This is turning into the season of the porcupine for me. While we were on the edge of a swamp looking at some of the semester students’ shelters yesterday I heard a commotion of crow calls. I looked in their direction, and while I didn’t see them or what had gotten them so riled up, I did see a lump in a hemlock tree. After getting a little closer, I saw that it was a mature porcupine. We watched him for a few minutes, then continued with our shelter tour. In the afternoon Pepe, our resident teenage porcupine who has become something of mascot because he’s always hanging around our field, was hanging around and dining. He shows no sign of fear unless you’re within two feet of him, in which case he’ll sometimes turn his back in a defensive posture. Everybody was busy scraping deer hides, so I went down to start skinning the bow staves I had soaking in the lake – doing so swells the inner bark and makes it easier to remove. After I had been working on the staves for half an hour, I looked up and who was right there beside me? Pepe! He was eating some grass and waddling around. He walked over and sniffed at some canoe poles I had standing up, then walked into the bushes. Today he was back in the field eating all day. The other interesting nature news I have is that I saw an osprey on Rust Pond last week. We were poling canoes on the south side of the pond and I saw one fly out of the trees over the lake, hover for about seven seconds, then dive from 50 feet into the water and catch a fish. I’ve seen lots of osprey, but never on Rust Pond, so I was pretty excited.
I set the sponge on a bunch (2 big bowls full) of sourdough in preparation for our baking workshop tomorrow. If you’re interested, we’re starting at 2 PM.