Friday, May 16

Born To Be Wild(life): How to Lure Critters to Your Cottage

Location: Trenanthia Cottage located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (90 min north of Toronto)
Over the past week there have been videos going around of stranded ducklings reuniting with their duck mama, a baby deer mistaking a logger for his mother, and a hero cat rescuing a little boy from a dog attack. This can only mean one thing: furry beasts are taking over the world.

One of the many perks of cottage life is making friends with the critters who hang around outside. It also happens to simultaneously be one of the many annoyances from time to time, like when you’re trying to eat a peanut butter sandwich on the deck and one overzealous wasp thinks he can hover over you and sneak a bite. Or when you forget to bring the box of graham crackers inside after a bonfire and the raccoons wake you up with their crinkling and chomping.

For the most part, though, the buzzing wildlife on the premises makes for an entertaining cottage experience. How could it not? The animal kingdom is full of beautiful and intelligent creatures! (If any of your city dwelling friends need evidence, just start ‘em off easy with a trip to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch sometime; the animatronic gorillas are pretty convincing.)

This summer is a chance to be on the lookout for nature’s finest, and if you want to lure them in, here are a few tips on how to get them in the palm of your hand:

Wild Strawberries

wild strawberries

Chipmunks and squirrels will come a-runnin’ for a wild strawberry buffet. But they’ll have some competition, cedar waxwings and ruffled grouse are also crazy for berries. Enough of them in your yard and you’ll practically be Snow White.

Blackberries & Raspberries

blueberries and raspberries

Birds galore! Cardinals, catbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet’ll go from Snow White to that bird lady in Home Alone 2, only not as creepy.

Mountain Ash Trees

mountain ash trees

Moose (meese?), white-tailed deer, bohemian waxwings ( the most boho chic in the bird family), thrushes, and robins can all be seen hanging out around this type of tree, so get gardening.

Make sure you know the bear situation in your area and avoid leaving food out unsupervised. Happy Critter Watching!