Herein, a squib from one of my favorite e-newsletters, the Hudson River Almanac:
“Air temperatures in the teens the last few nights had frozen up most of the lakes and ponds. Snow covered the Adirondack High Peaks but there was just a dusting on the ground in town. Animals were getting ready for winter as demonstrated by our encounter with a porcupine today: My colleague and I found one apparently trying to use one of our kayaks for a winter den. We were putting boats into winter storage and when we went to pick up the kayak we were startled by some movement and noise. It seems that a porcupine thought the bow of a kayak was the perfect place to keep out of the winter weather. We thought about letting it stay where it was but the amount of fecal matter and urine in the kayak made us think the boat would be unusable, or certainly not pleasant to use, if we let the animal remain there for an entire season. Hopefully it found something more suitable. Porcupines do not hibernate during winter; they depend on body fat (up to 60% of their body mass), their ability to get nutrition from some poor quality foods, and spending their time either eating or resting in their dens.”
I so like to think of the porcupine “resting” in its kayak den as the flakes fall around and about. Maybe muttering to itself a little.