Say Hello to My Little Friend


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Chris 200x200Guest Post

by Christopher O’Keefe

      I’ve seen this guy (or gal) a lot lately on one of the local hiking trails. He is a North American porcupine. The name is not that flattering, it means “quill pig” in old French. When I first saw him, he would just curl up in a defensive posture. He has hair but he also has some pretty nasty quills that will stick you if you get too close. My friend Monica is always cautioning me about getting too close. He can’t shoot them but if he sticks me, they will detach from his body and be stuck in my leg (or other body part).

    The past few weeks we’ve become a bit friendlier. He does not curl up anymore when he sees me. In the video, you can see him actually walking towards me…and me backing up. I guess I was close to some branches he wanted to nibble on. And that is his food; he likes to chew on the ends of pine branches and other woodland vegetables.

      He actually has naturally occurring antibiotics in his skin in case he falls out of a tree and cuts himself on his quills (ouch!). It sounds funny, but this is supposedly a regular occurrence because they climb trees to eat the branches. As you can see from the video, he is not the most graceful of animals. But we are buddies…although there is no hugging. He is the cute but not so cuddly type. 

See also the movie with a Star: “The Porcupine”

Look around!

By the same Author: Pilings

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by Monica

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Christopher

      Photography is my artistic passion in life. There is nothing as enjoyable as finding the beauty that others might miss seeing in this world and sharing it with others.

      The pictures on this site are for my and your pleasure but are copyrighted. If you would like use a copy of one, please e-mail me. Higher resolution version of most photographs are available.

The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.

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13 thoughts on “Say Hello to My Little Friend

  1. This photo reminds me of a long night drive we took when I was still young with two friends of mine, Jack and Martin, from a city in Michigan to the Soldiers Field in Chicago. Suddenly Martin shouted, “Hey Jack, that’s a skunk! Stop the car and back up, hurry!” I saw a little animal crossing the road about 30 meters ahead. “Hey, that’s not a skunk. Must be some thing else,” I said. The car backed up scores of meters away, but I could still see the animal. “Let’s go back and see,” I said. “Oh, no, you don’t know what might happen if we scared him,” Martin said. A hot argument started in our car as young students always make it happen, but I won. Jack slowly drove back, and we noticed no smell. “You see,” I said victoriously. “Yeah, that’s a porcupine,” Martin admitted. The animal was walking sluggishly into the woods. It was one of rare arguments I won beautifully in those days. 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Say Hello to My Little Friend — look around! | Milford Street

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