Top Three Things That Can Ruin a Seattle Summer

Summer in Seattle is finally here. This means a little more than 60-some days to soak up the sun and good times before the city returns to its regularly scheduled weather programming (i.e., miserable). Taking advantage of the season is of the utmost importance for your year-round sanity. Research suggests one out of four fits of depression in Washington can be traced back to a squandered summer. That said, evils are lurking out there—things with the potential to ruin your summer in the blink of a sunglasses-covered eye. We report on three of the most pressing threats below. Be warned, and be ready.

Traffic. You know things are getting out of hand when the mayor’s office takes to Twitter to urge citizens to avoid driving. And that’s exactly what happened last weekend in Seattle, when street, freeway, and road closures, along with several major events, created the perfect traffic storm. It was hyped as potentially the “worst traffic weekend in Seattle history”—which is some seriously apocalyptic stuff. We’ve been having ’Nam-style flashbacks of gridlock ever since. Might as well plan a summer that doesn’t involve getting around town in your personal vehicle. Be the future.

Bears. Holy crap. We just Googled it, and there are something like 25,000 black bears in Washington. So far this year, more than 230 bear complaints have been lodged. Earlier this month, what’s being described as “a curious young bear” woke up a North Bend resident by tapping on a bedroom window at 5 a.m. Down in northeast Portland, a black bear running amok through the streets had to be subdued by a tranquilizer-wielding Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officer. Bottom line: Bear-mageddon is upon us. Remember, if attacked by a bear, the Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends that you “fight back aggressively,” or “as a last resort . . . protect yourself by curling into a ball or lying on the ground on your stomach and playing dead.” Good luck with that.

Crows. Crows are like sky rats. They’re disgusting and terrible. And come spring and summer, they’re having babies, teaching those babies to fly, and protecting those babies. This means that if you happen to accidentally wander too close, Mom and Dad Crow are likely to dive-bomb the shit out of you—which can be harrowing. Again, think sky rats. June and July is considered peak crow season for these sorts of unnerving crow vs. human interactions. The Seattle Audubon Society warns, “If you must walk past a nest, wave your arms slowly overhead to keep the birds at a distance. Other protective actions include wearing a hat or helmet, or carrying an umbrella.” Now you know.

Art credits: "Traffic" by Laurent Canivet, "Crow" by Travis Yunis from The Noun Project collection.

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