Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pleasant and Unplanned Sights due to Geocaching

Today we had to return our library books. I wanted to just return the books, then visit a different library where we could check out videos -- free of charge for three weeks -- YAY Clive! So 3/4 of GAIN and I hopped in to the van. ("N" and Matt are away at a Boy Scout camping weekend.) I asked if we could find just one geocache, GC119ZC, after we visited the book return. They agreed to it.

After nearly getting an arm cut off with all the joshing around at the book drop, we headed over to the other side of the fence to the cemetery. Yes, a geocache at a cemetery. Glendale Cemetery happens to be where my maternal grandmother's mother, father, and step-father are buried. We've been here before, but Glendale is such a large cemetery that I never explored much of the grounds. I usually get down to business when I come here, visiting the places on the map that the office people kindly marked for me, then leave. Maybe if I walked my dog there, I would know more about the things you can see, but we don't have a dog.

We got near the cache, a part of the grounds that I had never seen before. "A" quickly found the geocache. The younger two were off like shots through the dead forbs and grasses. "I" used her baton to clear a path because she hadn't seen the pre-existing path, and "G" found an empty nest of some sort. (I'll get a photo here after I figure out how to get it out of my camera; that is usually Matt's job.) It was open and cup-shaped, completely made of grass, and rather close to the ground. I'll look in our Bird Nest book. (I know, Iowa isn't east of the Mississippi River, but I have yet to find a nest that wasn't in here.) I was unsuccessful in removing it from the plant it was built on. I think mice and voles and such have spherical nests. Stay tuned for an update.

Once we got back in the van, I noticed that our gps-r showed that we were close to stage two of a multi-cache, GCZ0TX. This lead us to the area where Great-Grandma Ross's stone is located, near the boundary for the Masonic Cemetery. We found an evergreen tree that was thickly coated for at least the bottom 15 feet with sap! We stood in amazement, because we thought our old tree, removed in 2003, was a leaky old thing. Never would have seen that unless the gps-r pointed us there! Everyone enjoyed the creativity of stage two. I saw that we were close to some other geocaches, but looked at the time and told everyone that we needed to go.

The kids were quite reluctant to leave, having found interesting large family plots and tombs, Spanish War cannon, and a sticky tree, and positively identifying the call of a northern flicker for the first time, but since the library closes at 5 on the weekend, we headed west for the library with the free videos. The ride home was silent, as is our custom after library visits. The next hour or so was also quiet, everyone engrossed with a book or video. A wonderful way to close the day.


Heather said...

I love that cemetary! We used to live near it before we had kids. I would ride my bike there or take dogs there we dog sat so they could run. That's neat that geocaches are hidden there. I bet my boys are old enough to do some easy ones now. I just need to look into getting an affordable gps device.

juliecache said...

Well, my photo didn't turn out. Using only my memory to identify the nest, I can conclude that the bird was big, such as a meadow lark.