Monday, November 25, 2013


There he was, right on the trail.  I was scouting out a proposed cross-country skiing route in Kimberley Forest.  I came around a corner out of the larch plantation, past some sumachs and onto the Bruce Trail, and he was sitting directly ahead of me on the trail.

Porcupines are pretty common animals in the wild around here.  They particularly like the bark of pine trees, and often do a lot of damage in pine plantations.  But generally they're harmless and slow - unless you have a dog off a leash!  This one certainly didn't seem inclined to move out of my way.

He was munching on a wild apple, and didn't even seem to look up as I stepped toward him and took a moment to get the camera ready.

 But perhaps he was watching me out of the corner of his eye.

He looked up briefly, though his eyes are so black that they're hard to pick out among the fur.  Then he went back to munching.

Finally he decided I was perhaps a threat as I stepped closer.  He turned from the apple, raised his quills in the usual 'watch out - don't come closer' posture, and started to amble off.  At this point I backed off so he could go back to his apple, which he did.

This was 10 days ago, before the 6+ inches of white stuff and -15 temperatures we have out there now!

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  1. How cute, I have never seen a Porcupine in the wild. Very cool. I love the closeups and photos. Have a happy week!

  2. Something you definitely want to give a wide berth to. I've only see one once in 1985, Nova Scotia, on vacation there.

  3. How neat! I've only seen a porcupine in the wild once and that was when we lived in Bryce Mountain Resort. The ground was covered in snow and he ambled out of the woods to the edge of driveway where I'd put out some food for the squirrels. I got a fuzzy picture through the window before he disappeared back into the woods.

  4. Wow, great photos of a porcupine! I have only seen them up a tree. And the red apple is a perfect bit of color!

  5. Wonderful photos of the Porcupine. We see them quite regularly around here. Some alive - some dead. People just feel the need to shoot anything that moves.Sad.

  6. Well...isn't he/she adorable?!
    Enjoy your evening♥
    Thanks for all your nice comments!
    Linda :o)

  7. Great shots of this guy!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River.

  8. LOVE the photos ! thanks for sharing them all.

  9. oh you are lucky indeed ! thanks for sharing those photos -
    we have porcupines in Moreau Park here in upstate NY, but have yet to see one (just their tracks) - check out "Teddy the Talking porcupine" on the internet, if you want to hear some vocalizations (plus he is just darn cute too)

  10. Is it true that they can throw their quills? I've never seen one in the wild.
    Great photos!!

    1. No they don't, but they can turn and lash out their tail quickly, and the quills detach easily at a touch. Many a dog has got a snoutfull of quills just by reaching out for a gentle sniff. And they have barbs, so they're hard to pull out.

  11. Glad you backed up and let him finish his apple. I've never seen a live porcupine up close, although I've seen two or three dead ones on the side of the TransCanada Highway. Very sad sight, and I always hoped the quills gave the dastardly driver a flat tire.
    I enjoyed your photos ever so much.

  12. I am glad you backed up and let him enjoy his prize in peace. I suppose it is not every day he comes across an apple. Hope you got your trail worked out.

  13. Lucky you found him, what a good photo opportunity for you.
    Love the captures and its activities.