Leopold Legacy: May
In Wisconsin, United States
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This cache is a part of the “Leopold Legacy” set. The Leopold Legacy set is a series of twelve caches all placed in Dane County Parks. Each one of these caches has a quote representing one month of Aldo Leopold’s The Sand County Almanac. At each of the sites you will find something relating to the quote at or near the geocache. Aldo Leopold was a famous Ecologist from Wisconsin, and The Sand County Almanac is his most famous book. It is a collection of short stories related to each month of the year. I decided to make this series to bring geocachers to some of the Dane County parks, and to give them a sample of some of Aldo Leopold’s writing.
The cache has been authorized and the proper permit was issued by Dick Black, Dane County Parks on July 16, 2004. I would like to acknowledge Wayne Pauly, the naturalist at Dane County Parks, for his assistance in my project.
“The upland plover fits easily into the agricultural countryside. He follows the black–and-white buffalo, which now pasture, and finds them an acceptable substitute for brown ones. He nests in hayfields as well as pastures, but, unlike the clumsy pheasant, does not get caught in hay mowers. Well before the hay is ready to cut, the young plovers are a-wing and away. In farm country, the plover has only two real enemies: the gully and the drainage ditch. Perhaps we shall one day find that these are our enemies, too.”
This is a great site. It is in Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Parking is at coordinates N 43º 07.349’ W 089 º 29.461’. This area near parking lot was a campsite for Black Hawk, while retreating to the Wisconsin River prior to the battle of Wisconsin Heights in 1832.. There is a historical marker that provides more details. The part is gated from dusk to dawn. There have been major issues with erosion at this site, so be sure that while you are searching for the cache you stay on the trails and keep off of steep slopes.
When you get to this park you will see a hill right in front of you. The cache is at the top. Because of issues that they have had with erosion, make sure to follow the trails until you get to the top of the hill. In order to get there you will end up going around the back of the hill so that the gradient isn’t so steep. When you get to the top of the hill it is a sight to see. There is a very nice lookout that allows you to see a winding creek, forests, meadow; you can see houses starting to creep up, and the capital in the distance. If you look to the southeast, you can see the skyline of the University of Wisconsin campus. During the 1930's Professor Leopold founded the Department of Wildlife Management at the UW. The Leopold family home was located near campus at 2222 Van Hise Avenue.
After you reach the lookout simply go in a straight line to the cache. The area it is in is surrounded by prairie plants mixed in with weeds and old field vegetation. It is somewhat difficult to get to simply because they are tall and many are prickly. It is near a small dead tree. It is somewhat difficult to get to because there have been problem at this site with vandalism, so I wanted it harder to get to than I normally prefer for family friendly geocaching.
The cache is a brown ammo box. Inside I have placed a few carabineers, some small dream-catchers made by me, and some small packets of seeds for pale purple coneflower, a threatened species in Wisconsin.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 9/6/2014 6:51:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time (1:51 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum