Summer is upon us and we are feeling it. I don’t know about the week we just had, but I do see sun in the coming weeks. Time to get out and enjoy it. I am the type that likes to get outside but also stay in sometimes to enjoy some peace and quiet. The only sounds are the cars and the birds chirping. If you’re like me and enjoy being indoors, why not spruce up the space you have? That extra room that is filled with boxes and clutter can be used for many things. Crafting is one of most people’s hobbies, or reading, working out is another hobby people may have so why not change that space into something you can use daily? Craft rooms, reading nook/library, work out room, or even a gaming room for those millennials. Whatever your hobby may be, you will always need space to do those things and some people don’t have it yet, but that can change with one call. Give us a call so we can chat 425-224-2004
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Heybrook Lookout is a short and moderately steep hike through a fern and moss covered forest to a fun, staircase-ridden lookout with great views of the nearby mountains. If you are introducing someone to hiking, limited on time, or trying to add on another hike or activity in the area, this is the hike for you.
The trail begins in a gravel parking lot just after entering the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from the west. It’s actually more like a glorified shoulder off Highway 2. The trailhead is located on the west side of the parking area. An information kiosk is located about 20 feet up the trail from the parking area, but there are no facilities, so make your pit stop prior to arrival.
Once on the trail, head east, paralleling the highway for a short time before turning left and heading away from the road. Remember that it’s only a 1.3-mile hike to the lookout, so feel free to take your time; you’ll be gazing up at the massive building soon enough. As you walk through the woods, enjoy the greens of the ferns and moss. Listen to the birds singing and keep an eye out for squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about. Appreciate and note the well-maintained trail, worked on as recently as 2013 by WTA trail crews.
The trail is a tranquil walk in the woods until right before you reach the lookout where you are presented a view of the mountains on the other side of the highway. You may be tempted to stay and soak in the views, but turn around and you will see the lookout; there are much better views from up there!
The birds are back, the bees are humming, and for some country-bound vacationers and homeowners, bears may have started sniffing around your yard for an easy meal.
Before you get too excited, bears aren’t the vicious creatures recent films (ahem, “Cocaine Bear”) make them out to be. And they aren’t interested in eating you, per se.
But these wild animals are opportunists perpetually on the hunt for easy access to people-food. And a bad encounter with a bear can be extremely dangerous-especially for families and pets caught unaware.
So what can you do to keep the local bear population out of your yard this season? We spoke to several wildlife experts to find out why bears venture close to houses and how you can mitigate the problem to avoid any unwanted encounters.
Here are six ways to keep you and your family bear-safe this summer.
Secure Your Trash
To keep bears away from your property this summer, do this: Secure. Your. Trash.
“Trash left out is the No. 1 cause of unwanted interactions with bears,” says Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals. “Keep trash in a secure garage or shed until the morning of pickup.”
So while it might be tempting to put trash barrels out the evening before an early morning pickup, that’s leaving a whole night of potential feasting for the local bear population.
Another thing you can do to cut down on the stinky allure of your garbage is to start composting.
Safely Store Leftovers
Trash isn’t the only thing that will bring wildlife like bears into your yard. You’d better believe that abandoned leftovers (or even an uncleaned grill) will be tempting enough to draw in a hungry bear.
“With their keen send of smell, bears can locate food up to 2 miles away,” says Feral. “Screened-in porches and open windows won’t prevent bears from smelling what’s on the menu at your house.”
Bears have been known to bust through screen doors, crawl into open windows, and even smash car windows o get the good stuff. So it’s vital if you’re dining outdoors to secure your food before going back inside-and seriously consider closing your kitchen windows at night.
Minimize Other Food Sources
Besides the delicious temptation of your barbecue leftovers, there are several more subtle forms of bear food you might be harboring in your yard without even knowing it.
“People often thing that bears are primarily carnivores, but in reality, they are mainly omnivores,” says wildlife biologist and outdoor enthusiast Ryan Wilson, of The Camper Advisor. “So a full bird feeder or fruit tree in your backyard is a great find for a bear.”
And the biggest problem with bears associating your yard with food is that it becomes an on-demand buffet.
“These types of attractants are just as bad as leaving your food out and can similarly lead to encountering an aggressive bear,” says Wilson.
So limit your bird feeders and keep them away from your house. Similarly, avoid planting lots of fruit trees near your home. If you already have some – pick the fruit at the end of each season rather than letting it fall and decompose into a delicious bear snack.
Stay in the Loop About Bear Sightings
One of the best ways to stay in the know about bear populations in your neck of the woods is by talking to neighbors or joining your local online neighborhood forums.
“Pay attention to neighborhood message boards like Nextdoor or Facebook groups where people often post recent sightings of bears,” says Wilson. “This will help homeowners know when to be more vigilant.”
Even if there haven’t been any sightings recently, bears can appear in your neighborhood anytime. So it’s good to keep a close eye on pets and even talk to your kids about what to do if they encounter a bear.
If you plan on living in bear country, spending some time reading about bears is not a bad idea.
“Being bear-aware is necessary anytime bears are active, but individuals should be more careful under certain conditions,” says Wilson.
In spring, for example, bears are just coming out of hibernation, and they’re extra hungry. Natural food sources aren’t as abundantly available yet, so bears might be more food-aggressive trying to score some calories at your place. Similarly, fall is when bears tend to bulk up on calories in preparation for a long hibernation.
And there are other situations where a bear might be extra hostile.
“Female bears with cubs, especially cubs born that winter, can be very aggressive,” says Wilson. “They are primed to defend their cubs from the slightest threats!”
So always stay extra far away from a mama bear.
If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors in bear territory this summer, it might be worth investing in some bear spray.
“Be especially aware of your surroundings when recreating along trails where bears are likely to be – and always carry bear spray,” says Wilson. “Studies have shown that the individual survived in nearly all aggressive encounters with bears when bear spray was used.”
And bear spray isn’t just for backpackers. It can also be a home safety tool you keep on hand to avoid any accidents the day a bear wanders into your yard unexpectedly.
Foil Pack Italian Sausage and Veggies
Prep 20 Mins. Total 55 Mins