything like go through garbage, eat garden plants, etc.

    Very informative post! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I haven't seen them go through the garbage, but ours is high off the ground, and they mostly eat insects. You can tell they've paid a visit though by the holes in your yard.
      Yes, Lexa's advice is at the top of my to do list now.

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  8. Oh my gosh, they are so cute!!!! I'm envious that you see them in real life. Thanks for all the fascinating information on them.

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    1. They are so different, Kai. I don't see them often because they mostly come out of their burrows at night. You're welcome. I like the little critters.

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  9. I can't believe how many IWSG folks are also doing A to Z. What a lot of work! Love your topic--Animals. I may share it with my students.

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    1. Great, Jacqui. I bet your students would have fun with it. When I was teaching the kids enjoyed the animal chapter in science. There are some good animal sites on the Internet with activities and information for kids.

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  10. They are cute, we have none around here. I can sorta roll in a ball like that, go yoga lol

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    1. Haha! I'm not surprised you can "sorta" roll in a ball. :)

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  11. That pink one is freaky looking.
    That's cool you have them on your property. I've only seen them in zoos.

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    1. Yeah, it is kind of weird. Not pet material. Studies confirm that 30 percent of leprosy cases in the U. S. each year result from contact with infected armadillo. We just take their pictures.

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  12. I love the feet of the fairy armadillo. That creature looks like it belongs in the movies.

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    1. A movie star. Great idea. I'd never heard of the pink fairy armadillo until I researched the animals. Thanks for stopping by, Tamara.

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  13. Lexa's list is perfect! We have too many armadillos, which dig too many holes. And yes, we steer clear of them due to the leprosy.

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    1. They can be pests, T. Luckily, the ones around here dig mostly in the pasture and not the yard. Yes, they are to be avoided because they carry the leprosy disease.

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  14. Loved your theme and its great entry for the challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Editors. As an animal lover I had to tell about them.

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  15. Wow! I never knew much about armadillos before. Out here in California we don't have armadillos, so it was fun to learn all about them. I look forward to reading about the "B" animal coming next! I, too, am an animal lover. I love all of them, especially the two snoring pups snuggling next to me as I type this. :)

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  16. Yay for armadillos and for your great book! It's weird that with all that protective armor, they get run over so much. Thanks for the shout-out! Wishing you much happiness, always. :)

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    1. I think what happens, they sort of freeze and then when the car is over them they leap up or something,I've never seen this, but that's what I've been told.

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  17. I had to come back to see what you did for the letter "A" having just read a woman was shot by her son-in-law who was trying to shoot an armadillo. Apparently, the bullet ricocheted off the shell. Why would anyone want to shoot one of these creatures?

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    1. How come I never saw this? I'm going crazy. Some people have no sense, I guess. They like to torture and kill helpless critters. Well, two years late is better than never. :)

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  18. http://animalsbirds.com/horses-hd-photos-and-pictures-animals-image-free-download-wallpapers/

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    1. Oh, you're an animal lover too. I'll have to take a look at your site later today. Thanks for stopping by.

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