A porcupine in a tree

In the branches - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Driving through farmland south of Cochrane today, I came across a glowing ball in the top branches of a thicket of scrub bush.  The ball was a North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum).  The glow was from the sunlight reflecting off of the quills.

A glowing ball of quills - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I knew this was one of the things that porcupines frequently do as they climb up to eat the bark, but it was my first time to see it directly.  I had to cross a field to get remotely close and as I drew near, the spiky fellow dropped down lower into the branches.  Indicating it was uncomfortable with me coming over for a visit.  I waited a hundred feet away for a few minutes to see if it would relax and climb back to a higher spot where I would have a clear line of sight.  It didn’t but I was able to find a couple spots where the face and front claws could be seen amid the brambles.

Porcupine's face in the branches - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Hopefully next time I can approach a little slower or find a more curious porcupine that will let me take a couple of photographs that better portray these interesting creatures.

7 responses

  1. The black and white photo is awesome. The last one also. Plus the one in the middle.

    March 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  2. Val

    You’re so lucky to have been able to capture shots of this porcupine! How lovely. 🙂

    January 30, 2013 at 6:13 am

  3. The second is very textural with the high-lighted porcupine and my favourite.

    January 29, 2013 at 7:10 pm

  4. These are some great shots. I like the sun lighting up the porcupine. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Educational to say the least.

    January 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

  5. Estos animalitos, yo los conocí en la montaña, cuando yo tenia diez años, son bonitos y peligrosos, porque las espinas que tienen son peligrosos, cuando se le ensarta una espina a la piel de uno, esta espina corre dentro de la carne, porque lo pudimos comprobar con un perro que se le acerco a ese animal y se le sumergio la espina en la piel. Felicitaciones Chris, son buenas fotos.

    January 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

  6. Wow! What a magical and unusual encounter! I’ve come across many porcupines but never one who likes to climb! Stunning photographs…

    January 28, 2013 at 2:59 am

  7. They are interesting creatures. I have come to like them this year after two encounters.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

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