The hedgehog: a magical life among leaves and stars

Today I am going to take you on a journey into the secret world of an adorable four-legged creature: the hedgehog! They are so curious and unique that I have decided to share with you all the fantastic things I have learnt about them. Are you ready to discover the fascinating world of hedgehogs? Then let's start the journey together! 🦔✨

For my column My Animal Friends column,I would like to tell you about the hedgehog, a very special creature.
One of the most fascinating things about them is that they like to work their magic at night! Imagine living in a world where darkness is your best friend.

Their night vision is like a magic wand that guides them through secret adventures under the stars.

The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) can be recognised by its back covered with sharp spines, and its fur, which can vary from brown to grey, is ideal camouflage in the forest. With its sharp little nose and inquisitive eyes, it seems always ready for new adventures.

This little explorer is a versatile eater, feeding mainly on insects, grubs, worms and small invertebrates it finds in the garden. Despite its small size, it has a large appetite and hunts its food with skill.

But there is one secret that makes hedgehogs really special: their superpower called 'hibernation'.
Before they go to sleep for the winter, they have a feast! They eat a lot to build up fat reserves, which they will use as a warm blanket during their long hibernation.
It is as if they have cast a magical sleeping spell and are preparing for a dream adventure!

Let me tell you what happened: one day at the end of October, a little hedgehog paid a special visit to our garden.
He was so small and frightened, but he had a curious and brave air about him, living near a motorway with lots of cars. Worried about his health, we called our vet.
Dopo un esame approfondito, abbiamo appreso che il piccolo riccio era troppo piccolo per affrontare l’inverno da solo nei boschi vicino a casa.
The vet asked if we could look after him until spring and then release him into the woods, so we did.

We decided to name this cute little animal with the curious face Armando!
As the days passed, we learned to look after him, providing him with nutritious food and a warm place to stay. Armando became the star of our days, with his curious little nose and bright eyes.
With the arrival of spring, Armando grew big and strong, and we felt it was time to let Armando begin his new adventure in nature.
With hearts full of gratitude and a little sadness, we accompanied Armando into the forest, wishing him a wild life full of joy and adventure.

Before I say goodbye to you, I'd like to share with you the video that we made when we said goodbye to Armando in the magical forest of Montalto Dora (TO) in Italy.

If you would like to know more about this magical forest and perhaps take a walk where nature itself literally dances beneath your feet, creating an enchanted atmosphere, and who knows, maybe even meet our friend Armando himself, I suggest you read the article written by my friend Cris: The magic wood of Montalto Dora

Concludiamo questa avventura nel mondo incantato dei ricci. Spero che abbiate apprezzato questa magica esplorazione tanto quanto me! Vi giro ancora qualche foto di Armando e alla prossima, con nuove storie magiche e creature affascinanti da scoprire! ✨