Martens in the Roof and Bats in my Belfry

Officially, this post is about the pine marten that has been determined to share our cabin with us, but in actuality, it’s more about all those little things that have been happening in my life, and my head, since my last post, way back in December – the bats in my belfry, so to say.

It’s hard to believe that it’s March already – so much and so little have happened since December:

    • What a winter!  Snow … torrential rain … snow … etc. ad nauseam.  Seriously, I’ve gone into hibernation.  The weather has been so unpleasant that we’ve been staying at the cabin for two month stints between town trips for groceries.  We had to do wood resupply trips twice this winter, when we thought originally that we’d had enough wood last fall to keep us going until spring.  On a positive note, we’ve made it through the winter without any major problems, just a real case of the blahs.
    • Imbolc has passed, and I’m another year older (did I say that?).  I had a surprise birthday party up at the neighbors – I haven’t done something like that in years!  But where is spring?  Where are the snow drops?
    • We made a trip into town to finally sort out the last of my father’s estate – it’s taken three years.  If you love the people you might leave behind, make a will!  My father didn’t, and this was not a good thing for my mother.  At least this is one more task in my life that I can happily say is finally over.
    • We built another, higher dam on our house creek.  This has created a good sized pond, which we hope will keep us supplied with gravity-fed water until well into the summer.  Our goal is to build a series of dams along both creeks, pretending to be beavers, and thus create a greater water reserve on the property.  This might prevent us from going dry in the summer.
    • Making contact … maybe not so well.  I’ve reached out to a lot of people over the last year or so.  Most either respond once, or not at all.  Thank you to those friends who have remained in touch with us!  Your continued friendship, support, and good humor are a great boon to us.  The ones who haven’t remind me of how isolated and insular most people in today’s world have become.  It makes me very sad.
    • I thought I could avoid Vancouver for ever … but it looks like I will be making two trips in the next month – once to say goodbye to an old friend and mentor, and one to be honored for surviving as a biologist for as long as I have.  Does this make me feel old, or what?
    • So, while it rained, snowed, slushed, and iced outside, I’ve been writing.  I’m concurrently working on two book ideas – one is a kind of philosophical memoir of our adventures in the past three years and the other is an old sci fi plot that I had on my shelf from years ago.  Looks like the fiction idea is winning the race … I’ll post more tidbits when it’s further along.
    • Oh, yes … the pine marten.  It’s a really cute little critter, but absolutely stubborn beyond all comprehension.  We didn’t get our soffits installed last year, and the little %#$@?? is crawling into the roof insulation through the air venting spaces.  We’ve chased it, hit it, scared it, and blocked all the vents we can (with ice all around and snow on the roof).  Now it has to climb almost to the peak to get in, some 18+ feet, but we’re not sure we’ve won the battle.  Anyways, last trip to town, we purchased a live trap, which is standing by baited with (now) rotting sardines – and the marten seems to have left.  I’ll get some pics if we catch it, and post those in another entry.

And that’s all for the bats in my belfry (not so sure about the marten in my roof).

5 thoughts on “Martens in the Roof and Bats in my Belfry”

  1. We don’t have marten, but in summer and fall we get our share of packrats. They are murder on my garden and pots on the deck. We have been live trapping them for years and relocate them to Goat Island hoping they aren’t swimming back. I read online they have a very strong homing instinct, about four miles on land if they are right. It sure has been a different winter from the last couple of years. We’ve had more snow than when we got the cabin in 2001. Many of the float cabins were in danger of going under water. We got home from a trip to town in time to get the snow off before we were in danger. I did a quick calculation and there were 16 tons of snow distributed over the roof and decks. I’m not from snow country so that was a huge shock to me. When you said bats in your belfry I thought you meant real bats. Our little brown bats arrive in early spring and live under the tin roof until early fall. They are pretty benign unless they squeak on hot days or move around coming and going. But they do help keep the mosquitoes and bugs down. – Margy

    1. Managed to catch our marten in the live trap this morning – it fell for a half stick of pepperoni. Go figure! We gave it a little joy ride in the Awen, about 4 miles away across and down the inlet. Let’s hope it stays away for awhile. They are real terrors at getting into and tearing up everything, and curious as all heck. Kind of like a cross between a fox and a monkey. Probably pretty intelligent too.

      Sounds like your winter was worse than ours – we never got more than a foot of snow at a time, and it didn’t accumulate sufficiently on our float to cause any great concerns, although Ken did dig out the boats and float and couple of times during the worst storms, just for good measure.

      We have bats around here, but not in the roof. We’d really like to build a bat condo some day to encourage them to stick around more. Bats and swallows are both really good for keeping the small biting insects at bay.

  2. Thanks again to both you and Margy for your assistance with my cursed monkey…the book monkey on my back! That sucker is still attached like cold-cure. Hope to be rid of it soon. Publishing date is end of the month. But it WAS end of LAST month and that didn’t happen so, we’ll see. New title: CHOOSING Off the Grid.
    Thank God the weather has turned. Still wet but not cold. Plants sprouting. Chores getting underway. Boat floating. Visitors a’visiting. Third group this Easter already. Sheesh. Martens and bats are easier! T’is Spring and all is good.

    1. Good luck on getting rid of the monkey!

      I’m still writing – will be for awhile. Chapter 6 is rolling by, but I’m less than a quarter of the way, so we’ll see when I get something out.

      It’s been a quiet Easter up here – I guess that means we must be really off grid. Just us and the loggers, and there are only two of them in camp today; all the rest have gone home for Easter. We went over for a visit and had a leisurely morning chat around the campfire.

      1. Weather finally turning. I can see sunshine up ahead. Good. So, how’s the marten? Our wildlife program seems to be still be on ‘pause’. Not much life goin’ by despite it being May. A few prawn boats. Even the kayakers and the hummingbirds are late arriving. That’s OK…we are busy. The haul-out is half done….still chuggin’ along. The water system has been fixed. The 2nd book is out. Poked a new hole in my belt…..that means I have been working.

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