Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Looking for Dandelion the Dreadful

Dandelion the dreadful
Dandelion the Dreadful, as you may know, had a most unusual first year of life for a porcupine. You can read all about it on the page dedicated to Fretful and Dandelion. I released her last April, a few weeks shy of her first birthday, and had little expectation of finding her during the months that followed. Now that winter is here and the porcupines have denned up, I have a reasonable chance of locating the little rascal if I search the porcupine denning sites.

I also wanted to find some proper porcupine browse for Burdock, and since porcupines are among the world's pickiest eaters, I thought I would gather some branches that had been pruned off by another porcupine—porcupine seal of approval— to entice him to eat his vegetables.

One of the little spots in this picture is a porcupine!
Burdock preparing to leap on the poor puppet.
As I approached the dramatic bowl that houses the closest dens to the north, I saw a porcupine hiking up the steep far side. I asked if she had seen Dandelion, and the porcupine turned and started toward me. How my hope soared, until it became evident that the porcupine was just hustling toward a den site in the rocks that happened to be in my direction. There were many tracks here, and many rocky cavities showed signs of habitation. There may be a couple of porcupines here this year.
I next went to check the big cave under the boulders to the west. Sure enough, a porcupine was in residence there, too, but not the Dreadful One.

I took an assortment of boughs from this porcupine's feeding trees, mostly hemlock, down to Burdock's den. He was very interested in them, and took a few bites before initiating a game. We had a nice long wrestling match in the moonlight. When I finally left, he continued to wrestle with his puppet friend.

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