What a difference a few weeks makes!

We thought things were green out on the property before – but, well, we were wrong.

Everything from the trees to the grass has exploded with growth.  Places that were walk-able just a few weeks ago are no longer passable and paths have to be hacked or stomped through them.  If this were an area with venomous snakes, you wouldn’t catch me tromping around through all that brush and tall grass for any reason – but, luckily this is western Washington State.  All we have to worry about are bears, cougars and coyotes, oh, my!

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Something wicke… immune to blackberry thorns… this way comes!

Speaking of bears…

This is a picture of some bramble patches near what will some day be our new home site.  We made a point to visit this area pretty much every day that we were out there earlier this week to try to get a feel for where the house, outbuildings and garden areas would be placed.  So when we stopped by this area on Monday, we noticed right away that something was different.  A five-foot wide tunnel had been burrowed through a twenty-foot wide patch of very tall blackberry vines.

Whatever did this was strong – many of these blackberry vines are between a half an inch and three-quarters of an inch in diameter.  It was also thick-skinned – these are Himalayan blackberries, and the thorns are formidable, to say the least.  The only thing we can think of that lives in the area and has these two characteristics – in abundance! – is a black bear.  So, we’re pretty sure we have one on the property.  At least part time.  The scat we found in that same area – large, dog-like in shape, but full of plant matter – lends further evidence to this.

So, our trail cam is now facing the entrance to this new tunnel, and hopefully when we return in a couple of weeks, we will have a picture of whatever it is that is visiting our new home site.  Then we will know.  But even if we don’t see any new evidence on the trail cam, we plan to be more cautious when out and about. Make lots of noise, carry bear spray and perhaps a small sidearm.  And keep the silly pups on leashes, since they would probably try to give chase to any bear they saw.

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