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Friday, December 08, 2017

11 July 2017 Make A Joyful Noise

I've seen a lot of different decorated objects in my travels. Cleveland has guitars. Olean, New York has squirrels. Buffalo has bisons. Salisbury has pianos with one difference, these are real pianos. They made for a fun walk around downtown while finding a few caches.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

7 July 2017 Running From the Rain

I had pent-up caching demand. I was traveling from Columbia City back home to Ohio. My trip started on the holiday and was soon over. The trip had been a success, but I wanted to take a break. I got a brief break from the rain at a stop in Van Wert. I stopped at a favorite ice cream stand and made my way to a local park for a cache find. It started raining on my walk. I eventually ended up in Crawford County with a break in the rain. Ali had directed me to a park with a number of caches. It also had nice mowed paths, a peaceful pond, and a variety of wildflowers in bloom.

It wasn't my best planned adventure. By the time I left the park it was raining, there was lightning, and my cell phone was dead. It was worth it to take a break in what was becoming a long year.

Monday, December 04, 2017

6 July 2017 Visiting Fox Island

Fort Wayne is one of the most mosquito-ridden areas where I have cached. The blood sucking monsters are large in number and have insatiable thirsts. On the backside of Eagle Marsh, Fox Island seems to be the epicenter of the mosquito population. I didn't want to travel far to cache and be outdoors and I knew Eagle Marsh was under water. I decided to take my chances at Fox Island.

The area away from the woods trails had some nice wildflowers.

The area just outside the trails has an interesting outdoor learning area with a small geogarden displaying a number of different rock types.

Fear yee, the mosquitoes who await beyond the sign.

The trail was dry this evening.

So was the area near my first stop for a cache.

6 July 2017

This location was quite different from my last attempt to reach this cache on June 30, 2015. That evening I just shook my head and left.

30 June 2015

Yes, the cache is near the birdbox.

I moved deeper into the woods to hunt one of the three remaining caches in the area. The cache is located on the remains of an old dune. It's an interesting area with dozens of spring wildflowers evident. They were past blooming, but there was evidence of the plants everywhere along the dune.

I made the find and was hoping for a last find of the evening on the back side of Eagle Marsh. I should have known the water height from last evening was going to make reaching the cache from this direction impossible on this evening.

I survived the mosquitoes and found a couple caches for the evening.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

5 July 2017 Eagle Marsh

I was still grumpy from the lost holiday, but happy that another audit was half completed. After the office I was ready to spend an evening on the trail. I was hoping to find caches, but other than one find I needed to be able to swim better than the geese below to reach the others in the marsh. The sights of the marsh easily offset the unreachable caches.

It wasn't like I didn't try to find caches. I was determined to see if there were a dry path to a few of the caches. Every attempt by me was met by water much deeper than even I was willing to try on a warm evening. Okay, I really wanted to stop for dinner after caching so there was a limit to my sense of adventure this evening.

I was about 300 feet from the cache while standing at the end of the "trail" here. This one will wait for another evening.

The "trail" here is a submerged waterway hiding boot sucking mud. A short venture on this trail ended my hopes of dry clothes for the evening meal. The cache was about .2 miles away when I decided I was done.

I decided to stick with flowers for the rest of the evening.

2 July 2017 Best Round Leaf Orchid?

Work would require me to travel on the holiday so our chance of holiday fun were limited. Ali suggested Roper Hollow for a walk today. It was a good choice. The trail got a bit muddy at times. We had to deal with illegal atv's on our walk. But , the trail was tremendous.

Almost a frog

This was a really fat toad.

The real excitement came near the end of our caching day. We were at a geocache when Ali glanced over and spotted a round-leaf orchid in bloom. We see the leaves frequently. We see them in bloom occasionally, but this one was near its peak of blossom and nearly perfectly formed. It was an amazing treat on a painfully short holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

1 July 2017 A Wild(life) Return to Quehanna

We planned to make another visit to the Quehanna Wild Area for hiking and caching. While we were still having breakfast, a doe strolled through our view behind the kitchen. She was browsing heavily on one type of plant and within 20 feet of our sport ute as we watched.

We hoped out wildlife sightings might include a few ducks on the water beyond this blind, but all we enjoyed this afternoon was a pleasant view of the water.

Our wildlife viewing became a little more interesting when we spotted the rattlesnake below in the road. When we drove by it was stretched out and giving a good impression of a dead rattlesnake after being run over. As we left the ute and approached, it quickly curled up and let us know it was alive and not please to see us. He rattled a few times as we approached.

It was a busy day for butterflies near our first unfound cache of the day.

We looked for a very lonely multi which hadn't been found in years. The first stage was an information stage so we were able to get coordinates for the final. Our walk to the final was fun with big helpings of blueberries, but no find for us.

We were on the way back to the geo-ute when disaster nearly struck. I had been diligent and watchful for rattlesnakes througout the day. I let my wariness lapse and Phineas was put at risk. Before I realized there was a danger, he had happily bounded past a sleeping rattlesnake on the rocks by the edge of the trail. The rattlesnake woke and was beyond angry. I was left with a happy energetic beagle on the end of the leash and separated from me by a an angry rattlesnake. We were six feet apart with a rattlesnake in the middle. I didn't dare drop the leash and take a chance since Phin, like most beagles, is a scent runner. Instead I timed my move (and got lucky) and was eventually on the other side unharmed with Phineas. The super angry rattlesnake eventually moved across the trail leaving safe passage for Ali and Lizzie.

We were on our way home. I was disappointed that we had once again not seen elk. Then they appeared roadside and as large as life. Wow!