Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day of the Porcupine

My mother in law has for many years attempted to grow fruit trees
mainly apple and now some cherry trees. The climate in
Saskatchewan is not great for fruit trees, late frosts and a short
growing season can undermine the best efforts. However
the wildlife also play a role, saplings can be girdled by snowshoe
hares, trees gnawed by deer and one of the truly great hazards
the porcupine can strip the bark all the way to the top
as you see here.

I have never really seen a porcupine up close in the wild until
one day I wandered in one of the pastures in the late morning
and found one sleeping like some ungainly birdsnest in a leafless
popular. I was of no interest and even a cheery good morning
was mostly ignored. I think one eye opened

That evening I went on a long hike with one of my brothers in law.
We encountered this porcupine in the grass but it soon
started up a tree. It is about 9:00 so the picture is not great.
It was not a fan of a flash so I gave that up.

We encountered another slipping into a popular
stand, it was too dark for a photo. Then coming up the drive
we saw yet another heading for the tree pictured above
like a great white who spots a skinny dipper. The porcupine
did not seem to want an audience so it slipped into the
populars. We did put the dog in.

"What I believe is,
all animals have one soul.

Over the land they love
they crisscross forever."

                                       Climbing along the River
                                                         William Stafford


Anonymous said...

I saw a wild cherry tree that looks just like that behind my garden earlier this spring. I blamed deer, but now I'll be it was a porcupine. I see them occasionally, in the late evening.

I love that quote and believe it, too.

Guy said...

Hi Sandy

I really enjoyed seeing not just the animals but the traces they left on the landdscape, it was learning to understand language or art and really connected me with the world.

And I find wild animals in a landscape make it really spiritual and eternal for me which is why I like the quote.