Somedays you just feel prickly;)
I am fascinated by these creatures. This youngster hung out on the same branch for about 36 hours, mostly basking in the sun with an occasional yawn and nod and gnaw on the branch. Who doesn’t love a rodent with spines, it would make a great superhero! More often than not in this area they end up with a bullet through them sadly. I think they are often misunderstood. Just because they are vegan is not an excuse to hate on them guys! Do they eat trees, yes, the bark, will they strip a forest clean, no. They eat leaves, herbs, twigs, and green plants such as clover. In the winter, it may eat bark as well. They are mostly nocturnal but I’ve seen them waddling about in the daylight as well, and they can move, we’re not talking cheetah speed here but I have seen them stride out at a good pace as I was trying to photograph one late in the day.
….and who could resist a baby? Adults can reach up tp 35 lbs. and no, they can’t throw their quills at people or animals when threatened. You have to come in contact with the porcupine quills to have them stick you. If only they could…Take that you farmer with a gun! I’ve been told they eat tires and outhouse seats looking for salt but so far we have had no gnawing porcupines in our driveway touting the benefits of rubber or wooden toilet seats.
Would they break into a cottage for your salt shaker? Not sure there but I will ask this fellow next time I see him if he is prone to illegal acts in the name of salt. If you see wood-handled tools or canoe paddles knawed on, it just might be a porcupine though.
Did you know a porcupine group is called a prickle? How apropos! Also, their quills are hollow which enable them to swim and float! I haven’t ever seen one taking a dip but I’m sure many a swamp has been crossed in that way!
We as humans, thinking somehow we have this higher intellect (not really appearing that way recently, anyway) forget sometimes that everything has it’s place in nature, including us weird bipedal mammals. When the wolves were almost killed off by farmers blaming them for their livestock losses (ye gads, or I’ve been told by the fearful many moons ago “They’ll take your children!” What rubbish!) raccoons and porcupines lost a natural enemy, we upset the balance of nature that we seem to be so very good at. Remember that next time you hate on something living, anything living, in this natural world with us. We must coexist if we are to survive….word for the day:) Saludos y abrazos amigos.