Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And a young man's fancy turns to . . .

and for the life of me, I can't remember what it turns to. I know mine turns to waking up with some daylight in the room at 6 AM so I'm not tripping over Walker who has the same ability the woman I'm living with--I won't mention her name so she doesn't get upset--has, namely putting things where they are most likely to cause me to trip of stub my toe.

Went out to West Bijou, our ten thousand acre prairie site east of Denver, way out on the prairie, and was treated to a sight I've never seen, three porcupines in one tree. I suspect the porcupines' fancy had turned and they were there for a careful mating session. You remember the old joke, how do porcupines mate? Answer: Very carefully.

Here's a pic of two of them trying to figure out how to get up or down to where the other one is so as not to get too badly stuck.

And here's a better look at a face only a mother could love. Looks like a prickly panda, except you can't cuddle this one. 

We normal find these porcupines when the cottonwoods are without leaves. They blend in so well and move very slowly, so they are hard to find in the leaves. 

I'm helping teach a class on haiku right now, and I wrote a haiku from my visit with the porcupines:

     three porcupines
     sit in a cottonwood
     quilling haiku

And now, at the other end of the spectrum, here's some pics of our bison. This first one is of a bull facing away from the camera next to a cow. Notice the difference in size and they powerful hump on his back. These critters are shedding their winter coat and many were rolling in a couple of sand wallows near where we parked the truck and trailer. 

And this is the same bull head on, as if he's decided to jump into the trailer with us. Fortunately he was too lazy to do that. And that reminds me of a safety issue when on foot around very large, very fearsome, very fast animals like this huge bull. You don't have to be fast to outrun a bison, just faster than those you are with. 

And a while back I wrote a haiku and several poems based on my visits with these magical animals. Here's one of them:

     bison ruled the plains 

     creatures of natural grace

     powerful totem

So now I'll go back to trying to figure out what my fancy is supposed to turn to.