Cottage Life

Cottage Life March/April 2020

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The go-to source for cottagers, the award-winning Cottage Life offers valuable advice as well as profiles, how-to articles, recipes, essays, issues pieces, and lifestyle stories that help readers look after their cottages, entertain guests and, of course, kick back and have fun.

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1 min.
s’more stuff

Free preview is back! Big buzz around here. We’re excited about our latest slate of shows on the Cottage Life channel—and good news, from Mar. 2 to May 3, you can watch them all for free, including our new series, Life Below Zero Canada (premiering Mar. 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT). Visit cottagelife.com/channel-finder. This one goes out to the putterers We love to feature DIY projects built by our awesome readers. You may remember the Tarzan raft (June/July ’19) or the floating sauna (Oct. ’19), and be sure to check out the cottage tiki bar on p. 29. If you’re reading this and thinking, I could do that (or maybe you already have), we want to hear about it! Send photos and a description of your build to edit@cottagelife.com. The next time you…

1 min.

Leslie Garrett CL and Leslie Garrett go back further than her 24 years of freelancing with the magazine—she worked on staff from 1993 to 1996. In “What’s Up, Water Levels?” (p. 41), Leslie shares her interest in climate science, which you can read more about in The Virtuous Consumer, one of her 15 published books. “I use writing to answer questions I have, or to explore things I want to know more about.” When Leslie isn’t writing, she’s daydreaming about her family cottage on Lake Huron, Ont. “I love that the lake never looks the same from one day to another.” Audrey Malo Drawing inspiration for illustrations from children’s books, Saturday morning cartoons, and vintage stories, Audrey Malo creates whimsical designs with vibrant colours. While working on “Do You Know Your Invasives?” (p.…

1 min.
behind the scenes

Dad can fix it At CL, it’s a family affair. For this issue, we are sending out special thanks to amateur putterer Michael Kenny—the father of Michelle Kenny, our senior designer—for his quick help in creating a holder for the card-style wood scraper featured in our Workshop section (p. 30). Here’s how he did it: Michael secured the card scraper to a 4" piece of 1x3 pine using a washer and a screw on either side of the tool. He used a wood router to round out the edges of the pine and then sanded down any rough bits. This DIY idea will make your sharp woodworking tool more comfortable to hold during big projects and save you from the fear of nicking yourself. Thanks, Michael!…

3 min.
power dynamics

As our cover story suggests, we’ve been thinking a lot around here about going off grid at the cottage. Much of this chatter has focussed on the nuts and bolts: the latest battery technology, the resale value of off-grid cottages, the potential of DIY installation. But we’ve also pondered the bigger questions. Specifically, despite it being technically easier than ever before, we’ve wondered: how many cottagers are psychologically ready to make the switch? To us, “going off grid” means choosing to reduce your dependence on an outside entity for energy. For some, it means a few solar panels on the roof of a bunkie to juice a phone and, say, turn on a light or two for a couple of hours in the evenings. For others, it means using the sun…

6 min.
your letters

Weather phenomena In your Winter ’19/’20 issue, you came up with “101 Ways to Love Winter at the Cottage.” We think we could add #102: ice feathers, one of the most delicate shows of nature you will ever see. We found them by accident while walking on the edge of the lake one frosty winter morning. At first, we thought they were sparrow feathers, but then we realized the entire lake was covered. We’ve lived here for 18 years and have only seen this once. —LINDA AND AL, LOWER BUCKHORN LAKE, ONT. Mother Nature Please tell Tim Tiner that I love his Nature Scrapbooks. Since June 2001, I have laminated and spiral bound several pages to make a little book for cottage guests to read while spending a few quiet moments in the…

2 min.
the oops list, opening up?, know they enemy, know thyself

TOP TEN Opening up? Pair one of these refreshing brews with the following boring chores. (It’ll make them less boring.) Know thy enemy, know thyself Test your invasive and non-native species IQ 1 The northern snakehead—a predatory invasive fish—is able to: A Latch on to prey fish (and feed on their blood), thanks to its suction-cup-like mouth. B “Walk” on land by wiggling its body. C Survive out of the water for up to 10 days. D Both A and B 2 Touching invasive giant hogweed (it looks a little like Queen Anne’s lace) can give you: A A rash B Blisters C Warts D Both A and B 3 Which of the following is not an invasive species in Canada? A The earthworm B The common starling C The red-backed vole D The quagga mussel 4 Which two swan species are native to Canada? A Tundra swan and mute swan B…