Monday, March 28, 2016

The Littlest Porcupine, March 28

It is a cool, drippy evening when I arrive at High Scenic. As I unpack, I hear teeth chattering coming from a rock cranny in front of me, one that I have not seen used as a den before. The chattering reminds me of a rattlesnake's rattle, and I wonder if it serves the same purpose—dangerous animal here, watch your step or move away. Porcupines seem to use it when they are nervous, but also to announce that they are about to start moving. As with rattlesnakes, the sound is not warning of an imminent attack, but just suggesting that anyone within hearing range pay attention to avoid mishap.
Dangerous Dan soon appears and has a snack, and then a scratch.
I hear the chattering of teeth again, and soon LF crawls out of her den, yawns and stretches and admires the evening.

A third porcupine can be seen climbing in a hemlock tree nearby. It climbs down, waddles over, and goes to sleep under a rock. Dangerous Dan has finished his apple, and decides to come over and inspect my belongings, one of the first times a wild porcupine other than Fretful has indulged his curiosity.
As it grows dark, the porcupine under the rock comes out, a tiny little porcupine! He (she?) is not much bigger than Burdock was when he arrived at my orphanage in the fall— about the size Dandelion was when she was two months old. Here is the fuzzy photo I managed to take before my camera batter died. He is climbing on the rock above Dan.

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