Saturday, January 2, 2010

Watch Out! Look Sharp! Porcupine!!!

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:

The porcupine:

And a few more pictures of the prickly passer-by


AimeeInOhio said...

Ooohhh he's awesome!!!

Lori said...

That's great!

Wingnut said...

wooweee! how exciting! And fabulous pictures of such a moment in time! I'm thoroughly jealous. What lens are you using? What camera body?

Brandy said...

Amazing photos Geri! That one photo you can really see the length of his claws!! I don't think I've ever seen a porcupine up close. Thanks for sharing!

Kerilou said...

Too cool! I see them around here once in a while, usually on the roadsides at night!

Bee and Rose said...

That is just fantastic! I thought the bobcat in my yard yesterday was cool, but this is much cooler!

The photos are amazing!

Happy New Year!

Mere said...

I'm glad you guided them to safety! Your picture of that prickely guy is AMAZING! I've never seen one close up like that...or in real life for that matter! WOW!

Love, Mere

Kim said...

So cool! You would think that in all my years I'd have come across porcupines, but I've only ever seen them a time or two as they've waddled across the road when I've been driving. Never up close and personal like that! Great pics : ) You need to make a section that features all your best Alaskan wildlife shots—you've got some amazing photos!