Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

In today’s installment of “What Is This?,” I bring before you a creature spotted from the Ridgewood Trail at the North End of the Old Mission Peninsula. We shall call him Mr. Snufflepants.

I’m on the trail most every day, and this was a couple of days ago. It was getting late and I didn’t have skis or snowshoes on (time to re-think this, Jane), so I only did a couple of miles as the snow was somewhat deep that day.

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I was trekking along the ridge and spotted this big ball of something high up in a tree down by the shore. As I didn’t have my good camera, I took a few pictures with my phone, so they’re not super great quality.

The first thing I noticed is that this was a pretty large animal on a very tiny branch at the very top of an evergreen tree. How Mr. Snufflepants didn’t snap the tree off, I have no idea. I guess they instinctively know their weight limitations…?

My first thought is that it’s probably a porcupine. I see them out there all the time, but this is the first time I’ve seen one this high up in a tree. They’re usually on the ground. And they usually stare at me for a minute, wonder why I’m there, then lumber slowly away into the bushes.

Here’s a photo from the ridge, so you can see that it’s at the very top of this poor tree about to crack into a million pieces.

Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

Here is a closer look. Again, not great quality because I took it with my phone, but you can see he’s got that cartoon-porcupine look about him.

Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Animal climbing a tree on the Ridgewood Trail, Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

And here is a little video when it started to climb down. It’s supposed to be a minute long, but for some reason, it only plays for five seconds. So … not much help at all.

What say you, Gentle Readers? Could this be a porcupine? Something else? Leave thoughts in the comments section below.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. It might be a fisher. I saw one years ago up where Smokey Hollow and Center meet back by the woods toward the bay. As I recall, they have a distinctive “cry”. I can’t really see it that well, but you should google it and see if it matches what you see.
    Thanks for all that you do!
    Nicki Towner

  2. Hahaha. Thats of “porky” for sure! We have one on Shorewood that is absolutely destroying trees, completely stripping the bark off of trees with calipers up to three or four inches, from the ground all the way up to the top of the tree — maybe thirty feet!

    • “Hey” Wes, They sure are quiet, slow movers that are great at destroying most things!
      great on defence too!
      [image: image.png]

  3. Oh my gosh… I had the very same experience at the University Center…just like you, I tried to get a good picture. I couldn’t imagine what on earth the creature could be… I was disappointed when I figured out it was just a porcupine… my imagination had gotten the best of me…hoped it was a wilder, never seen before animal. 😉 🦥

  4. Sorry Bill, not a Bear. We do have Bear around here but that is a porcupine.
    They like starting at the top and stripping the bark off a tree. Yummy!
    PS…and most things

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