Wet Towels And A Rattlesnake

We’ve been enjoying a fun-filled summer here at the cottage: swimming, fishing, going for walks, and hanging out with neighbours and friends. Aside from the bird feeder project in the spring (that has since been removed!), and a bug shelter in the early summer, we’ve basically just been enjoying the place. Until…

One evening, the weather was threatening rain so we started to put a few things away and prepare to come inside for the night. At the last minute I remembered that we had towels and swimsuits drying on the line in the back yard. Brian was kind enough to go out back and I wasn’t far behind him to lend a hand.

He stepped down from the boardwalk onto the grass where the line was strung and was met by a sound that makes you stop in your tracks!

He froze in place as his mind sorted through the possibilities of what could make that sound: a beetle? No. A SNAKE!!!!! A rattlesnake! He leapt back onto the boardwalk and strained to see where it was and what to do next.

Our cottage is in part of Ontario that is home to the endangered Massassauga Rattlesnake.

I went inside to get the flashlight since the back light on the house wasn’t casting enough light where we needed it. Sure enough there it was, in all its beauty, rattling right there on the grass. Brian couldn’t have missed it by more than 12 inches when he stepped down on the grass.

We held the flashlight on the rattlesnake as it started to make its way back into the woods. It certainly wasn’t in a hurry and rattled the entire way. I guess it wasn’t too happy about having its hunting interrupted. We waited until it was well back into the woods before Brian attempted to get the stuff off the line.

Since we lost our clothesline when the bug shelter went up, we had been thinking of other ways to hang our wet stuff outside. In an instant that project got bumped up on the list and our imaginations were put into high gear.

String a line between the cottage and the Bunkie? That’s a stretch. It made me nervous to think of a tree falling and ripping the siding off both.

String a line between two trees? Sure, but you’d still have to walk down onto the grass for it.

A New Idea for an Outdoor Clothes Dryer!

I remembered a cottage we’d driven by that had what looked like a couple rows of metal rails attached to the side of their deck.

Hmmm I liked that idea! Brian started Imagineering how it could be constructed, and costing our options out. Everything we came up with seemed a bit expensive for hanging wet stuff behind a cottage – I mean … let’s be reasonable! So, I wondered if we could make the frame out of scrap wood and the laundry line we already had in the shed. Sure we could, but it would probably be really ugly! Back to the drawing board.

I kind of let it slip from my mind as our work week progressed but apparently it hadn’t slipped Brian’s. We were sitting at the table after work the day before returning to the cottage and he laid out his latest idea. Well, not only did he tell me about it but it turns out he already had all the materials! We had some on hand and some he picked up on the way home from work.

deck laundry line we came up with after the rattlesnake incident

Ta-Da! We now have a clothesline that we can access from the deck. We simply used two shelf brackets, regular laundry line and a few bits of hardware.

For instructions on how to build one of your own click here.

The Cottage Wife

In addition to hiking, biking, reading and writing, I like to focus on making as light an impact on the land possible, while still living a modern life.

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