It was an absolute scorcher of a day — over 30°C this afternoon and humidex values closer to 40°. I was in the kitchen after dinner when I spotted what I thought was a raccoon out in the field. We’ve seen a few recently. I put my glasses on and took another look… and yelled “porcupine!”.
Porcupines are common in Nova Scotia — as evidenced by the volume of road kill porcupines on any given stretch of road. Pretty much every time I walk through our woods I scan the trees for porcupines but we’ve never seen one around the house… until tonight. We got a great view of this guy — a medium-sized quill pig — as he/she ambled across the field eating clover, completely unfazed by the five of us following along behind.
Porcupines are large rodents with blunt snouts and a wide, flatish tail. The porcupine, wolverine and skunk are the only North American mammals that have black and white colouration because they benefit from letting other animals know where and what they are in the dark of night. No point getting spiked by some of the 30,000 quills if you can help it. It’s a myth that they can shoot their quills, but we kept a good distance all the same.