Tuesday, December 29, 2009

open letter to erethizon dorsatum


Dear Sir Porcupine, (or perhaps I should call you Madam Porcupine)--


Kindly refrain from eating my Hemlock Tree.

Last winter, I did not complain when you spent most of your time lounging in my tree.

I didn't even complain when I watched you throw branch after branch down to your friends (the deer) below. I understand completely that Hemlock is your favorite food, and that porcupines and whitetail need a meal just as much as we all do.


I admit that I was extremely annoyed at you this past spring as I raked up the branches of half of my Hemlock Tree and carted them off to the burn pile. It is true, you may have heard me muttering to myself about all the extra work you caused me, and how unsightly you have made my yard and my Hemlock Tree.

In spite of everything, I defended your existence to my neighbor, who has shot your kin in cold blood, and advised me to dispose of you in the same fashion.


I thought you would get the idea that you should move on when I constructed a blockade around my Hemlock tree. Your blatant disregard for my protective measures indicates that you do not realize that I mean business. I will not let you kill my Hemlock Tree.

btw, I am not afraid of your quills.


I work with fiber and I have a few sharp bits of my own..see?


(Not that I would ever use them on you.... I just want to make a point, ahem.)

In closing, I appreciate all the photos and the quills that you have donated to my art projects. I will miss seeing your silhouette against the sky, the funny way you use your tail to climb the trees and your adorable round button eyes.


But I love my Hemlocks as much as you do--and it is time for you to go. There are other Hemlock Trees in the forest. I suggest you chew on one of those and do not return to this one.

signed, caretaker of your favorite pair of Hemlocks near the ledges by the riverrim


Life Looms Large said...

Great post!!

We've had a porcupine problem too. I think rocky areas near hemlocks are their favorite hangouts.

We had great success with a combo of blocking off the rocky section where they like to sleep, and putting a 2 foot wide strip of roof flashing (or some kind of metal) around the trunk of the hemlocks they were really devouring. We've also relocated a few using a Hav-a-heart trap baited with apple with peanut butter spread on it. Although one night a fisher got caught in the trap, and after that no porcupine would go near it.

(Of course, a gun is another way to go....)

I love your porcupine pictures...and I love it whenever one of my neighbors says "We keep seeing porcupines." Sometimes it's good to share!

Good luck whatever you do. They definitely can kill hemlocks. They killed a beauty on our property before we realized they were here.


Lynn said...

About 20 years ago, I discovered that porcupines chew with their mouths open, when from my bedroom window I could hear them munching on unripe peaches at night. Also, their spring love songs, so to speak, scared me half to death one night, the first night I happened to be sleeping by myself in a new house, mind you, and the little prickly darling decided to start crooning outside my bedroom window. I slept with the light on that night!

Tina. said...

Love the post! Too funny! I sure hope you win the battle and the war without having to resort to drastic measures...those metal prickly things look mighty scary to me and maybe the porc. will get the point...no pun intented.

judy said...

good luck. ahem...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

For goodness sakes. What does one do besides shoot a porcupine to make it go away?? It sure let you get up close. Those claws look like they could mean business. Be careful.

Valerie said...

What a brazen little hussy! To strike such poses while destroying your tree!

Anonymous said...

You talking to ME?


M P. Pine

Tam said...

LOL! Great post.
I hope you are successful in relocating your "friends", hopefully they will get your "point" ;)
Happy New Year!

elizabeth said...

Wow, good luck! All I have to contend with are squirrels stealing our pecans and rodentia trying to invade our crawl space! *shudder*

Leigh said...

Oh my! Interesting post Cyndy! I have to admit that I feel fortunate as to our absence of porcupines. :)

Judy said...

It is still the holiday season...where's the love for your fellow riverrim resident? He/she obviously loves you! That being said, if you trap him don't bring him down my way!!!

thecrazysheeplady said...

We don't have to deal with them here, so I can look at your great pictures and say "Oh how CUTE!!!" ;-).

Cathy said...

What great pictures to finish out this year. I'll be sure to tell M about this post!! He may be glad, after all, that we don't have them in our trees.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

You tell em. That critter has some claws on him/her. Looks like you have a good set of claws also.
Happy New Year.

Sandra @ Thistle Cove Farm said...

Really enjoyable post; good reading! I've never seen such good photos, well done.
BTW, this is Thistle Cove Farm but the name will come up as my "other" address.
Happy New Year
from Thistle Cove Farm.

annmarie said...

I think he/she knew perfectly well that, with all the other hemlocks in the forest, the best way to get such glamour shots on your blog was to chew away on your very own tree. maybe now that he/she has gotten such great exposure, he/she will be after the other trees. ;)

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