Monday, August 16, 2010

Porcupine Destruction

 (photo courtesy of National Geographic)

I had this rather glamorous view of porcupines in my head until I actually saw one in person. I didn't realize they had tails (silly me)! They're rather...cumbersome looking, a bit awkward, slow, and apparently, quite destructive. We all arrived in the garden one seemingly innocuous morning, and were walking around inspecting and chatting as we tend to do first thing....and came upon this sad sight:

At first we (Winslow, Jenna, and myself) thought it was the bear that roams the property. But then we saw this:

Which is obviously not a bear mark. The clean cut made Winslow immediately claim porcupine. Upon the mention of which, we immediately found the proof!

quill in Jenna's hand

There is actually a porcupine den in our woods. I'm trying to decide if I want to brave a hike there....hmmm...thoughts? Have you had any experiences with porcupines in your woods/yards/gardens?

Tasha had many incidents with porcupines, who loved to steal her raspberries. It was always a fight to get enough to make raspberry jam! Of course, homemade raspberry jam is the best in her thumbprint cookies (from her friend Linda de Christopher), available in the Tasha Tudor Cookbook! I love reading the story behind all of the recipes in the books, and this one has a good story, too. Pick up your copy and take a look. These are so lovely on the porch with a glass of lemonade! Or...of course, Stillwater Punch, which also requires Raspberries for the syrup (recipe also in cookbook).

On yet another hot Vermont day (is it fall yet?),


  1. Dear Natalie,
    Thank you for the kind words regarding my blog. I have loved Tasha since meeting her many years ago at my cousin's folk art store. She is the artist Judi Vaillancourt. Tasha was just delightful there! I have added the Rookery blog to my list and do pop by again, I have a whole category dedicated to Tasha and the many kindreds I have met through admiration of her art. I also run the yahoo group Take Peace, a very active list devoted to the discussion of Tasha's art and lifestyle. And I must agree, I am ready for Autumn! Terribly muggy here in MA. I wish you much luck with your porcupine dilemna, we've never had one venture onto our hobby farm that I know of, thank goodness:-)

  2. I forgot to add that those thumbprint cookies are amongst our favorites here! Everyone should own a copy of Tasha's cookbook, I make so many receipts from it.

  3. My whole summer has been in outsmarting skunks, but I decided I will take skunks over porcupines. How amazing they are to look at and I didn't know they had tails either. They sure are destructive. I didn't know that I guess I don't know anything about porcupines.

  4. Just whatever you do, please don't hurt the porcupines. They have a right to be where they are.

  5. I agree with Anonymous. They are very simple, cannot outrun predators, cannot attack, and their only means of protection are their quills (imagine if their quills were mere fur!). Please don't harm it in anyway! Not poison, nothing. I'm sure you can figure out a way to protect the garden.

  6. There' a whole family of porkys between the floor & ceiling of our barn. All their excrement is soaking the ceiling and is coming down one of the walls. Yes, we have glamorous, romantic ideas about our beloved animals, but these guys as cute (I won't say cuddly) as they are, are indeed very destructive. Hope you have success with yours. We're still working on ours.