Porcupines: Moving Slow and Steady 

Posted on by Kathie Fife

Yesterday I came across some tracks that had me a little baffled. The deep, light, and fluffy snow made it challenging trying to find a clear outline of a foot. My first guess was opossum. And that guess was based on years of observing wildlife moving about in the same tract of land for more than 25 years. And my guess was based on habitat, a birch forest with young white pine saplings.

And, upon asking friends what they thought it might be, my curiosity and determination to know exactly what it was pulled me to go back and investigate.  I followed the trail until I found a clear clue. Turns out my friends were correct!

A porcupine trudging through the deep snow. The outline of the foot, and quill drag confirmed it is definitely a porcupine.

I’m deeply curious why it was moving about up a steep hill, out in the open, when the trail they use is well traversed and packed down just 1/4 mile away. Predator perhaps got it off course? An interesting mystery, and a fun way to test my skills, and a reminder that nature never follows our human egocentric rules.

As always, please be mindful and respectful to wildlife and property. 

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