Monday, February 14, 2011


Saturday night while heading to our camping spot at Frenchmen's Coulee we heard shifting rocks in front of us. In the half-moon light, after a couple of minutes watching and listening, I was able to make out the shape of ... a porcupine? It was hard to be certain: when I looked directly at it its shape disappeared - I could only see it in my peripheral vision. When it had been quite for several minutes, we investigated with a flashlight and were able to confirm a smallish porcupine, now huddled behind a small boulder.

In the morning we spent a few hours exploring in the morning light. We each went back to investigate the spot of the sighting, though I did not see too much evidence of its passing. I thought it may have come down from the edge of the adjacent cliff band, so up the scree I climbed. There was certainly porcupine sign there - under overhangs, behind masses of vine brambles and out in the open - but no obvious sign of regular habitation. Shawn explored further down the canyon though and found a couple of porcupine sized holes overflowing with scat.

On our way back out, in almost the exact same spot we again encountered the porcupine again. I guess he had the bad luck to be heading out and back in at the opposite times as we did.