Porcupines are pariahs here; we have too many. Which means that we don’t have enough fishers, and by that we don’t mean lobstermen. We mean the weasels that are to porcupines what wolves are to deer. The fisher is an unrelenting predator that immobilizes porcupines by biting their faces and then ripping their unprotected stomachs open (not a G-rated movie).


Uncontrolled porcupines can do considerable damage to the trees, especially in winter when their diet turns to bark. In the spring and summer, however, their low popularity rating seems to improve a point or two when they eat many fruits, nuts, and buds, while doing their best to look cute.


This fellow has been visiting us off and on this summer. He eats clover like a rabbit and shows why he was given the name Porcupine, which means “spiny pig,” according to its Latin origins. (Brooklin, Maine)