A Close Call

Ice has broken up on the Battle River

Winter’s hold on us has broken. To celebrate we took the dogs (Scruff and Taz) to the nearby river park for some off-leash fun. There’s nothing to excite a Jack Russell more than a chance to race about catching the scent of wildlife. We were expecting a brave gopher; they have been sighted elsewhere or perhaps some geese. On the way down there was even a bald eagle in full plumage.

We were partway on our usual route when Gary (my husband) yelled.

“NO, NO, NO. COME BACK.”

We had lost sight of Taz (the Jack) and then saw her on the other side of a willow clump.

Gary yelled, “There a porcupine in there. COME BACK.”

The lucky thing is although our two dogs didn’t come back, neither did they further trap the porcupine who was hiding at the base of the willow. Perhaps he had intended to climb and get out of the dogs’ way. The frightening thing is if Taz had gotten too close, he’d have defended himself and she’d have had a face full of quills. The dogs hesitated long enough for us to catch up and carry them away. The walk ended with some “chase the frisbee.”

Thank goodness for Gary’s sharp, old naturalist eyes (or maybe it’s hunter eyes). There were no quills today.

If you look closely, you might be able to see the stripped bark where the porcupine dined this winter.