There have been an awful lot of Martins and Martinas hanging around Ron and Valerie Madore’s cabin located along 38 Trail behind Cold Brook.
Really it’s a family of Newfoundland Marten, but the Madores have affectionately named them all Martin or Martina, depending on their gender. There are also seniors and juniors, of course.
During the winter of 2016-17, they had a family of five of them under their cabin, and this year there are just two of the younger ones left.
“The Newfoundland marten are flourishing in the 38 Trail area,” Ron said, noting that other cabin owners in the area (Tim Harnett, who is about a mile away, and Nelson Wheeler, about 20 minutes away) have also seen lots of them around, especially during the last couple of years.
He said the martens are great to have around, as they keep rodents such as mice and squirrels away from their cabin, and that was a big problem in the early going when they purchased the property.
Valerie said she’s pretty sure that the martins they have recognize her husband’s voice, as when he calls out to them they come back toward him.
“If they know they’re not threatened they don’t run away, but hearing loud noises like a snowmobile and they’re gone like a shot,” Ron said.
He said the martens and even a fox that frequents the area of their cabin follow him around like a little dog.
“They’re pretty friendly, as they’ll even come up and sleep on the deck of the cabin,” he said.
Madore said when they first started seeing the tracks, they thought there were a lot of rabbits around their cabin, but learned it was the martens and they’ve come to befriend them.
Valerie said when they’re at the cabin and cook on the barbecue, they can’t leave anything on it because as soon as it cools enough one or several of the martens will be there to steal it.
“They’re like our pets and we’re concerned for them because they’re good to have around and are as friendly as anything,” she said.
She said an enlarged photo of one of them adorns their wall at the cabin.
The 38 Trail is named such because years ago, in the early 1950s, Bowater’s logged the area and it was known as their “Camp 38.” The trail begins in the community of Cold Brook and the winding, 40-kilometre trail goes to the community of Gallants.
The Madores said there is some fear among cabin owners in the area that logging operations may start up again.