Baby Porcupines. What? Yes. I Said: BABY PORCUPINES.

We thought it was cool watching big adult porcupines lumber around our place. But that’s nuttin’ compared to baby porcupines (pups? cubs? kits?), two of whom made special appearances this weekend.

First, Brendan spotted a Lil Spiny chomping down on some black locust leaves, only a few feet from the cabin. Then, while we were out walking, another even more teensy one was ambling around on the road (a thankfully very rural road). I scared the spiky butterball up a tree because I couldn’t resist taking photos of him. (Having learned I can never be too prepared for great blog fodder, I had the camera loaded and ready to go.)

I mean, seriously. This is just redunk:

I can now attest to the fact that young porcupines move verrrrry slowly as they make their way up a tree (their preferred habitat), perhaps because their armor is intimidating. Sadly, it’s not intimidating to cars — their major threat these days, of course.

As absurdly adorable as this is, I didn’t take too many photos of the spiky dude/dudette above, because Brendan didn’t want me to spend all evening harassing him or her. And, earlier, he had let me take a lot of photos of the slightly older spiny piney that was already up in the tree — as long as I stayed about 30 feet back.

(Yes, Brendan is my handler. Otherwise I would try to go pet the porcupines and feed them Charlie’s food. While frustrating, I follow orders: It’s a relationship not unlike The Crocodile Hunter‘s and his wife. And we all know how that ended. I do not want to cross the sweet rainbow bridge with porcupine spines embedded in sensitive areas.)

reaching for the stars?

If we were proper naturalists, we would have known to keep an eye out for porcupines on our black locust trees. They are the last of the tree species on our property to sprout leaves in the spring/early summer, so the porkies head to them now that their other beloved trees are past peak deliciousness.

hang on baby

The porcupines lust for young leaves makes them prone to falling from tiny branches not equipped to deal with North America’s second largest rodent. Moments earlier, this bruiser was walking on the high side of this branch, then slipped. Brendan and I both gasped, and I saw the Hang in There Baby poster in my head.

where's the spiky waldo

The little spikester recovered. And yeah: Even in the summer, when their coats don’t match the young tree leaves, they still blend in pretty darn well.

oh yay a deer

Oh yeah, we also saw lots of deer. *snores*

5 thoughts on “Baby Porcupines. What? Yes. I Said: BABY PORCUPINES.

  1. aaplinc says:

    I forwarded the close up photo to some friends. Here was my favorite reply, from Gwen Roland, a writer friend who lives down in Georgia, spent 10 years on a houseboat in the Atchafalaya (sp?) swamp:

    “Oh my gosh! I’ve never seen anything cuter. You are so right, who could ever want to harm that even if it was stuck to the nose of your favorite dog.”

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