Archive for category Nature
Ok…so I keep trying, right? If you read my last geocaching post, you will already know that I did not meet with success the first time; but only because of my
fear apprehension about snakes, which can inflict great bodily harm. So I’m not yet ready to give up on this hobby.
Last week, we were over by the coast and I thought I’d check to see if there were any caches nearby. Come to find out there were several listed! The first was in a tiny one acre pictuesque park. OK, how hard can that be right?? So I headed over to start my search. My cell signal was very week and kept dropping, but I patiently tried to locate the cache. No luck! Later in the day I returned to the diminuative park with #1 Boy. I was sure with the two of us searching, we would find the treasure. We could not find anything! We were within “8 feet”…but didn’t see a thing! 😦 So…never mind! I decided to try yet another location in the morning.
Before the kids were awake, before the mercury hit 95 degrees, and before I gave up hope, I headed toward the next location. This time, the cache was hidden at a larger park up the road a couple miles. I was happy to find that there were three caches hidden in this location, greatly improving my odds….or so you would think!
I took off toward the closest location. As I edged closer and closer to my target, I took a look at the “hint”…..OK, “It’s behind the tree with two eyes”. Tree located. My app told me I was within 19 feet, then 8 feet…I’m not seeing anything. Heading toward the arrow displayed on my compass, suddenly I’m 31 feet from the cache. I turn back, and soon I’m back to 9 feet from the cache. Now I’m really sure I see something under the brush…
Nope! Just an empty beer can! 😦 I continued to look, to no avail…
Because of my persistence, I decided to try and locate one of the other caches here at the park, and I took off in yet another direction. Along the way I found some of God’s Cache….
The first were these beautiful Frangipani (aka Plumeria) plants, covered with silky, butter-yellow and soft pink blossoms. According to Wikipedia, this plant was named after French Botanical Explorer, Charles Plumier (1646 – 1704), who travelled to the New World on an expedition to document the plants of the region. The common name of Frangipani comes from a sixteenth century Italian nobel family who invented a perfume with its scent! I also read the Fragapani flowers are pollenated by the Sphinx Moth. (Looks like a evening visit is in store for me.)
Hanging from a nearby tree, was a vining cactus that was also in bloom. I had never seen this variety before and as I scoured the internet to try and find its identification, I finally located this flower on a website that specializes in cactii. There is no common name listed, but the scientific name is Hylocereus guatemalensis, it is native to Central America. As far as I could tell, this variety may be related to the variety that produces Dragon Fruit, a sour and juicy fruit consumed in Mexico, Central and South America. Here is another blossom from the same location:
Oh, but we were Geocaching right? I am about “.27” miles from my cache, which is not a bad hike at all…provided that you can walk the straight line using the compass. Of course, I must take the trails and they wind around like a squirrel trying to cross the road in traffic!
I am distracted by the noises in the undergrowth, but am trying to be a “big girl” about it. It always sounds like a big snake to me. It is usually a lizard; just like this juvenile Brown Cuban Anole that was checking me out:
After winding around for approximately a mile on my .27 mile journey, my cellphone died and I never did make it closer than 432 feet from my cache!
But that’s OK! The joy is sometimes in the journey. I’ll leave you with this…
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Ursula K. LeGuin
Geocaching: Not for the faint of heart!
I was doing a little blog surfing the other day, and came I across a homeschooling blog that included some great ideas for using fun technology resources. Through the years, we have really enjoyed using educational games for Nintendo DS, Wii, and now iPhone and iPad apps.
Among this blogger’s ideas, many of which we have used at some point in our homeschooling journey, she listed one of her favorites as a Geocaching app for iPhone. I was so excited! I’ve always wanted to try geocaching. 🙂 So I downloaded the free introductory app to give it a try, plugged in my current location (at home), and a list of three nearby caches popped up!! One cache is even located on a road I frequently walk down on my morning walk. It is peaceful there…you can hear the birds chirping and the frogs croaking, among other sounds…
This morning, I put on my walking shoes, grabbed my phone, fired up my new geocaching app, and headed for my prize.
I followed the red compass arrow to my targeted location and came to the spot in this picture. The app informed me I had to go 43 feet west to get to the cache. Hmm….not sure I really want to venture off the road and into the ravine, especially with no trail to follow.
There are often noises down in the ravine when I walk by and today is no different. One time, I even heard something that I think may have been a “Yetti.” Not sure, but it sounded big. Today it sounded like this:
So I stood there for awhile, thinking about what may lurk therein; certainly poisonous snakes and spiders, definitely large insects, and possibly large reptiles! Just as I decided that the cache could not possibly be worth risking life and limb, a lady in a black pick up truck drove past. She got half-way up the road, then her tail lights started glowing bright white! She was definitely coming back for me! She rolled down her window and gave me some words of advise:
“I wouldn’t go in there if I were you, just last night there was a Copperhead right up in the middle of the road and they can be very agressive!” I thanked her for her wisdom and headed home….without my priceless cache!
I guess if I’m going to take up Geocaching, I may need to purchase some good snake proof boots and maybe a shot gun!
Hmmm….don’t you wonder what’s in that cache??