Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Frozen forest bathing

porcupine last year
We eagerly anticipate Spring hereabouts, but it is nowhere near arriving. Climate Change is a bad thing, if that is what it is. We should be having 10 C. in the day, but we seldom make it to 1 C.
The sap producers are chewing their fingernails. Not so good.

I've been deer shed hunting, as we've lost about half of our snow cover, and I thought it might be a good time to spot them poking out of the snow, before the critters steal them away. I saw nothing.

I was following some deer tracks, obviously made on a warmer day. They sunk through the soft snow. I was walking in -15 C. weather, and walking along the top layer, for the most part. I did not need snowshoes, despite the snow cover.

It's funny how it works, you head out for one thing and find another.

porcupine in summer
I was not disappointed, since it's wonderful to be outdoors and walking, but I spotted a porcupine's site. They tell me that in winter they don't hibernate so much as estivate (sort of doze). In addition, they wake up, from time-to-time, to eat within 100m of their burrows. I found such a site. Lots of trees with bark nicely peeled off. It's a big forest, and it won't harm the forest integrity. It might even do some pruning, allowing smaller trees to get more sun.

I found some neat cave-like shelters under the sedimentary limestone in the area. We have very shallow soil, and shallow lakes, as well.

The porcupines are as big as our raccoons, eating like mad all summer to carry them through the winter. They are often roadkill, however, these docile, slow-moving creatures are often on the road.

The only critter I saw was a pileated woodpecker flying on the opposite side of the wetland.

Daisy and I took a walk on the wetland in the morning, and I could see where the ice is melting. Can you see her in the 2nd photo? We were checking the trailcam, which had NOTHING on it!
She is in the upper right, checking things out. She likes to lead me across the wetland. Daisy was out this morning for an hour in the -15C. morning temperatures. She's a trooper!

Basically, I did a circle around the wetland, cutting across it where it narrowed. The walking was fine. The penultimate photo shows the roof of our house, the final one a close up.


eileeninmd said...

Old man winter is slow to leave! Love the porcupine! Happy Wednesday!

eileeninmd said...

Old man winter is slow to leave! Love the porcupine! Happy Wednesday!

Powell River Books said...

Lately there has been a picture of two baby porcupines going around Facebook. They are so cute. I've never seen one in the wild. - Margy

William Kendall said...

Spring seems exceedingly slow this year.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
You have porcupine??? Wow. Our weather is about to hit back to the below zero stuff... but I was out in glorious sunshine today and made the most of it. Picnic and all!!! YAM xx

Red said...

You have good stories and photos from your walk. Spring will come suddenly this year. I have mixed feelings about porcupines. They're neat critters but pretty hard on dogs.

Anonymous said...

What cute shots! I bet the critters are ready for spring too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The porcupine looks healthy despite the cold and so does your woods/trees.

I just read an article about how hunting 'sheds' has become a big outdoor activity. I'm all for anything that gets people outdoors and does not involve a gun.

Kay said...

You have the most interesting creatures in your woods.