Sunday, October 9, 2011
In Pursuit of The Lurker
On Friday evening, Music Man and I were sitting in our sunroom (our very favorite room in the house). It was dusk and so the colors were black and skylight. Distinguishing actual colors other then that were not possible, so twilight you see. From the chair I call mine in that room, I could see under the chicken coop, which is on a hill. So sometimes I see animals there, traveling back and forth in the field beyond. I happened to be looking underneath the coop at just the moment I saw a smallish black form moving across the grass beyond. I excitedly exclaimed to Music Man "I just saw an animal moving behind the coop!"
He bolted out the door and went to look around. I paused to put on my shoes, so he had a minute or so head start. He was still looking around when I got up the hill with him and he told me he didn't see anything. It was hard to see much as the colors had faded and the sky had gone, what I like to call "Maxfield Parish". Maxfield Parish painted the most amazing artwork using the colors of the twilight sky, black tree forms on a golden and blue backdrop. Just that time of night when you concentrate only on the forms of things before darkness settles over.
I told Music Man I felt like the back was humped up like a raccoon does when it walks, with scurrying steps. I caught that in the very quick moment it was silhouetted black against the sky beyond. As we were walking back towards the house through our apple trees, Music Man spotted a black lump in one of the trees that just didn't belong, noticable in the twilight beyond. Figuring it was the animal we were in pursuit of, he excitedly whispered to me, "There it is! See, in the tree!" So, we got a little closer, but it was not possible to distinguish just what this lurker was, except that the tail that I could see in the silhouette was definitely not raccoon. Music Man ran to the house for a flashlight and my camera and rushing back, he shined the light on it. At first it was not possible to tell what it was, it was still as can be trying to hide from us. Then the flashlight hit it just right and Music Man could spot the quills. Yes, we had a very handsome porcupine hanging out in our tree!
I had seen some apples with strange gnawings on them. We have a large squirrel and chipmunk population around here, so I figured it was one of those. Then, I got a load of the teeth on this beauty, you can see them in the picture above (the yellow spot near the lowest branch on the right) if you look closely...I then knew what had been gnoshing on our apples! We went into the house to get the boys to come and check it out, we were literally 10 feet from this guy, who honestly seemed totally unphased by our presence and appeared to just want to go to sleep. The boys were astonished, and Maestro said to me as we walked back to the house, "Wow, Mom, I never expected to end my day today with a porcupine! That's one good day!". Yep, that's just one of the reasons we live in the country, and are so happy that our boys seem to be getting the reverence for nature that we have. A good way to end a night indeed.
Wishing you quills in your apples, ~Peacemom