Cottage Bible

Overview

The basic reference book every cottage owner needs.

The Cottage Bible is a compendium of information — a savvy how-to book, an essential collection of trouble-shooting and problem-solving tips, a reliable guide to all manner of flora and ...

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Overview

The basic reference book every cottage owner needs.

The Cottage Bible is a compendium of information — a savvy how-to book, an essential collection of trouble-shooting and problem-solving tips, a reliable guide to all manner of flora and fauna, and an indispensable manual for getting the most out of your home-away-from-home.

Gerry Mackie and Laura Elise Taylor offer valuable information and welcome advice on the following topics:

  • Buying a cottage
  • Weather prediction
  • Lake health and water quality
  • Shoreline erosion
  • PH and acid rain
  • Swimming essentials
  • Maintenance tips for a safe well
  • Aquatic organisms
  • Septic systems
  • Fishing essentials
  • Building a dock
  • Living with wildlife
  • Light, heat and power
  • Closing the cottage
  • Building a sauna
  • Winterizing boats and motors
  • Boating essentials
  • Ice safety
  • Rafts
  • Repairing burst pipes.

Packed with detailed illustrations and chock full of everything a cottage owner needs to know, The Cottage Bible is an essential year-round reference.

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Editorial Reviews

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal - Karen Craib
I can see how this book got its title. It has information on a wide variety of subjects. You can find out about building a dock, closing camp for the winter, living with wildlife, water and septic systems and toilet problems. I wish we could have had toilet problems at our camp. A toilet would have been a luxury. And our water involved a pail and a lake.
The Muskoka Sun - Kim Good
Whether you've recently decided to take the plunge or your cottage has been in the family for decades, this is one book your cottage should not be without.... The Cottage Bible is all its promises it to be and more.... [It] will soon become the most indispensable resource on your cottage bookshelf.
The Toronto Star (Metro Ed) - Peggy Mackenzie
Cottagers, prepare to worship [this] must-have guide.... This book is invaluable: it gives you all the information you need to make decisions on what sort of property suits you when purchasing a cottage or what to expect if you're already the proud owner. No topic is too small for writers Gerry Machie and Laura Elise Taylor.... The authors cover all aspects of owning a cottage in great detail.
Sideroads - Joanne Bury
Mackie creates a book brimming with information and beautiful illustrations. From the experienced cottager to someone looking for their first seasonal property, The Cottage Bible enables you to enhance your cottage experience.... A long time cottager, [Mackie] knows his audience and the result is a book accessible by all.
Times-Colonist - Karen Turner
For those lucky enough to own a waterfront cottage, this is the ultimate reference book.... It's an all-in-one must-have for any cottage-owner.
Muskoka Today - Lois Cooper
Very well done. It covers everything from how to deal with blood suckers to how to fish and how to care for a cottage.
Muskoka Magazine
The Cottage Bible is the answer to every cottager's prayers. Once in a while a new book comes along that we wished we had long ago because of its value as a source of information. The Cottage Bible is just such a book. It is well-designed, very user friendly, and just chock full of information. It answers all the questions a cottager has probably wanted answers to and many more that he or she never thought of to ask. It's a book to have handy in a prominent place at the cottage, because every member of the family, and visitors too, will enjoy dipping into it.... Each page is a gold mine of information.... It doesn't matter where the book falls open, you want to begin reading — the pages have so much appeal.
The Gazette (Montreal) - Edie Austin
Practical, comprehensive, environment-friendly advice, from how to build a dock, to tips on swimming safety and making s'mores.... Recommend[ed] without hesitatioon, particularly to novices.
The Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay) - Linda Turk
Jam-packed with information ... An essential collection of trouble-shooting and problem-solving tips.... This is a book that belongs on every cottage bookshelf ... Truly comprehensive in its scope.
The Leader Post (Regina)
A compendium of how-to and a collection of problem-solving tips, this book covers everything from buying a property to lake health and water quality, and looking after the septic to building a dock.
Star Phoenix (Saskatoon) - Bill Robertson
An encyclopedia of facts and fancies for those lucky souls who own cottages.
Winnipeg Free Press
This soft-cover delight is replete with colour photos and useful graphics... It is a primer for urbanites yearning to be at one with the wild, while clinging to civilized comforts.
Inside Toronto
If you have a cottage, you'll want The Cottage Bible. If you don't have a cottage, you'll still want this book from the Boston Mills Press.
The Cottager
This 360-page reference book is one that every cottage owner can use.... Its 1200 colour photographs and illustrations add visual information and beauty to this essential collection of cottage knowledge.
The Globe and Mail - Carolyn Leitch
The book makes great cautionary reading for anyone considering a cottage purchase. It's also full of solid advice for even experienced cottagers. And even for the old salts who know it all, The Cottage Bible is the perfect coffee-table tome. Weekend guests who pick it up and leaf through will appreciate — if they didn't already — just how much work their hosts have undertaken to provide that cherished getaway.
Cabin Life/Cabin Living - Lucie B. Amundsen
The Cottage Bible is beautiful enough to grace your coffee table, but behind that pretty cover it's packed with useful information about cabin ownership. The book's friendly style strikes a healthy balance between savvy problem-solving tips...and getting the most out of your cabin experience. New cabin owners will reap a greater confidence, a working vocabulary and an ace-up-their-sleeve with this book as a reference.
Escarpment Views
For almost every question anyone might have about cottage life, this is a fun reference.... Perhaps the eingle most important bit of information in the whole book is on page 188: the recipe for the skunk odour remedy that includes peroxide. It really works.
Canadian Living - Amberly McAteer
The complete guide for any cottage goer or owner... The book is filled with striking colour photographs from cottages all over Canada and is broken down by subject for easy reference.
Carp Magazine (Toronto)
This book is both a how-to and a collection of trouble-shooting and problem solving tips.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550464597
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerry Mackie is the author of four books and has contributed to a dozen others. He has 39 years of experience in building and maintaining a cottage in the country.

Laura Elise Taylor is a professional writer and commercial photographer.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 Getting to Know Your Lake

  • Lake origins
  • Lake anatomy
  • Important features of your lake
  • Watersheds
  • Flooding
  • Lake health and water quality
  • Environmentally friendly cleaners
  • Assessing water quality, part 1: Physical characteristics
  • Assessing water quality, part 2: Chemical characteristics
  • Assessing water quality, part 3: Creature characteristics
  • Assessing water quality, part 4: Animal indicators
  • Acid rain
  • Water hardness
  • Wetlands
Chapter 2 Boating
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Maintaining canoes and kayaks
  • Windsurfers
  • Steering your windsurfer
  • Motorboats
  • Winterizing your boat and motor
  • More water fun
  • Essential knots
  • Navigating big lakes
  • Weather
  • Lightning and thunder
  • Rainbows
  • Wind and waves
  • Wake
  • Shoreline erosion
  • Building a dock
  • Types of docks
  • Dock damage
Chapter 3 Swimming
  • Water temperature
  • Sandy beaches
  • The toe-tanglers: aquatic plants
  • Your swimming companions
  • What's in an average glass of lake water?
  • Swimming fun and safety
  • Swimming games
  • A swim to the island or the other shore
  • Body surfing waves
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Diving
Chapter 4 Fishing
  • Where, when and how to fish
  • The basic tackle
  • Live bait for lake fishing
  • Gathering and farming worms
  • How to fish
  • Preparing your catch
  • Flyfishing basics
  • Your winged competition
  • About the fish
  • Unwelcome invaders
  • Smart fishing
  • Safe eating
  • Ice fishing
Chapter 5 Living with Wildlife
  • American black bear
  • The ungulates
  • Dog kin: wolves, coyotes and foxes
  • Cat kin: lynx and bobcat
  • Raccoons
  • Hares and cottontails
  • Weasels, skunks and musky allies
  • Beavers
  • The busy beaver
  • Porcupines
  • Chipmunks and other small rodents
  • Shrews and moles
  • Bats
  • Snakes
  • Cottage bird life
  • Hunted birds
  • Hunting birds
  • Noises in the night
  • Insect-eating birds
  • Making a birdhouse
  • Nocturnal bugs
  • Biting bugs
  • Stinging bugs
  • Spiders
  • Unwelcome cottage visitors
  • Snails and slugs
  • Living with wildlife
  • Poisonous, noxious, nuisance plants
  • Foreign invaders
  • Edible wild plants
  • Mushrooms
Chapter 6 Cottage Operations
  • Buying your cottage
  • Basic tools and hardware
  • Septic systems
  • Basic plumbing: toilet problems
  • Mending pipes
  • Water sources
  • Foot valve menace: zebra and quagga mussels
  • Potable water at the cottage
  • Powering your cottage
  • Let there be light
  • Woodstoves
  • Firewood
  • The importance of forests
  • Firewood, lumber or nuisance?
  • Woodpeckers
  • Cottage projects
  • Remote access
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Basic first aid kit for pets
  • Plant remedies
  • Lost in the woods
  • Campfires
Chapter 7 The Other Seasons
  • The annual temperature cycle
  • Fog Closing the cottage: a checklist
  • Packing up the kitchen
  • Sure signs of fall
  • Autumn colors
  • Favorite fall tress
  • Hibernators
  • The hardy ones
  • Winter at the lake
  • Birds at the winter feeder
  • Animal tracks in the snow
  • Ice
  • Nasty ice
  • Ice terminology
  • Ice safety
  • Fun on the ice
  • Fun in the snow
  • Sure signs of spring
  • Opening the cottage: a checklist

Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Credits
Index

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Preface

Introduction

Some of us have a place to retreat to on weekends, on holiday, maybe even all the time. It is a place on a lake where we can relax and get outdoors and feel a special connection with nature. When we're on our way from the city to this special place, we say we're going up to the lake. We've called it a cottage, but to you it could be a camp or a cabin, a lodge or a chalet. What we are thinking about is a getaway place in the form of a dwelling that is generally small, simple and close to or on the water — and a source of great pleasure and enjoyment. It may be a place you have known since childhood, or it may be a place you are still dreaming of.

We begin in Getting to Know Your Lake by providing information on how to determine the origin of your lake, its anatomy, nutrient base, physical attributes and how to assess its water quality using some simple physical and chemical measurements, as well as the plants and animals that live in the lake.

In Swimming, we explore phenomena that dog-paddlers and endurance swimmers alike may experience while in the water-hot and cold spots, swimmer's itch and even beaver fever. For those who are wary of snapping turtles, leeches, bloodsuckers, and tangled mats of weedy plants, we've tried to lessen fears by showing the whole underwater picture.

For tips on how to predict weather from cloud formations, wind patterns, sky colors and more, look to the Boating and Fishing chapters, where weather predictions are highly relevant. We've done our best to dispel some common myths (snapping turtles snap only when you bug them enough, pike do lose their teeth regularly), and provide some useful guidance (for instance, on how to remove a fish hook from yourself).

Our intent in this book has been especially to consider the importance of the natural world around us as it relates to life at the cottage. We do not go to our cottages simply to swim, boat and fish. We like to commune with the plant and animal life that surrounds us, to enjoy it and, occasionally, to challenge it if it creeps into our cottage. In Living with Wildlife you'll meet an eclectic assemblage of plants and animals that can enhance or aggravate your life at the cottage. Learn how to remove porcupine quills and how to get rid of skunk odors. Find answers to other questions. Is it true that birds do not have blue pigments? How big an opening do mice need to enter a cottage? Do bats control mosquito populations?

Nearly all cottagers make at least three annual sojourns to the lake, one to open the cottage, one to close it and one of longer duration for a vacation. We've added advice for people who are looking to purchase property, with or without a dwelling, in the
Cottage Operations chapter. We also deal with plumbing, septic systems, energy sources, how to cut and pile wood, how to build a sauna, the best woods for burning, building and making furniture, and even building a raft to get to your haven away from home by water. If you have zebra mussels in your plumbing system, here is where you'll find out how to deal with them.

In the final chapter, The Other Seasons, we look at birds and mammals that either hibernate or stay active for the winter. Sure and unique signs of autumn and spring are examined. Learn why lakes do not freeze to the bottom, why fog is most common in the fall, and why leaves turn certain colors in the fall. Checklists are provided for opening and dosing a cottage and for winterizing boats and motors.

We have tried to include many aspects of cottage life. Our coverage of plants and animals is eclectic because there are simply too many organisms in North America to describe them all in a book of this kind. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, go to any one of numerous books that deal exclusively with, for instance, birds of North America, or mammals, weeds, trees, or mushrooms of your part of North America. If you want to learn how to sail, canoe, or build a cottage, look for specialized books or courses on those subjects. See the Bibliography at the end of this book for some resources we have found useful.

Most cottagers have had to deal with minor and major disasters (from mouse dirt in the cupboards to a tree splitting the cottage roof), and in the remote wilderness we have to be especially innovative, but few if any have had one ounce of regret. In many cases, our offspring will inherit the cottage, as some of us did from our parents. Especially rewarding are the times spent doing things at the cottage with our children and their children — not only the fun activities such as swimming and fishing and toasting marshmallows over a campfire, but also the onerous chores that need to be done every year, hooking up the water, splitting and piling wood, putting away the boats. These are great times for bonding. It's especially gratifying when your children leave the cottage as they found it, wood box filled, enough gasoline for all generators and outboards, and a tidy cottage. Teach your children early to respect nature in the water and on the land; it soon becomes second nature and cottaging becomes a blissful family tradition.

Happy cottaging and camping!

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Some of us have a place to retreat to on weekends, on holiday, maybe even all the time. It is a place on a lake where we can relax and get outdoors and feel a special connection with nature. When we're on our way from the city to this special place, we say we're going up to the lake. We've called it a cottage, but to you it could be a camp or a cabin, a lodge or a chalet. What we are thinking about is a getaway place in the form of a dwelling that is generally small, simple and close to or on the water -- and a source of great pleasure and enjoyment. It may be a place you have known since childhood, or it may be a place you are still dreaming of.

We begin in Getting to Know Your Lake by providing information on how to determine the origin of your lake, its anatomy, nutrient base, physical attributes and how to assess its water quality using some simple physical and chemical measurements, as well as the plants and animals that live in the lake.

In Swimming, we explore phenomena that dog-paddlers and endurance swimmers alike may experience while in the water-hot and cold spots, swimmer's itch and even beaver fever. For those who are wary of snapping turtles, leeches, bloodsuckers, and tangled mats of weedy plants, we've tried to lessen fears by showing the whole underwater picture.

For tips on how to predict weather from cloud formations, wind patterns, sky colors and more, look to the Boating and Fishing chapters, where weather predictions are highly relevant. We've done our best to dispel some common myths (snapping turtles snap only when you bug them enough, pike do lose their teeth regularly), and providesome useful guidance (for instance, on how to remove a fish hook from yourself).

Our intent in this book has been especially to consider the importance of the natural world around us as it relates to life at the cottage. We do not go to our cottages simply to swim, boat and fish. We like to commune with the plant and animal life that surrounds us, to enjoy it and, occasionally, to challenge it if it creeps into our cottage. In Living with Wildlife you'll meet an eclectic assemblage of plants and animals that can enhance or aggravate your life at the cottage. Learn how to remove porcupine quills and how to get rid of skunk odors. Find answers to other questions. Is it true that birds do not have blue pigments? How big an opening do mice need to enter a cottage? Do bats control mosquito populations?

Nearly all cottagers make at least three annual sojourns to the lake, one to open the cottage, one to close it and one of longer duration for a vacation. We've added advice for people who are looking to purchase property, with or without a dwelling, in the Cottage Operations chapter. We also deal with plumbing, septic systems, energy sources, how to cut and pile wood, how to build a sauna, the best woods for burning, building and making furniture, and even building a raft to get to your haven away from home by water. If you have zebra mussels in your plumbing system, here is where you'll find out how to deal with them.

In the final chapter, The Other Seasons, we look at birds and mammals that either hibernate or stay active for the winter. Sure and unique signs of autumn and spring are examined. Learn why lakes do not freeze to the bottom, why fog is most common in the fall, and why leaves turn certain colors in the fall. Checklists are provided for opening and dosing a cottage and for winterizing boats and motors.

We have tried to include many aspects of cottage life. Our coverage of plants and animals is eclectic because there are simply too many organisms in North America to describe them all in a book of this kind. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, go to any one of numerous books that deal exclusively with, for instance, birds of North America, or mammals, weeds, trees, or mushrooms of your part of North America. If you want to learn how to sail, canoe, or build a cottage, look for specialized books or courses on those subjects. See the Bibliography at the end of this book for some resources we have found useful.

Most cottagers have had to deal with minor and major disasters (from mouse dirt in the cupboards to a tree splitting the cottage roof), and in the remote wilderness we have to be especially innovative, but few if any have had one ounce of regret. In many cases, our offspring will inherit the cottage, as some of us did from our parents. Especially rewarding are the times spent doing things at the cottage with our children and their children -- not only the fun activities such as swimming and fishing and toasting marshmallows over a campfire, but also the onerous chores that need to be done every year, hooking up the water, splitting and piling wood, putting away the boats. These are great times for bonding. It's especially gratifying when your children leave the cottage as they found it, wood box filled, enough gasoline for all generators and outboards, and a tidy cottage. Teach your children early to respect nature in the water and on the land; it soon becomes second nature and cottaging becomes a blissful family tradition.

Happy cottaging and camping!

Read More Show Less

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