“Valley of the Porcupines” by Ellie George is another current contestant in the Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest. George describes an encounter she and her husband and their dog have with a porcupine on Coon Mountain. She saw many signs of a large porcupine population on the mountain, and it was no surprise to her to actually see one.
George was fascinated by the unique creature, but I would be afraid to get as close as she does. For those who don’t know a porcupine’s ‘fur’ is mostly a collection of quills that it uses as a defensive shield. Many dogs have painfully learned their lesson about messing with porcupines by getting a mouthful of needle-like quills. Luckily I have never had a dog that encountered a porcupine. Though skunks, which are also local animals with a distinctive defensive skill (or should I say smell?) are another story.
Read the following excerpt from George’s story, and please continue on to read it in its entirety. Please also read the other stories in the contest and don’t forget to vote for your favorite to win a $250 prize!
“Porkie slowly lifted his head and looked right at me. The camera shutter clicked and I think a few synapses in his brain did, too. He turned and slowly climbed up out of the ditch and walked toward a nearby hemlock. Slowly he climbed the tree, keeping his head turned away from me. When he was about twelve feet up in the tree he stopped and looked back at me through the dense branches. As my heart rate slowed down, I walked back to the trail where my husband was waiting, hanging on to the still excited dog. Wow! What a great encounter that was, ending happily for all parties! I think the Hidden Valley Trail should be renamed the Valley of the Porcupines…” [Continue reading "Valley of the Porcupines."]
- Adirondack Wildlife: The Porcupine and Salt (adirondackalmanack.com)
- Just Some of the Reasons Why I Love the North Country (essexonlakechamplain.com)