Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday encore ~ Another UFO sighting in New Mexico

I cannot believe it's been almost a year since Mr. P waddled into our lives. I'm certain he still lives on the ranch somewhere; I regularly see evidence on the back 40 that he's been chowing down on the cholla. This encore post documents the night we first met. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the label "porcupine" if you'd like to read more about his history here.


It was around 8:30 Friday night. It was cold outside, the woodstove was blazing inside, and we (Smooch, me, Rosebud, Daffodil and Snapper) were hunkered down for the evening, getting ready to make dinner and watch ... you don't want to know. But it rhymes with The Seal Mousehives.

Anyway, Smooch runs into the guest room and starts barking bloody murder. Then the cats run over to that side of the house. Then I run over and turn on the back porchlights.

Me: What's all the fuss about, Smooch? I don't see anything!

I look again. Nothing. Keep looking. Nothing. Then I saw it. A UFO (Unidentified Fat Object) waddling down one of Smooch's paths next to the fence. I think my eyes might have popped out of my head an inch or two. I had no earthly idea what it was. It was black, with short stubby legs and a short stubby tail, and as round as it was long. Way too big for pack rat. Way too small for a bear. Way too fat a cat.
What could it be?

I threw on my coat and shoes and grabbed the camera. My plan was to get some pictures, then come back in the house to look at them and figure out what I was dealing with. Seemed like a perfectly reasonable idea.

It's challenging to take pictures of a black animal in the dark. First I had to find it. The porchlights provided enough of a glow to spot something moving in the corner of the yard. I fired off about 20 shots then ran back in the house.

Ewww. I had no clue what it was. I saw a badger once when I first moved here, so I thought maybe this was a baby badger. I posted the picture above on facebook and folks started weighing in right away. Everybody thought it was a porcupine. Porcupine? We have porcupines in New Mexico? I'd never seen one in person before. What do I know from porcupines?

I decided to take a closer look at some of the other pictures. Hmm. Didn't see any quills, but maybe if I enhanced them like they do on TV... Roll your mouse between the margin and the picture below and pretend you're watching CSI: New Mexico.

Yep, it's a porcupine. Now what do we do? 
Open the gate, hope he finds his way out, keep Smooch inside, and worry about it in the morning.

So Saturday breaks and as soon as it was light enough to see, I combed the backyard looking for porcupine tracks or, heaven forbid, the porcupine. Didn't find either, so I let Smooch out to help me with the investigation.

Smooch: He was definitely back here at some point.
Snapper: Please be careful, mom. You haven't fed me breakfast yet.

Smooch: Somebody's been sitting in my chair.

Smooch: Somebody's been waddling down my path.

Smooch: Somebody's been digging in my dirt ... and look! There he is! Oops. False alarm.

Smooch: What are we going to do if he comes back?
Me: Hard to say. For now, your curfew starts when the sun goes down, 
all after-dark pottie breaks will be conducted on the end of a leash, 
and the porch light is staying on. And I'll do a little research on what the folks in Roswell did when they saw their UFO.


  1. I wondered what happened to Mr. P. Glad to hear he is still around. He just doesn't want to be in the limelight!

  2. Glad to know the porcupine is still calling the 7MSN home, and he's every bit as entertaining in re-runs!

  3. I bet Smooch slept with one ear up that night. I'm glad Mr. P stays in the back 40 so everyone can get along.

    Have you fired up the woodstove yet on these chilly nights?

  4. Love your UFO description, I'll have to remember that one.
    peace n abundance,

  5. Oh, definitely. It's a UFO! Unidentified Fuzzy Object!