Monday, December 3, 2012

Twins of a prickly kind

Late last summer these two baby porcupines appeared,  no bigger than baseballs.  Apparently mother porcupines  release them into the wild at about two months, and then they are totally on their own.  These were twins, something Ive never seen before, and quite adorable. By now they are about 5-6 months old and have grown from baseballs to basketballs.  All fall we have seen them in the fields,  grubbing away at roots and grasses,  and only this past week have they come together again.  Now and then one will waddle over to the other and sit up, peering into the twin's face.  "Dat  you?  Who ARE you?"

And yesterday after the snow melted there they were on the lawn, only a few feet from the house, working on some especially interesting bits of weeds.  When I went out they gently turned their backs and moved away.  It's very hard to catch a porcupine full face,  they keep shifting so that the back is what you encounter.  If you make noise or get too close the back hair rises like a windowshade and there the quills are.  Bite me,  it says.  Go ahead.

But by and large these are gentle critters and we respect that.  We also keep shed doors closed.  Respect is all well and good but so is keeping them away from rubber tires and shovel handles...


  1. Porcupines.....Yum

    (You know I had to say it)

  2. sigh

    (trying not to laugh. failing badly)

  3. From what I know of porcupines, they can probably defend themselves against being eaten! these guys are lovely. Do you have to be careful of cats around them? curiosity and all that.

  4. I feel sorry for the mother porcupine. It must be painful giving birth to those little critters. Ouch.

  5. From what ive read, Harvey, the quills only harden after birth. Thank goodness.
    I have been privileged, years ago, to see a mother porcupine and her baby, nursing, on our back step. She sat up and he waddled over and had a snack.
    Boud, the cats seem to get along with most wildlife, including porcupines. I was worried a bit about Toby, who is a city cat. But the other day I saw him run right past the babies, and glance at them abd that was it.