Beach House Diaries: 6 Tips for Going Wild

bunny rabbit Pictou Island

By 1807 William Wordsworth was already lamenting that "the World is too much with us;" that crowds and commercialism and other facts of contemporary life were leaving us "out of tune" with nature. Fast forward 200-plus years and we're even more out of touch, so one of the upsides of beach house life is that it gives us easy access to nature again.

Of course, one of the downsides is that we're not always sure what to do with Mother Nature when we come face to face with her. These tips will help you stay safe.
  • If you go foraging for edible plants, invest in a field guide -- and don't put anything in your mouth that you can't identify with 100% accuracy.
  • Be mindful of where you put your garbage. Unwanted critters like raccoons or (ick) wharf rats love plate scrapings, meat wrappers and such.
  • Children seem endlessly fascinated by snakes, crabs and jellyfish. Since this is an invitation for trouble, remind them the feeling is not mutual.
  • Don't be fooled by animals that look Hallmark Card-cute. Seals, for one, can move surprisingly fast -- even on land -- and be downright nasty.
  • Some angry birds are fun to play with. Others aren't. Trust me: being chased by territorial ducks or dive-bombed by seagulls is pretty scary.
  • Whenever wild animals are present, keep your kids close and your pets closer. If Fido bounds after something you'll feel obliged to follow.

Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb will report on life at a summer beach house in AOL Travel's weekly Beach House Diaries. Follow along with her or share your beach house tips in the comments below.
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