A Prickly Handful

 

hedgehog

Long-eared hedgehog (water color on paper; July 2018)

 

After having painted the pineapple that is more than a bit prickly to me πŸ˜‰ , my thoughts went to one of the cutest animals, that also happens to be a bit prickly: the long-eared hedgehog.

IΒ΄ve never had the opportunity to meet one as they are native to Central Asian countries as well as some countries in the Middle East, North Africa and China. But I found lots of cute pictures and videos when I googled “hedgehog”, one of which served as a model for my water color.

There are seventeen species of hedgehogs and the Long-eared hedgehog is one of the smallest and thus fits easily into a hand.

Because of their cuteness factor they are often kept as pets. Cute as the ears may be (and they definitely are!), they actually serve as heat regulators for these tiny insectivores that are often found in the wild in dry steppes or in deserts.

As it is much smaller than the Western European Hedgehog for example, it is also much faster. It is less likely to curl up in a ball when approached by predators and will rather try and outrun them or even leap at predators with its relatively short needles.

 

66 thoughts on “A Prickly Handful

  1. I recognised this straight away from your lovely painting I have a photo of one of these on my computer. Long eared hedgehogs are just adorable. Hedgehogs of all kinds are cute. We used to get them in the garden at our old house but not here sadly.

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    • So glad you like my little hedgehog, Lauren! If only I could have made this painting from a live model! πŸ˜‚ But then itΒ΄s more likely that I would never had painted it but just cuddled it instead. πŸ˜‰
      Have a Happy Sunday! xoxo ❀

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    • Thanks so much, Iris! I’ve had so much fun painting this one and imagining to hold it in my own hand one day! πŸ˜„ Have a look on YouTube, you’ll find the most lovely videos with them as the star. 😊 Have a happy and creative weekend, dear friend! Love & hugs! πŸ˜„πŸ’•πŸ¨πŸŒˆ

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Chris! I’m still amazed at the idea of hedgehogs being kept as pets. Around here some people provide a little box in their garden sheds for them as they’re hibernating but that’s it. But if I ever get to see a long-eared one I’m sure I couldn’t resist taking it with me. πŸ˜„ Cheers!

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  2. How on earth can I have lived for more than 57 years and not known about this creature? Adorable, cute, lovely … none of these words do this little spiney bundle any justice whatsoever. Those ears, that face, that little roly body. I am truly in my bliss with this picture, Sarah and I have to thank you for leading me to spending a full hour … truly – an hour – researching his kith and kin, Of course I adore European Hedgehogs (les hΓ©rissons πŸ¦”) and it saddens me that they are in some danger in Britain but this big-eared cousin is even cuter. I feel quite faint – overcome with cuteness overload. I may have to lie down (and think thoughts of Mrs Tiggy Winkle) xxxxxxx

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    • Hehehe! How lovely to think of you as overcome with cuteness overload, Fiona! I imagine you fainting quite beautifully on a chaise longue like all those ladies in the 19th century who gave everything they had into their graceful performances. πŸ˜‰ And IΒ΄m so happy you spent a whole hour researching them – thatΒ΄s exactly what I did too, that and downlaoding every cute picture I could find! πŸ˜‰
      Wish you a perfect weekend with lots of sunshine, fine weather and maybe even a little hedgehog crossing your way! πŸ˜‰ Much love! xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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      • No hedgehogs here, but porcupines aplenty which make me laugh with their cumbersome coats of heavy spines.

        I would love to think that I could swoon gracefully but it would more likely be a graceless thump. Did you know that the French say β€˜Γͺtre tomber dans les pommes’ to describe a faint. I would love to wake in a bed of apples particularly the ones that grow here … so appley you could bit into one and believe yourself in heaven. No wonder they are so keen on pies, say I!!

        Have a beauteous weekend filled with sunshine and laughter and sweet creatures pottering by xxxxxxxx

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      • Oh, I love porcupines!! They walk so funny with their heavy coats of cumbersome spines, only ever saw one in the zoo though.

        I regularly fall on my behind whenever I crouch to get something out of a low cupboard or something, so you can bet that me fainting would be equally graceless! πŸ˜‚ And I totally blame gravitiy for this – I would be far more graceful if I lived on the moon. πŸ˜‰
        And how lovely to call it “etre tomber dans les pommes”! – maybe a bit hard to land on but it canΒ΄t hurt to eat a juicy apple after a faint! πŸ˜€ Ahh – apple pie! One of many delicious things capable to transport one directly into heaven!
        xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, Marlene! The Western European ones are quite large when fully grown and you can only touch them when theyΒ΄re babys. It seems to be different with the long-eared ones as there are so many videos on Youtube to be found with people holding them and I donΒ΄t think theyΒ΄re all baby hedgehogs. πŸ˜‰
      Making him a childrenΒ΄s book star is now one more point of my ever-growing list of things to do! πŸ˜€

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  3. Your painting is sooo cute. I have very mixed feelings about hedgehogs. They are quite appealing-looking, but because they’re not native to NZ, they do quite a lot of damage to native species, especially birds.

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