Bat Cages Fri, 26 Nov 2021 14:51:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bat Cages 32 32 A popular Seattle-area hike gets a makeover. Here’s what’s going on at Rattlesnake Ledge Fri, 26 Nov 2021 14:00:00 +0000

You could say that Rattlesnake Ledge has grown too popular for its own good.

When hand-built in 2003-04, planners expected the North Bend Trail to accommodate up to 70,000 hikers per year. Today, 300,000 pairs of hiking shoes hit the trails each year, and that number has grown steadily throughout the pandemic. AllTrails lists Rattlesnake Ledge Trail as the second most popular hike in Washington, after the Mount Rainier Skyline Trail.

In fact, it was the pandemic that paved the way for an ongoing maintenance project on the popular trail, which closed in 2020 and received over 1,000 hours of volunteer work during the shutdown and in 2021 – the start of a facelift that will continue until spring 2022 and will require approximately 5,000 volunteer hours in total.

When social media was filled with drone photos of a crowded Rattlesnake Ledge summit one weekend in March during the first days of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, Seattle Public Utilities – which owns and operates the trail – shut down Rattlesnake Ledge then that Washington has decided to close many state parks as well. .

SPU used the long closure to improve the trail, making it safer and easier to navigate, with help from original trail partners including the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, the Washington Trails Association and EarthCorps. The Off-Road and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, and the SPU funded the project.

“The way this trail was built was never designed to withstand the use we’ve seen in recent years,” said Mike Stenger, director of recreation projects for the Greenway Trust.

Other recreation sites in western Washington also continue to see increased use, due to an increase in population and an “increased interest in outdoor activities” due to the pandemic, a noted a press release on the trail partners project.

These partners and the hundreds of volunteers (and more) working on the trail had their hands full. Ongoing trail improvement projects include improving trail tread, reducing erosion, grading and planting along 2 miles of trail, improving trail drainage, the elimination of 200 feet of rotten wood walls (or their replacement with stone walls) and the reinforcement and shielding of two main laces.

When the park closed last year, a contractor cleared the trail of large boulders with a miniature excavator, allowing the initial group of 130 WTA volunteers to get to work. This year, volunteers from the Washington Conservation Corps and EarthCorps joined the project. The goal is to complete the work by next spring.

What is a good trail from a structural point of view? A stable, clear and well-drained course.

“Much of the emphasis is on building the upper rock faces in switchbacks to discourage switchbacks, which damage the trails,” said LeeAnne Jensen, Puget Sound field manager for the Washington Trails Association, saying reference to hikers leaving the trail to avoid switchbacks. or down the mountain.

Additionally, while the slopes are “fairly gentle,” Jensen says the project is working to smooth out some steeper slopes.

Liz Ulloa has volunteered with the WTA since 2007 and has worked on Rattlesnake Ledge on recent work evenings this year.

“What we did today was narrowed the trail corridor, hopefully creating a less wet trail and providing a way for the water to drain off the trail through drainage. Basically you just need to delineate the trail better, ”she said after a day’s work this fall. “We were adding ferns and rocks in the terrain and woodland debris to make the trail clearer so it wasn’t just a giant trail.”

She noted that addressing drainage helps avoid “braided trails,” another human error problem caused when hikers, to get around soggy spots, create their own trails. Add time and vegetation, and soon the original trail becomes obscured.

What makes a great Seattle recreation trail? Just 40 minutes from Seattle by car, Rattlesnake Ledge Trail offers views of Mount Si, Mount Washington, the Cedar River watershed, and two lakes, all within a 4 mile roundtrip ride with just 1,160 feet of positive elevation, making it accessible to novice hikers and families. With exposure to the east, it makes a great sunrise hike for early risers. Its highest point at 2,079 feet is generally snow-free for much of November. No permit is required and parking is free. There are few barriers to entry.

“Rattlesnake Ledge is a very iconic Puget Sound hike,” Jensen said. “A lot of people go on their first hike, or it’s the one you take your family to when they’re in town. If you go up there in the sun, it’s a great view of the valley. This is one of those best work-to-reward ratios.

It’s safe to say the secret is out on this popular route: Reviews on AllTrails and the WTA website give the Rattlesnake Ledge trail 4.5 and 4 stars, respectively, with many reviewers echoing two things: what point is the trail well maintained and how crowded it is.

Ulloa, an avid hiker and year-round volunteer, sees tangible benefits for herself and the volunteers she coaches on the favorite Cascade. She sits at a desk all week working on mortgages and enjoys going to the woods on the weekends.

“I really love the camaraderie, I love teaching people new skills, I love the kind of gleam in people’s eyes when they recognize that they are really making a difference to a lot of people by doing this job.” , she said.

A family is enjoying a spring hike earlier this year at Rattlesnake Ledge.  The trail has grown in popularity since its construction in 2003-2004, requiring long-term maintenance that began on the trail during an extended closure last year.  (Courtesy of the Washington Trails Association)

At Rattlesnake Ledge, Ulloa’s work now stops for the winter, but the trail will be open to hikers.

“It’s definitely passable,” Jensen said. “We want to make sure that the trail is left safely so that everything is solid and passable on foot. Most hikers probably won’t really notice the work they have left to do. Most of the remaining work involves widening or narrowing trails.

If you are hiking this winter, note that the cliff edge has been the site of several fatal falls, so children and dogs on a leash should be closely supervised, and all hikers should be extra careful in wet weather. or iced.

To preserve these efforts for years to come, trail builders strive to always follow “leave no marks” standards on the trail, such as putting away trash and staying on the trail.

Afraid to miss the fun? Jensen estimates there will be around 17 more working groups next year. No experience is necessary – if you want to join volunteers next spring, you can register on the WTA website at

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Next year’s hunting event to be named after creator David Vaughan | Local News Thu, 25 Nov 2021 22:00:00 +0000

One of Virginia Wheelin ‘Sportsmen’s longest-running events took place on Saturday when six disabled men and their pals hunted in the woods of Staunton River State Park.

Then president of the Halifax Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, the late David Vaughan created the hunt in 2003, and his wife, Judy, received a special surprise on Saturday.

Next year the hunt will be the David Vaughan Memorial Hunt, and all hunters from this year will be invited to return next year.

“No one deserves this honor more than Davis. It’s our way of giving back to him and Judy,” said Robert Moody, president of the Staunton-Meherrin chapter, who helped organize this year’s hunt.

After David created this hunt in 2003, it took place on several different private properties before settling in Staunton River State Park as a permanent residence.

It was created thanks to a chance meeting between David and Robin Clark, coordinator of the Virginia Wheelin Sportsman, during an outdoor performance, explained Judy.

Six hunters and their buddies reunite with Robert Moody, Staunton-Meherrin Chapter President, Judy Vaughan with the Halifax Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Ginger Gentry, Anne Raab and Barbara Bass with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Liz Grove with the NWTF, and Keith Moorison, Staunton River State Park ranger for the Virginia Wheelin ‘sportsman hunt on Saturday at State Park.

Being able to come back every year and organize these hunts for people with disabilities who might not otherwise be able to hunt is gratifying for Judy.

“It’s just gratifying to be able to help people who maybe can’t get out in the woods,” Judy said.

Staunton River State Park ranger Keith Morrison agreed.

“It’s well worth the time and effort that goes into it,” Morrison said.

He also said the NWTF is a “good group to work with” and that the event, he said, is a “good opportunity to go to the woods”.

One of the hunters who got the chance on Saturday was Chip Studer from Franklin County, who had gone hunting for the third year in a row.


Hunters and volunteers enjoy a lunch provided by Spainhour’s while hunting the Virginia Wheelin ‘Sportsman at Staunton River State Park on Saturday.

“It’s a good day to get out in the woods and share with like-minded people who love the outdoors. The ability to harvest a deer is a bonus, ”Studer said.

By lunchtime, neither he nor any of the other hunters had harvested any deer, but they did see game.

Studer said he saw a doe and fawn that he had a stare contest about 15 yards away, but did not shoot and a turkey crossed his trail.

“It’s always a good morning when you see game,” he added before thanking the NWTF for continuing to hunt and Staunton River State Park for hosting him.

He also noted that this hunt was largely made possible thanks to David.

“I am grateful to his family and the Halifax Chapter of the NWTF,” Studer said.

Another hunter, James McKinney of Evington, attended the hunt for the fifth time.

“It was fun,” McKinney said. “It’s just that everyone comes together and the camaraderie. I appreciate everything this organization does.

The hunters also received a special gift from an anonymous donor presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Anne Raab

Anne Raab, Regent of the Berryman Green Chapter NSDAR, presents a knitted scarf and hat to Chip Studer during the Virginia Wheelin ‘Sportsman Hunt at Staunton River State Park on Saturday. An anonymous donor donated the knitted scarves and hats.

Anne Raab, Regent of the Berryman Green Chapter NSDAR, Ginger Gentry and Barbara Bass presented knitted scarves and hats to the hunters.

They also provided cookies and peanut butter sandwiches for hunters and their friends, as well as a cash donation to help house, feed and bring hunters to Scottsburg Park.

The DAR has worked with the NWTF for 10 years, according to Raab, who said it all started when James Edmunds’ mother Jane invited the DAR to their farm for hunting and asked them to bring cookies.

“We thought it was our mission and we had so much fun,” Raab said.

Judy thanked DAR for their contributions as well as Spainhour’s for providing lunch and Liz Grove for bringing lunch.

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Family members at Thanksgiving, ordered Thu, 25 Nov 2021 11:02:38 +0000

There is something to be thankful for for friends, health, Hulu premium account that someone forgot to sign out of on my TV. Now I don’t have to go through the same Progressive commercial fifteen times just to watch Nicole Kidman ruminate in a velvet coat. Excited to see which upper-class enclave she chooses to highlight for her upcoming HBO thriller Sexy Murder and Betrayal Limited Edition!

But, this year, I’m especially working on being grateful to my family. Each of them. Concretely, in this order:

10. Aunt Carol, who’s here but not here here, because due to her “different beliefs” she eats out. She really enjoys doing her own “research”. She brought the cranberry sauce, and it’s her secret recipe. Don’t worry: it’s good to eat, because I sprayed it with bleach earlier.

9. Uncle John, who is also sitting outside but away from Carol. He is vaccinated; he never forgave me for going to a football game with his ex-wife. I’m sorry it didn’t work out between him and Joanne, but I’m not turning down the Packers front row seats. Plus, she has so many Mariott Points! I need it. Where will I stay the next time I visit the outskirts of a big city? A Best Western? Certainly not. These are haunted.

8. Nephew Georges. I too went through a phase in high school where I listened to the B side of a Radiohead album, got a leather jacket and thought I was super deep. But hearing him quote Bukowski while passing me green beans made me realize just how unbearable I must be. If I could say something to my young self it would be, “You’re not pissed off, you just have eyeglasses.” Call your mother back, she’s worried about you. In addition, invest in NFTs and anything that is an acronym: IA, VR, QR »

7. Cousin Grace, our self-proclaimed “voice of the voiceless”. Except, damn it, she can’t stop talking to everyone. She thinks the “You” show is problematic. (Who’s going to tell her that’s supposed to be – they’re a serial killer couple ?!) And, as far as I know, the only wealth she redistributes is from her parents to herself. . And then to this a room in Dumbo. This year, she may spare us the ethical fashion conference; it spoils the mood during the Puppy Bowl.

6. Uncle Rohan, who obtained his doctorate. WhatsApp misinformation threads. I was hoping he would slowly become one of those wise old men who never speak except to offer the kind of cryptic advice you can find on Yogi tea, like, “It’s important to become.” Instead, he can’t help but rant that “we are no longer allowed to say anything.” Which could be the case because, if he doesn’t stop talking, I’m going to have him sit outside with Carol.

5. Navya, my Gen Z niece. Honestly, she’s the only person I’m asking for approval. She wears Glossier and Zendaya follows her on Instagram. Zendaya also follows the Dalai Lama! Navya took a photo of the pie I made and it got four hundred and sixty-three likes. My face has never had so many likes. Is apple pie more fuckable than me? Part of me hates her, but being on her TikTok is my only chance to get famous.

4. Raina, Navya’s white girlfriend, who appears to be a pretty solid girl. She’s definitely trying to impress the dark side of the family. She even made a joke that it’s actually “chai”, not “chai tea”. Cliché, but I appreciated the effort. Hope she funnels that white guilt into the dishes!

3. Cousin Neal. We have only one thing in common, and that is that we are both completely caught up with “Succession”. Despite sharing genes, our conversations usually last for a commercial break. And it’s frankly perfect. I’m sick of my smart friends. I need more silent friends. No one should have to think critically about Thanksgiving.

2. Grandma, who endured decades of misogyny and now controls the TV remote. This means soap operas for four consecutive days at a volume that can only be described as “front row in an Insane Clown Posse concert”. Nothing but respect for her. I dream of one day having the audacity to chew tobacco on the sofa and bark at family members to obey my orders.

1 ME. It might sound a bit narcissistic, but I’m working on myself just like my therapist recommended. (Well, my roommate’s therapist. I can hear their Zoom sessions through my wall. And, between that and @ the.holistic.psychologist, I’m covered.) So this Thanksgiving year I’m going to be working on my limits. By getting incredibly high with Cousin Neal and Navya. And Navya’s white girlfriend, but only if she’s doing the dishes.

More humor

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Two NYPD officers shot dead in Bronx shooting Thu, 25 Nov 2021 05:03:45 +0000

Two New York City police officers responding to a report of a man with a gun were shot dead in the Bronx in a shootout with the suspect seconds after approaching him on a stoop of a building Wednesday night, police said.

One of the officers, a woman who has been with the police for a year, was shot twice in the upper right arm and retaliated five times, hitting the suspect, said Dermot F. Shea, the police commissioner of New York, in a press release. conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio at St. Barnabas Hospital Wednesday evening.

She was expected to survive, as her partner, a male officer who has been in the force for eight years and was shot in the armpit while fighting with the gunman, has said Commissioner Shea.

The two agents were treated in Saint-Barnabé, where the suspect, who had received three bullets, was in surgery. He was expected to survive.