Porcupines Porch

Porcupine sign, tracks


There is a steep rocky ridge near Mt Agamenticus in southern Maine where the Hemlock trees are thin and the Porcupines are thick.  Above and below you can see obvious sign of the damage Porcupines can cause as they feed on the bark of trees by nipping off branches to get at the tender ends.

porcupine damage to Hemlock tree


I came here knowing I might run into the creatures and hoping to see other creatures as well.  After wandering around for a few hours and seeing a lot of porky tracks and not much more I returned to the rocky ridge hoping for some bobcat sign.  This spot is known for bobcat.  They like to den and lay up in the same bouldery places as porcupines.

Porcupine tracks in snow

By now I had been out for quite some time and my body had relaxed and slowed.  I climbed up the jumbled boulders toward a likely spot.  I have been told it is better to hold no agenda in the wild, that it can be sensed by other animals and cause them to flee or that an agenda narrows one’s focus and other things can be missed.  I had an agenda to get to a certain spot likely for Bobcat sign.  Maybe I held it loosely enough because as I moved up I was a bit startled by this sleeping Porcupine beside me, napping on the porch of its den.


Porcupine in Den


Porcupine, I soppose can afford to sleep more soundly than other animals having quills to protect them.  I managed to maneuver around a little and take many pictures with a noisy shutter without waking it.

Sleeping Porcupine


Sleeping Porcupine in den




Eventually I got greedy and disturbed this cool creature.  A good tracker gets in and out without the animals knowing, I have some learning still to do here.  It clicked its teeth and moved slowly back to the deepest gap between rocks.  I left slowly too, as not to disturb further.