Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hard frost, coyote scat and porcupine

it was a tough weekend
a memorial for a friend and later
i was sick
with a foul intestinal scourge
 so for four days i had no walk
also
 i'm tutoring a student after school
 but today i set out
in late october sunshine
after last night's hard frost
22 degrees at 7 am.
 today was my third encounter with this
small one
 i become disconcerted when it walked straight towards me: bold!
eyes on me
on the roadside
what's up, little one?
i side stepped, and asked 
 why are you risking yourself
you who are called varmint?
why come out to the roadside
just to savor the new growth,
succulent though it is
when hunters are out with guns everywhere?
 the response was uncanny, 
but i know i was heard
and i know that this one decided to go back
 across to the north side of the road
and into the thicket
gray dogwood and poplars
as i marveled at those amazing feet, 
turning in toes, long, strong, and clever.
it was a walk in the crisp
colorful and cidery cold afternoon
and along the road, 
here and there
coyote scat. 
just to remind me there are jokes
i don't understand.

11 comments:

Arija said...

What oh what is that gorgeous animal? They don't make those on our side of the world.
Sorry about your gut scourge but glad you are out and about and a magnet for the wild creatures.

Velma Bolyard said...

arija, these are the porcupine people, reputed to shoot their quills, they don't. but they do have a mighty defense system, and if your dog encounters one, you will have struggle enough removing them. my border collie tami stood solid while i removed 15 or so, and a doberman, too, but many dogs have to be anesthetized. and then there is the traditional quillwork done by native ameircans with those hollow swords.

Leena said...

It is always so great to see wild animals, it makes me feel more connected to the surrounding nature, we are just one of them living on the same earth. But I never get pictures of them like you do:)

Penny Berens said...

Hope you are feeling better both emotionally and physically after your weekend. I used to encounter a porcupine on our property and he grumbled and complained with every step. He seemed to walk okay...just bad tempered I think! One of my rusty pups was one f those canines that ad to be put to sleep to remove quills! I think she doesn't put her nose in so close any more to that prickly behind!

Velma Bolyard said...

leena, you're right. the land here is a mix of old farms and homes and woods, a rich ecotone for creatures of all sorts, and i started to carry the camera so i could document this...it's with me on most walks.
penny, thank you, i'm coming along fine. oh, your poor pup! the dobie stood up bravely, trembling only for us as my friend removed upwards of forty from her mouth. she was a brave soul, and was wounded defending her yard from an investigative porky.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

love so much the good good view
of the feet. one's feet are so
important to Everything. i can
feel them, from your photograph,
the soft pads, sensitive.
thank you

Velma Bolyard said...

yes, grace, the porcupine had tremendous feet with LONG toenails. very pigeon-toed! my feet should be so strong!

Barry said...

V- love that this little dude has come to visit a number of times. At the moment we are having Peacock visitors more regularly. Go well and enjoy the walks. B

Velma Bolyard said...

barry, if your peacock friend whacks you with his tail you will fare FAR better than you would if this little guy did! how beautiful your friend is!

layers said...

I have never encountered a porcupine.. a skunk though. I think one wants to give both a wide berth.
go well on your hikes.

Velma Bolyard said...

donna, skunks are much more disastrous to humans; porcupines we're better at knowing to stay away! i've never been sprayed, but i watched my friend's dobie get a facefull and then come running to us for help!

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