It was a gift to have such esteemed guests visit the Sanctuary. Porcupines are often thought of as elusive animals, mostly missed on forest walks and not generally casually seen. To think one would simply stumble onto your doorstep is a magical moment indeed. The encounter started one day with the mother while I took my morning coffee walk at 5am. There she was right next to me and followed me down to the banks of the wetlands. I had never experienced a porcupine before, the casual nature of the engagement was surprising and she was a delightfully unexpected walking companion.
A few days later on another morning coffee walk towards the wetlands, I was gazing at the daylilies and saw the ‘porcupettes’. Instead of walking down to the wetlands like the mother, it slowly climbed up a young maple tree and seemed to wiggle its front paw digits at me while sitting on a branch. It continued to entertain me for twenty minutes until I decided to get another cup of coffee. When I returned the young porcupine was vigorously foraging on tender tree branches as is their daily habit since they are strict vegetarians and need to eat a lot of plant material to thrive. I had to get on with my day so I let it do its own thing.
A few days passed and I sighted a third one hanging out in one of the evergreen trees by the events area, a little larger than the second, still not full-sized. It was later seen snacking away at different patches of grass, moving from one garden to another. It grazed undisturbed for quite a while in the Butterfly Garden when several guests came to tell me there was a porcupine in the field. Happily, the nature show wasn’t just for me.
A few weeks later, I sighted yet another young one close to the fairy containers in the Butterfly Garden. To my delight, it slowly walked up to one, crawled in and laid down to rest. What a special moment for this wild creature right in my backyard. It truly enlivened my day and marked a very special moment, a highlight of a brilliant summer season. I later realized the containers would make a great hiding spot to escape thunder and rain, and hoped they might become special little burrows for these wonderful creatures.
Like most natural moments, the visiting porcupines moved on, but the special memories are a treasure I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life, it was unforgettable. For more information about these fascinating animals visit: