If porcupines were tree branches, they would look like this.
Long-haired Luke picked this up in his golden tailfeathers last night during our jog along the Trolley Track Trail.
He squatted down to do his business, and when he stood up, this foot-and-a-half-long weapon was swinging from the underside of his tail. Because his fur kept him safe from the thorns, he seemed more confused than anything – like a cat with a string tied to its tail.
Never have I more wished to be carrying a pocket knife on an outing.
However, instead of cutting around the evil entanglement, I spent ten bare-handed minutes, gingerly tugging strands of hair away from the sticky, hair-like thorns, many of which lodged themselves in my skin throughout the process.
Charlie Machete seemed to be laughing at us all the while.
Oh well, it was an adventure!
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, several thorny varieties of deciduous trees grow in Missouri. I think our spiky branch was new growth from a black or honey locust that fell off due to the recent snowstorms.
Many honey locusts grow along the part of the trail we were on. They have a terrifying appearance, their own branches wrapping around the trunk like wooden barb wire.