Thursday, February 18, 2016

A picnic with Burdock and Dangerous Dan

After several days of bitter cold, wonderfully wintry weather, we have had a day of very warm temperatures and rain. I set out at dusk expecting to find all of the porcupines at home in the north dens. To my surprise, I found no porcupines and no tracks at the first two sites I checked, suggesting they had been out all day in the rain.

Burdock, however, was home, and greeted me eagerly on his doorstep. Also home was the second porcupine, sleeping in the back of the cave and paying us no heed.

Dangerous Dan McGrew napping
 I have now persuaded myself that this is Dangerous Dan; when Burdock moved out of the Porcupines Club last week, I assumed he had been driven out by the other two residents, with whom he was a bit uppity. Now I find that Dangerous Dan has followed Burdock to his new den! This reinforces my notion that, while porcupines like to complain when anyone gets too close, they secretly like company. Sound like anyone you know?

I always carry apples and acorns when I look for porcupines, a small honorarium for their services as teachers. I put some of these out for Dan, who wakes up and waddles over to eat an apple. Burdock eats biscuits.
Dan eats an apple
Once he finishes an apple and an acorn, he approaches cautiously.
Burdock (left) leans off my lap and greets Dan with a hum (friendly) and a squawk (not friendly).   

Dangerous Dan eats a few more acorns, and then retires to a lower level, a room with a view, and goes back to sleep.
Burdock wants to play, so I let him climb around on me for a bit before I head home. As I head out into the rain, Burdock weaves back and forth on his stoop, whining, but will not follow me in this weather!

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