I have seen plenty of dead porcupines, after all they are nocturnal and slow, not a good combination for our fast paced world. But the only live ones I have seen were in Alaska. Imagine my surprise when I spotted one on Clinton Road early one evening.
I was creeping along with the windows down listening for birdsong from any early migrants when I drove past this porcupine along the side of the road. "Huh, porcupine, that's interesting," I thought to myself. I was less than a mile up the road when it suddenly hit me. "Porcupine! A live NJ porcupine!" I turned the car around and drove slowly back searching the roadside for it. I drove up and down several more times and was about to give up, when I finally saw it again. I got out of the car without closing the door, so as to not alarm it. As I approached, it raised it quills, then as I didn't come any nearer, lowered them again and continued munching on the tender shoots of wildflowers. It ambled around often aiming its prickly backside in my direction.
I often use Clinton Road because it cuts through the Newark watershed. It's great for birds and now porcupine viewing.