Friday, January 18, 2008


We visited Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) today for a short program in the Prairie Learning Center. You can see "N" of GAIN and I cleaning little bluestem seeds in the photo that "I" took.

I have wanted to see a geocache placed there for years, but I knew that policy was against it. When I asked the programmer about it, she said that the staff had wanted to have one for a long time, but couldn't think one up or find the time for someone to do so. Most of us geocachers have the same problems. Since I think the place is such a neat site to visit, I volunteered my time (and gps), if they would choose the locations for a multi (determined after talking more). We'll see how it goes. Urbandale Park and Rec has yet to get back to me about geocaching their city after almost four months. Ah, government.

The programmer mentioned the virtual geocache at Upper Mississippi NWR, which I checked out once I got home. I see a couple problems with using it as a model. For starters, I don't find it listed at This means that I would not be able to have it add to my tally. The numbers are important, whether I like to admit it or not. Additionally, how would geocachers find out about it if it is not listed on the site? I had to search more than I wanted to in order to find information on it. It is not on the sidebar of the home page. I suppose someone might mention this cache at the forums, or on a blog, but in general, a google search does not further the cause of this virtual at all. It appears to be nicely done, and you can even get a prize when you go to sign the log book. Like I said, we'll see how things go.

One of the cooler things of our visit today was the trip home. We have a lot of wind and light fluffy dry snow right now. And single digit temperatures. Driving west toward downtown, we saw a city in snow; it almost looked like fog. If you kept looking beyond the buildings of downtown, you could see a sun dog that went almost all the way around the sun. Unfortunately, our camera's battery was out of charge. "N" of GAIN quickly switched it out for us, then "G" climbed into the front seat and started taking pictures. The picture you see here is west of downtown, so it is small compared to our first sighting. At this time, we could see a large spot on the left and right of the sun, but we were too close to get both of them in the viewfinder. So "G" got a shot of the sun and the left sun dog. And it was cold, so he stayed in the van. They were very bright and colorful in real life. I am not sure that you can see the rainbow colors here. "A" of GAIN may be able to use picture this in her weather unit for science class.


Heather said...

Glad to see you all out and about!! My blood is to thin to come back to Iowa this winter. I would freeze. Thanks for the warning about the weather. We have cabin fever this week b/c it is rainy and dreary...cold rain.

Gramps said...

Great picture of sun dogs, The color came through real good. You great, great, grand father Campbell would predicting the weather by seeing sun dogs. Like how many more days of cold weather before a change.
But please close the door because the cold is coming all the way down to TEXAS! Gramps