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What this forum needs is more NATURE PICS!

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I had never seen the Dutchman's Breech wildflower (or several others witnessed without my camera in hand). These were close to home so after grabbing a close by cache I returned when the light was right for a few snaps.


I kept expecting them to fly away off the stems into the air - so graceful. . . amazing things. Geocaching has opened my eyes to some great things in the past few months:


Dutchman's Breeches - Zoomed Out:




Dutchman's Breeches - Close up (near macro):



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Found near my Wolf-Bird cache.


I've searched for the first flower for two years.


Latin name: Loeseliastrum matthewsii (A. Gray) S.


Pronunciation: lee-sel-ee-AS-trum math-yoo-see-eye

Common name: Desert calico

Family: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)

Habitat: Sandy and gravelly areas to 5000', creosote

bush scrub, joshua tree woodland, deserts

Blooming period: April to June




Monkey Flower (Mimulus sp.)




Found a 1/2 mile from a park and grab.


Hadrurus arizonensis



Crotalus Scutulatus




Dipldomys merriami



Dipodomys microps


Edited by Kit Fox
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This is a Red Morph Northern Screech Owl we encountered in Campton Hills Park, St. Charles, Illinois. This little guy is fully mature and stands only 8"-9" tall. His roost strangely is only 8' off the ground. My camera was 2' from his face and he didn't give a HoOt ! We found him while checking one of our caches. His roost was only 10' from our cache which has since been moved. He showed absolutely no fear of us for the 2 hours we were there. We've gone back several times to find him napping in the exact spot. The park district was so thrilled with our photos they're sending their ornithologist out there along with the President of the Kane County Audubon Society and the park's Restoration Manager.


To spot one these little cuties so close to the ground is very rare and even more rare, according to the ornithologist, is the fact that it shows no fear of humans ! We're wondering if it got used to seeing geocachers hunting our cache ?? Anyway, we call him our Teacup Owl and he's one of the cutest things I've ever seen in my life and by far the coolest preserve sighting to date ! I got really excited because I recently did A TON of research for our Lure of the Wilderness: The Great Horned Owl cache in this park. This little owl looks EXACTLY like a mature Great Horned so it's size really threw me as young Great Horned's look like little old Ostrich's and Northern Screech's are typically grey and black. Turns out Northern Screech's come in several different colors in this area. The Red Morph was one I'd never heard of.



Above you can see how he has elongated himself. He looks a lot "fluffier," in the first photo ? This is a camouflage tactic they use and by elongating themselves they blend in more with the branches of a tree. Pretty cute huh ?


In the above photo you can better tell how small this little owl is ! This is either his roosting place where he sleeps during the day and hunts at night or he may be performing his spring duties whereas he's guarding a nest and helping the mother feed her young. When we first spotted him we thought another cacher was playing a joke on us by placing a fake owl in the tree because in this park we have a big fake Crow cache container at our Lure of the Wilderness: Caw of the Crow site !

Edited by TeamSeekAndWeShallFind
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Lots of great pics here. I usually always take my camera with me as sometimes it is my way of looking for a cache with muggles around. Did some crouching for close ups the other day to find one.


This is a picture I took Wednesday while looking for a cache in some woods. Want to go back to this park in the fall.


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