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On our last afternoon at the Schoodic Institute we were dealing with laundry for our upcoming several days touring in New England. On the way back from the laundry room we came across this little creature waddling towards us. It was a porcupine! It kept coming towards us, even as we were backing away. Clearly it had some place to be.

Small brown mammal walking along a paved pathway towards the camera
Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatus) at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park
@ Allison J. Gong

I don't know whether or not porcupines are always this nonchalant around humans. This one crossed the road in front of us and headed off into the woods. And look, it's plantigrade!

And then it nibbled on a few leaves and climbed a tree! Note how it uses the tail as a brace, the way woodpeckers do when they're hopping up and down trees.

We had to meet up with the rest of the Earthwatchers for a celebration event in the classroom and didn't get to keep watching this porcupine. However, on our way to the dining hall for dinner, we saw the same animal, on the ground again. And this time she was accompanied by a baby! It was getting dark by then and I didn't want to bother either mama or baby, so didn't take any additional photos or video.

We never did see any moose in New England, despite all the road signs promising "Moose X-ing next <insert positive integer> miles", but seeing a porcupine was pretty dang cool. What a terrific send-off from the Schoodic Institute wildlife!

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