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Dark Holes


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My geo-husband was wondering about this. We've been hitting caches that seem obviously to be placed in dead tree trunks. I'll usually poke a stick in them to see if anything is there. Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons? None for us, but his fear has me spooked.

 

Chris

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If you put a stick in and there is an animal, you'd probably poke it. :anitongue:

 

I've never seen an animal at a cache except for a black widow I had to brush off.

 

My geo-husband was wondering about this. We've been hitting caches that seem obviously to be placed in dead tree trunks. I'll usually poke a stick in them to see if anything is there. Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons? None for us, but his fear has me spooked.

 

Chris

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Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons? None for us, but his fear has me spooked.

 

Chris

 

Insects, yes. Anything larger, not yet. Personally, I'd be more worried about getting bitten by a spider than anything else. I usually test the hole with a stick, take a peek with a small flashlight if I need to, then use the stick to dislodge the cache and knock it a little closer to the opening. If you're worried about bites, I'd take along a pair of leather gardening gloves. Latex gloves also work great if the hole is wet and filled with a brown mush that looks like mud (in a live tree)- a common occurrence in holes formed where branches break off, exposing the heartwood of the tree (do a google search for "bacterial wetwood").

Edited by DavidMac
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Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons?

 

Wasps, spiders, various other insects, a snake, and a few frogs. I konw there are other animals such as raccons and squirrels that use them but they don't usually show themselves when you are reaching into the hole or poking it with a stick. :anitongue:

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I disturbed something hiding in a hollow tree earlier this year, as I put my hand in, something else went dashing out the other side. Sounded about as big as a rabbit or a rat but I never saw it :anitongue:.

 

I've found a toad under a cache before and a pigeon "guarding" it's nest very close to a cache. Other than that the only time I got spooked was lifting a piece of old bark up only to find a large snake coiled up underneath! Turned out to be a far too realistic toy that was actually the cache container! :huh: - Evil cache setter :lol::lol:

 

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Once while searching for an urban cache, the cords directed me to a small sappling tree in a tiny park. I carefully pulled the branches apart, sure that I would locate the cache there. My eyes discovered the most realistic looking bird-shaped container sitting on a nest about six inches above my head. "What a clever cache container" I thought, as I reached for it. Just a my hand was about to contact the bird container, it took flight with a violent thrashing of feathers. No wonder it looked so real! :anitongue:

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Once while searching for an urban cache, the cords directed me to a small sappling tree in a tiny park. I carefully pulled the branches apart, sure that I would locate the cache there. My eyes discovered the most realistic looking bird-shaped container sitting on a nest about six inches above my head. "What a clever cache container" I thought, as I reached for it. Just as my hand was about to contact the bird container, it took flight with a violent thrashing of feathers. No wonder it looked so real! :anitongue:

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My daughter and I were night caching in the Allegheny National Forest, and arrived at ground zero for a cache. There was a live opossum occupying the same hollow tree that held the cache container! Little Leprechaun named the possum "Gloria" and we had a nice visit. The next morning we returned and logged the cache without difficulty... after checking the tree VERY carefully!

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I seem to remember reading about a cache that wouldn't stay in its hiding spot because some critter decided to push it out. I think nearly every time it was found it had been pushed out of its hiding spot. I don't have the link handy, but it was pretty amusing.

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My geo-husband was wondering about this. We've been hitting caches that seem obviously to be placed in dead tree trunks. I'll usually poke a stick in them to see if anything is there. Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons? None for us, but his fear has me spooked.

 

Chris

Late last year, a cacher visiting the Columbus area from Tennessee learned the hard way what can happen when you poke your hand into a dark place looking for a cache:

 

Original Cache Log

 

The follow-up logs and photos provide the rest of the story.

 

Ever since hearing this tale, I've carried a mirror at the end of a collapsible handle that I bought at an auto parts store for less than $5.00. Comes in handy for peering into dark places.

 

--Larry

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Fireants - Alabama

Snake - Florida

Beetles, grubs, birds, spiders, frog, snake, mouse - Missouri

Black ants - Kansas

 

I always carry a cheap pair of wally*world gloves with me now, and a flashlight, and a pokey thingy.

 

reaching into an old rotten tree just creeps me out. :anitongue:

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My geo-husband was wondering about this. We've been hitting caches that seem obviously to be placed in dead tree trunks. I'll usually poke a stick in them to see if anything is there. Has anyone encountered a live creature in any of these obvious but occupied beacons? None for us, but his fear has me spooked.

 

Chris

Late last year, a cacher visiting the Columbus area from Tennessee learned the hard way what can happen when you poke your hand into a dark place looking for a cache:

 

Original Cache Log

 

The follow-up logs and photos provide the rest of the story.

 

Ever since hearing this tale, I've carried a mirror at the end of a collapsible handle that I bought at an auto parts store for less than $5.00. Comes in handy for peering into dark places.

 

--Larry

 

Yes, that was Jed...poor guy was having a TON of troubles! He had an accident with his Segway at the MWGB just before this problem arised! Although he told me that the rabies shots aren't administered into the stomach anymore, I still shudder to think about the needles!! Saw him again at the last MWGB, he's doing just fine...but I didn't see a Segway this time around... :anitongue:

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I seem to remember reading about a cache that wouldn't stay in its hiding spot because some critter decided to push it out. I think nearly every time it was found it had been pushed out of its hiding spot. I don't have the link handy, but it was pretty amusing.

 

I still own a cache that was in a hollow log on the ground. Every time somebody visited it, it was on the outside. I finally took a large piece of bark and tied the cache to it with a shoelace, leaving the log indisturbed. The critter has not yet learned how to untie the knot.

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I seem to remember reading about a cache that wouldn't stay in its hiding spot because some critter decided to push it out. I think nearly every time it was found it had been pushed out of its hiding spot. I don't have the link handy, but it was pretty amusing.

 

I still own a cache that was in a hollow log on the ground. Every time somebody visited it, it was on the outside. I finally took a large piece of bark and tied the cache to it with a shoelace, leaving the log indisturbed. The critter has not yet learned how to untie the knot.

 

Ever think that the "critter" who lives there doesn't like having the cache interfere with their lives?? Sometimes it's better to move the container and let the animals have their homes! :anitongue:

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Once while searching for an urban cache, the cords directed me to a small sappling tree in a tiny park. I carefully pulled the branches apart, sure that I would locate the cache there. My eyes discovered the most realistic looking bird-shaped container sitting on a nest about six inches above my head. "What a clever cache container" I thought, as I reached for it. Just a my hand was about to contact the bird container, it took flight with a violent thrashing of feathers. No wonder it looked so real! :anitongue:

This is the precise reason why I loath the idea of using cache containers made to look like things like bird nests, especially ones with real-looking eggs. I wonder how many real nests have been destroyed (which is illegal in quite a few states, by the way) before the cacher figured out it wasn't the container... :lol::lol:

 

To stay on topic, the worst I've found in a cache hole was a rather large black widow spider, which I guess is pretty bad. I wish I'd had my camera with me that time. I've spotted lots of deer, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, oppossums, turkeys, snakes etc. on the way to various caches, but nothing large in the actual hole.

 

I agree with other recommendations. Wear gloves, or use a stick, or flashlight, or mirror, or all of the above.

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I seem to remember reading about a cache that wouldn't stay in its hiding spot because some critter decided to push it out. I think nearly every time it was found it had been pushed out of its hiding spot. I don't have the link handy, but it was pretty amusing.

 

I still own a cache that was in a hollow log on the ground. Every time somebody visited it, it was on the outside. I finally took a large piece of bark and tied the cache to it with a shoelace, leaving the log indisturbed. The critter has not yet learned how to untie the knot.

 

Ever think that the "critter" who lives there doesn't like having the cache interfere with their lives?? Sometimes it's better to move the container and let the animals have their homes! :anitongue:

 

That is why the cache no longer is inside the log but next to it. It was just a hollow log, about seven feet long with no nest materials inside. I would never intentionally have disturbed anybody/anything.

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One time were were caching around a lake and hubby reached up inside a hollow tree looking for a micro(sigh). All of a sudden a lizard ran across his searching hand and he just about went into orbit. :-) We DNF'd it, but got a good laugh out of it. Me...I always use something to uncover and reveal the cache before I will reach anywhere! Uggg.

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Hey Frivlas,

What about that snake under the rock while out in Benicia.

 

I had been bitten by a snake just the weekend before (a gardner). Frivlas, OneAngryPuppy, Psychofish and I were attending an event out in Benicia and while looking for this one cache, I turned a rock over to find a huge gopher snake all coiled up. Scared the bejeebers out of us.

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I did one cache where the container was in a hollow log. No problem retrieving it. The problem came when I replaced it. There was a wasp nest in the log that I was unaware of. When replacing the container I was attempting to place it as good or better then I found it. In the process I shoved it against the wasp nest. Not a good thing. I was only stung nine times. Other than the swelling and itching at least I know I'm not deathly allergic to wasps. I now carry a tube of cortizone in my geopack.

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Hey Frivlas,

What about that snake under the rock while out in Benicia.

 

I had been bitten by a snake just the weekend before (a gardner). Frivlas, OneAngryPuppy, Psychofish and I were attending an event out in Benicia and while looking for this one cache, I turned a rock over to find a huge gopher snake all coiled up. Scared the bejeebers out of us.

 

He he...I remember that snake. You will have noticed that I didn't reach in, didn't you? :) That snake was pretty darn cool. And pretty big!

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Creatures I've found guarding caches:

 

This fishing spider looks more evil than it is, but I had to look it up online later to lear whether or not it would kill me. It was in a cache hole at a cemetery.

 

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Another, in a cache hole in a rock gardenin Illinoise:

 

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Harmless rat snake, guarding a cache in a prayer garden, Indiana:

 

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A semi-local cacher recently had an incident where he dropped a cache log and, when he bent to retrieve it, a large rattlesnake shot out of a hole in a nearby tree and bit him. He spent several days in intensive care and, I think, around a week altogether in the hospital. He wasn't reaching into the hole and there was no rattle sound to warn him.

Edited by Thrak
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After going for my 100th cache, we decided to stop for a few extra caches on the way back home. We were looking for the cache between some large rocks. I never saw the head or tail of an extremely thick snake, but what I did see of the body was enough to make me beat everyone back to the car. Somehow, I don't think the snake was thinking about following us to the car, but I locked the doors anyway. :blink:

Since then, I have only seen the typical spiders, ants, etc...

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I got bit by a small small Gartner snake here in Michigan and I had my cache removed by some angry raccoons. I didn't know I was putting things in their home until I went at night to check on it and saw many angry eyes looking at me as I stuck the cache back in the tree.

 

If I ever encountered baby raccoons I'd be afraid mom would come and eat me for dinner! Mothers (in any mammal) are always P.O'd when you mess with their little ones.

 

That said, you aren't going to get anywhere avoiding dark holes [while caching of course] :laughing:

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