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Prickly Pal

Prickly Pal
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-12-01
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 5d Mark II, Canon EF 24-105 f4.0L IS USM
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite wild animal photos 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-12-01 15:19
Viewed: 3641
Points: 25
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi Everyone,
This morning we were out at the Cypress Hills and had a great time, amazing how quite the forest gets when there is a deep covering of snow to absorb the sounds. In our travels we came across a trail in the snow which ended with this fellow, a Common Porcupine. Here is some great information about them from Weaselhead.org
PS I have noticed very many creatures that are called Common, I see nothing Common in any of them.

Common Porcupine
Erethizon dorsatum

General Description

By Gustave J. Yaki

If, in the deep woods in summer, you should hear what sounds like a human baby crying, it more than likely is a young porcupine. The two sound uncannily alike. Normally silent, Porcupines can and do utter a variety of grunts, moans, whines and wails. Adult males produce frighteningly loud screams during the mating season in late autumn. The gestation period is about 210 days, unusually long for a rodent. Like humans, usually only one baby is born. Its soft moist quills soon stiffen and become effective within minutes. Unlike humans, it eats solids and can climb trees within a few days; if necessary, within hours.

Porcupines evolved in South America. There, at least seven other species are still found today. When North and South America became joined together at Panama about three million years ago, some Porcupines came across the isthmus, eventually colonizing much of this continent. Next to American Beavers, which they resemble in shape, adult Porcupines are our largest living rodent. With short legs and a thickset body, about 90 cm in length and weighing in at about 9 kilograms, they shuffle along with a slow ungainly gait. Although often found far out in the prairies, their feet are well adapted for climbing trees. Strictly vegetarian, they eat almost any plant species, but prefer the inner bark of trees, especially Aspen Poplar, willows and spruce in our area. Most active at night, they tend to sleep by day; in summer often in trees, in winter wherever they can find shelter, preferably a den, hollow tree or log, or under an overhanging bank..

The most unique feature of Porcupines are the 30,000 inflated, specialized, loosely attached hairs on top of their head, back and tail. These sharp-pointed quills, up to 12 cms long, are equipped with backward-pointing barbs and are a most formidable defense against all predators except the Fisher, a member of the Weasel Family. These lightning-fast mammals attack the defenseless face. Other mammals rushing in to attack get a face or a paw full of quills. The barbs prevent them from being removed. Instead, they work forward, often lethally into a vital organ. The Porcupine soon grows replacement quills, ready for the next assault. Contrary to rumours, the quills are never thrown.

eqshannon, Luis52, CatherineD, siggi, anemone, uleko, Pitoncle, CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To mwmod99: Photographing in snowNinaM 2 12-09 07:25
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Critiques [Translate]

Us old hippies used to get the quills by tossing a blanket over them...and let them run off......my last wilderness dog was killed by one...it got hurt so bad that the same night it was hurting, it met a coyote that was its match..It came home lay down and passed....sad story for a 5 year stint in the worst of it...but such is life in the wilds...great story and memory!

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-12-01 17:24]

Hola Rick.
Nice to see You here again now with this lovely and fine photo of a Porcupine walkin in the snow.
You did such a great work here, the Low POW and sharpnes cant be better. The light and the BG is also in high level.
Like the Bob's story too.
say Hi to Lucy for me Ok.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-12-01 23:45]

Hello Rick
Very nice capture of this cute and interesting animal in snow
Thanks for sharing

Hello Rick,
Nice portrait of this uncommon animal (for me!) taken from a very good POV, in its natural habitat. Must be difficult for him to find food in the snow (only bark of trees as you write).
Do you shot in RAW? If well, it can be easy to correct the white balance with the DPP programm, in one click (to have the snow white). Except that minor thing, your photo is perfect! TFS and all the best,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-12-02 1:56]

Hello Rick,
what a lovely shot. The collors and deatails are fantastic, very good POV and composition.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-12-02 2:37]

Hello Rick,
wow....what a nice capture of this guy. Smeared with snow and exciting sharp pricks.
The dark shiny eye is so lovely to be seen against the snowy white view.
Excellent shot.


Good day Rick, an interesting presentation of truly lovely Common Porcupine! What an adorable creature indeed. Seems that you have been quite close to that beauty. Wow! Bravo! Good detail, fine point of view and moderate sharpness. The only think which can be easily corrected is the heavy blue/cyan cast due to the incorrect white balance. In Snow I would suggest you to set the color temperature of your camera above K6000. Thanks for sharing this beauty and have a wonderful day!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-12-02 5:59]

Hello Rick,
A lovely view of this Porcupine that's lucky to have the long quills that keep the snow and enemies at a distance! Good focus on the eye and fine details against a natural background.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Rick. splendid catch of this lovly and poor porcupine with fine pose and beautiful composition.
TFS. Kind regards,

Bonjour Rick,
Superbe regard saisi à l'instant décisif, et excellente valorisation du sujet dans son environnement.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

hello Rick

excellent close-up photo of the Porcupine,
the fine frontal POV it gives that beautiful
eye-contact of the animal, excellent focus
sharpness and details, i love to see there that
branch because it is part of his environment, TFS


Hi Rick,

You've captured a very special moment of this cute and innocent fellow here. A masterpiece work as usual MF!
TFS and have a nice night!


Hello Rick
what a great capture ! this Common Porcupine is so nice, excellent focus on his head, i love the winter scenery, the snow on his face and the great frontal POV
Have a good night

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