Monday, February 15, 2016

Burdock's new friend?

I set out to visit Burdock on this Friday night. I haven't been out since Tuesday morning, and with the first real cold temperatures of the winter coming, I am eager to see how he is faring and to make sure he is well nourished going into the night. I arrive at High Scenic with dusk looming. Burdock is at the upper cave. I give him a few biscuits and check the other dens. I see fresh tracks leading into the hemlocks, but find no other porcupines at home.
Burdock, left to his biscuits.
I return for some social time with the little porcupine. He climbs up into my lap and he enjoys biscuits while I enjoy the dusk and the view. Soon we hear the crunching of feet below us. Burdock scrambles off my lap and retreats to the rear of the cave.

Seconds later another porcupine hauls himself up over the ledge and into the cave. The poor fellow is rather startled to find me sitting right there, but does not retreat. Instead he takes a circuitous route to the rear of the den, where he encounters Burdock.

Burdock squawks a few times, and then turns his back on the newcomer and eats another biscuit. The stranger cowers in the back, unsure what to make of the situation.
The newcomer decides that if Burdock isn't nervous, he shouldn't be either, and comes a bit closer.
Burdock turns around and complains

I roll an apple to the new porcupine

Look at the belly on this guy! I think it is possible that this is Dangerous Dan, the color is similar.
Like Fretful, this porcupine peels his apples. A pile of peels and well-cleaned core remain.

While the new arrival eats his apple, Burdock resumes his post on my lap. It takes a porcupine a long time to eat a big apple. Even with a lap warmer, my fingers and toes are getting cold, but I can't leave yet, I must see what will happen next. I have a front row seat for observing porcupine interactions. Oh, make that, I am a front row seat.
Burdock eats. Why are my hands getting cold?

The new porcupine explores the cave

and then settles down to sleep in Burdock's favorite spot
Burdock finally climbs off my lap and waddles back to his napping corner. He is not pleased to find it occupied.

Shortly after this scene, Burdock returned to complain more vociferously, his face right against the backside of the visiting porcupine. I think both porcupines felt obliged to make a bit of a fuss, but there was no need for violence. Burdock ate an apple and I finally headed home.

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