Marten Mania


A marten carving graces the post of a Keweenaw Bay Indian Community pow wow shelter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The marten is one of the Ojibwe clan symbols.

I’m in the planning stages for my third eco-mystic-romance novel. In my previous novels I’ve focused on endangered animals from the Lake Superior region, like the wolves of Isle Royale or piping plover shorebirds.

During a trip I took to the Apostle Islands a few years ago, the American marten (also referred to as the pine marten) came to my attention. It’s the only endangered mammal in Wisconsin and has mysteriously started showing up on Lake Superior islands where it was once thought extinct.

Sounds like a good topic for an eco-mystic-romance novel, right? To beef up my knowledge about martens (Martes americana), I attended the 7th International Martes Symposium in Bayfield, Wisconsin, this past fall. I was able to speak with marten researchers from all over the world and to interview ones who are doing local projects. I also took a field trip out to the Apostle Islands with the Wisconsin researchers and learned more about their methods.

45400919_10155548206416386_4915007419303591936_nTo cover the cost of the symposium and field trip, I wrote two magazine articles about martens. They are both out on newsstands now. The first ended up as the cover story for the December/January issue of Lake Superior Magazine. It focuses on the Apostle Islands martens and other populations found around the lake.

The second is in the “Around the Shore” section of the November Northern Wilds Magazine (on page 6). It focuses on the Isle Royale martens.

Take a read about these magical and mysterious animals of the north!

thumbnail_IMG_0294Cat Is

A marten climbs a tree on Cat Island of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Trail cam image courtesy of Northland College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the National Park Service.

5 thoughts on “Marten Mania

    • Thanks Jo Nell. But don’t hold your breath for the next novel. I have a book of short stories to finish writing, plus another magazine article (on a different topic than martens). I hope that won’t take too long, though.

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