I've kept one of my New Year's resolutions, and I've learned to cross-country ski--four times this past week! It helps having one of the best snow-winters in the past 10 years. It also helps that my daughters are learning with me. I tried to learn before with my wife's family (who all ski), but it was depressing being so clumsy and slow compared to the other adults. I'm more at my girls' speed, so it's a lot of fun to progress as they do.
Today we were back skiing in the bush and my wife called out that she could see an animal in a Spruce tree. My mind instantly went to "porcupine," as I've seen many of them up in trees munching away. We turned back and sure enough it was a porcupine, the largest I'd ever seen. Looking on the ground around the base of the tree the porcupine's characteristic tracks (inward step, tail sweeping back and forth) were clearly visible. I always look for them when I'm in the bush, and see them much less often than I expect. Next time I'll have to track it and see if can find its den.