Sunday, May 30, 2010

Geocaching, not just for "WEIRDOS" anymore!

Here are some pictures from last weekends Geocaching adventure. What is "Geocaching" you ask? Well I first heard the term very recently when a man and his son emerged from the brush behind the beer store which backs onto my trail and announced to me that they were not "weirdos", that they were only "Geocachers". I think he thought that his statement would explain why in the heck he and his son were in the bushes taking pictures of each other. On top of that the father was holding his iPhone out to me and pointing to it as though to prove his statement. I had no idea what they were talking about and as much as I suspected that they were infact weirdos there was something to their story that warranted further investigation.

What I found out is that Geocaching is a kind of worldwide treasure hunt. People around the planet including some in my little piece of the world have been hiding "caches" for others to find for years. These caches consist of a notebook for you to sign and date and sometimes contain trinkets, prizes or even clues to other mystery caches. In a matter of 3hrs. and taking time for lunch we found 3 caches. One was behind the beer store (250m from our house) as "the weirdos" said, one was right across the street from our house(100m) and one cache actually led us straight into and out of our own back yard about 800 metres. In order to find our caches I logged into my free account and entered our location by country, province and postal code. I soon found 1048 caches within a 28 mile radius of my home. I then plugged the co-ordinates into my GPS device(305 Garmin Forerunner). We followed our GPSwatch and counted down the metres until a beep told us that we had arrived at our destination.

The first cache behind the beer store was hidden up a tree. It was the smallest(a film canister) cache we found and it only contained the list of the names of those who had found it. We did not have a pen with us so the girls left a cute pink ring that fit perfectly inside.

The second cache led us right into and out of our back yard for about 800 metres through some dense prickly bushes before meeting up with part of the Rideau Trail I swear I didn't know was there. The cache was a bit tricky to find as it was buried under some loose rocks. The girls signed their names and took out a few trinkets and replaced them with a few others.
I decided to let the girls try to find the final cache by themselves. As it turns out it was across the street and just a bit off the trail. It was the largest and oldest cached having been there for 5 years according to the dates on the signatures. It also contained some fun gifts and a note giving instructions about what it was and what to do if you found it.

Geocaching was a blast and I highly recommend you give it try wherever you may be.
While on vacation or at home, there's a geocache wherever you may roam; )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mr. Beaver moves to Sydenham Lake

I went looking for Mr. Heron the other day at his favorite log and fishing spot and instead I saw a bewildering sight. At first I thought it was a bunch of wood and twigs that had been caught up on a fallen log but when I looked a little closer at the dome like structure there was no denying that it could be nothing other then a beaver's lodge. "Where did that come from", I thought to myself. I had seen sight of what appeared to be a beaver in the pond not far from this part of the lake but I had decided it must be an otter. Yes there are beavers about 8kms down the trail in the creeks that run off into the lake but I have never seen one this close to the village. Mr. Beaver has decided to move to perhaps the busiest part of the entire lake. Directly in front of his lodge is the Sydenham Canoe and Kayak Club which will be bustling all summer with kids at camp and then not far from there is one of only two public boat launches. I am not sure that Mrs. Beaver will want to raise her family in such a hectic area. I think Mr. and Mrs. Beaver will be kicking themselves for moving here instead of investing in a lovely piece of swamp land down the trail a ways. Time will tell.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yarker Herons...NOT SMART!!

At first sight I could not understand why The Yarker Herons would choose to nest in the trees located next to a beaver's lodge. Beavers eat trees don't they? Scattered stumps surrounding the trees was surely proof that The Yarker Beavers were eating The Yarker Herons out of house and home quite literally, wasn't it? Hence, I concluded that Yarker Herons are SOOOO NOT SMART! To prove my hypothesis I decide to do some further research and quickly came to realize that herons often choose to nest in the dead trees caused by beaver dam flooding. Apparently beavers are not interested in the flooded trees and the herons are happy to move right in to begin gathering sticks to build their nests. A theory set forth by Yarkerite Sara (Hunnybuns) Montgomery hypothesizes that perhaps The Yarker Herons use the beaver's sticks, now stripped of bark to build their nests. Now if this were true I could be persuaded to conclude that The Yarker Herons are indeed inherently SMART. Unfortunately with no supporting data or anecdotal evidence of such a collaboration between the two species I have decided to make this comic poking fun at The Yarker Herons lack of SMARTNESS if only to amuse myself and to quite possibly bug the heck out of Hunnybuns: )
Thanks for the pictures of the nests Sara.