A few weeks ago I was out shoveling (surprise, surprise) when I glanced up at the roof of Cabin 3 to grumble at the snow laden shingles only to see tracks on the fresh powder. My first, but very wrong, thought was how did Lucy get up there? Yes she is an energizer bunny/mountain goat/cougar package all wrapped up in an small puppy body, but she is not THAT good.
Last week my curiosity was satisfied. A pine marten patrolling camp looking for lunch climbed up into the bird feeder on the deck. Finding nothing, I watched him scale an evergreen and leap onto the roof of Cabin 4. Changing his mind, he leaped back into the tree, climbed out onto a different branch and jumped onto the roof with a thud.
Now at this point Lucy had been tracking all movement with a sharp eye. She had not barked once, but her whole body was trembling with her concentration. Once the marten jumped on the roof, she lost site of her quarry. She commenced running from window to window looking for the intruder. I have to admit I was following along, curious to see where and how this little guy would dismount. With another thud, the marten landed on the deck rather ungracefully. I’m not sure if he calculated on the snow being deeper than it actual was or not.
The pine marten continued his patrol of the perimeter before making for Cabin 3. Lucy and I watched him climb up a spindly little aspen and out onto a branch. His tail started to sway as he calculated the distance than leaped onto the roof. I could see him running along the ridge line looking for who knows what then down the other side. At the gutter he took a running leap, Super Man style, into the deep snow bank where he settled in to devour some discarded minnows.
Next time you are in the Northwoods and hear a thud on the roof, it is probably not the pitter patter of reindeer feed, it is just your local pine marten burglar looking to steal a quick snack!