While out for my walk earlier today I had a hard time ridding my brain of the weekly tweets of @brontecreekpp regarding finding shed White Tailed Deer antlers. My eyes were peeled and while I was reminiscing at the location of my brothers’ old fort I noticed an area of bare bark…(GASP…Oh excuse me for looking!) on one of the large trees nearby.
My initial reaction was deer rubs left behind prior to and/or during the annual rut (or fall mating season of our local White Tails).
I was feeling pretty impressed by my nature knowledge and interesting find even though it wasn’t the highly sought after deer antler. Well that was until I looked up…
Well I’ll be damned, there are some tall deer around here!
Not quite. So the gears started turning.
There is a hollow in the tree and just so happens that most of the other bare bark occurs right around this natural nesting spot. Who likes to sleep in trees and possibly chew or scrape at them? Perhaps these scrapings are more likely to be feast scars of our dear prickly friend the North American porcupine who happens to LOVE the delectable flavour of tree bark. Well it sure isn’t my cup of tea but maybe that’s because I don’t have a coat of soft fur and barb-ended quills!
I took a quick look around to see if I could find any other signs of a porcupine being in the area (I looked for a large brown lump in the branches) but nothing really presented itself so a quick Google image search when I got home confirmed the markings were porcupine gnaw marks.
No deer antler but still a find I am proud to share.
If you are interested in learning more about our dear friend the porcupine please check out the link for National Geographic below and be sure to listen to the sound clip!
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever come across a nature mystery while on a walk.
(@adrianp_james maybe a deer leg in a tree?!)