SHIOCTON, Wis. -- From 50 yards, it appeared as a reddish lump at the gray base of a mature ash tree.
At 20, several rows of spots were visible on the tawny shape.
Animal or plant?
If you've spent any time searching the Wisconsin landscape for a specific type of the former, you know the latter -- especially peeling bark -- is more likely.
But as we approached to within a few paces, a shaft of sunlight penetrated the canopy and highlighted the forest floor.
A black nose glistened, a pair of ears stood alert.