Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bristly fellow of the forest

Here is the south end of a porcupine headed north, a photo I took by the side of the road this morning on the way to the Upper Michigan wilderness state park that is his namesake. I tried to entice him to turn so that I could get at least a profile of his head, but he remained in full defense mode, keeping his hind end, quills elevated at the ready, aimed at the threat.

This is the first porcupine I've encountered in years up here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are not rare, but they tend to stay out of sight in the deep woods rather than hanging with humans the way skunks do. Good thing, for while after a skunk encounter we could fix Hogan the Wonder Dog with a little elbow grease, it would require major veterinary surgery after a run-in with a porky.

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