We were out sledding the day after Christmas. Since it was so icy out, the runner sleds were going extremely fast, and would even jump off of the roads and make it down onto the lake. It was wonderful sledding conditions! But even so, I was making sure to take turns, so there was always somebody down on the runway, looking for both planes and vehicles before telling the sledders at the top of the hill to take off.
We had been going for awhile, and it was my turn to be look out. The girls were riding double, sitting up on their runner sled, poised for take-off. I looked right, then left- did a double take and shouted "STOP!!" to the girls. They stuck their feet out, slid a bit, and stopped, yelling "Car?" But it wasn't a car. Directly in their path around the corner where they were headed was a HUGE HUGE porcupine!! He looked like a dark round ball as he scuttled across the road. We trotted down and over to him, staying a safe distance of course. He walked into the woods and then ZIP, he skillfully shinnied up a tree.
Well, I couldn't let this pass by. I sent one of the girls to get my camera, as I watched him closely. He stayed in that tree for a long time, so we wandered off. He was too far up for me to photograph him.
But then, he came down. He padded through the woods and up onto the bank near us. Then back up another tree, but a much smaller one. I got some pictures, and then hid until he came down and crossed again, and came up to our house.
He was amazing to watch! His colors were beautiful, with blond tips on the end of his quills. He had the roundest eyes, and looooong sharp claws. I love nature up close!
He went under our horse trailer, then scooted back out, crossed under the bunny hutch, and ambled along beside the hangar, then up another tree. The next morning, he was gone.
Here's Chena, and the porcupine:
And a few more pictures of the prickly passer-by