Let The Shoreline Grow Wild!
Aside from the obvious benefits of protection against erosion caused by waves and storms, allowing the cottage shoreline to grow wild also provides a number of other pleasant surprises.
Wildflowers quickly appear in great numbers making the edge of the property more appealing for both us and the resident wildlife. Deer and groundhogs feed on the tasty new plants which distract them (for a short time at least) from our cottage gardens.
Long grass that is allowed to grow provides great habitat for a number of creatures such as frogs, mice, and shrews. This in turn attracts their predators – snakes, birds, foxes and even the odd mink. All of which play a vital role in a balanced and healthy shoreline ecosystem.
The grass, flowers, and new trees also help filter any rain runoff that heads to the lake, making it a healthier place for both fish and our water supply.
Waterfowl are more likely to nest near the property when the shoreline is allowed to follow its natural course. Loons, ducks and even herons make regular visits providing excellent close range photo opportunities.
Near the water’s edge dragonflies easily deposit their eggs on the plants and weeds that have been allowed to grow. Their young emerge the following season as a home grown army to control the mosquitoes and midges.
The time saved by not battling that nasty slope with the lawnmower is easily spent fishing, reading a book or taking photos of all the wonderful things that happen when waterfront maintenance is left in the hands of Mother Nature.
Let your shoreline grow wild for a season and you will soon see what you have been missing.
Written and photographed by: Andrew Walker