We were driving along the road back to Jackson Hole in the van, minding our own business, when over the intercom we hear “uh, Kevin…remember that porcupine we saw in the tree last year? Well it’s back.” Kevin’s reply; “cool Sean…let’s stop and look.”
Gosh I wish I hadn’t felt so crummy that day, I might have actually trudged into the field to take a better picture of it. But alas, the cold germs were doing their duty and I stayed in the van…I did manage to get a shot of it from afar.
Despite a fuzzy head I learned something that day. Porcupines climb trees. Porcupines sleep in trees. Porcupines eat trees. I had no idea. But it makes sense. If you’re gonna go so far out of your way to get away from predators, why not munch a little bit while you are there? I think in the second picture you can see the stripped bark on the branch above the sleeping blob. Also, (s)he’s so close to the road because, once again, (s)he wanted to conserve energy and it is easier to walk on a paved road than to plow across a field. Besides, predators tend to stay away from roads, especially during the day. So (s)he’s safe. Not so warm, the wind was howling along this road, but (s)he’s got a great coat.
Now if I could just see one actually climbing…