This is a virtual cache that is visited or viewed on a daily basis. You might think that it would draw its biggest crowds on a hot summer day. However, during the last week of January and first week of February, hundreds, if not thousands, of people are attracted to it.
While you are in the area, here are a couple places to visit:
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory
Como Park Zoo
If you're interested in the history of the park:
Como Park History
To be credited with a 'find', you must e-mail the following info: the name of the area, or what the object is. Do not post it here.
The plants have settled into their new digs: state-of-the-art bonsai, fern and orchid rooms in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. As part of the $30 million Como Park Zoo and Conservatory expansion, the rooms form the connection between the 1915 glass-domed conservatory and the recently opened visitor center.
The bigger and better designed rooms are filled with some of the most diverse botanical collections under glass -- from a grove of majestic tropical tree ferns to exquisite bonsai specimens. And orchid lovers can see rare plants that were once off limits to the public.
"We have the ability to grow rare species here," said Roberta Sladky, Conservatory manager. "So you'll always see something different."
The enhancements have gone beyond creating new spaces to view specialty plants. You also can get a cup of coffee or grab lunch at the new cafe.
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul. Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Free admission; suggested voluntary donation $2 adults, $1 child. Call 651-487-8200 or visit www.comozooconservatory.org.
Setting: A New Zealand fern forest.
Improvements: More light (which mimics dappled shade) in a large, landscaped space that includes a waterfall flowing over lava rock
Must-see: Dramatic staghorn ferns sprouting from lava rock and 13 species of tree ferns.
Setting: The bonsai, which are sculpted using an ancient Japanese technique, are displayed in a spare Japanese-style room.
Improvements: The gallery setting (twice the size of the old space) turns bonsai into living art.
Must-see: Perfectly shaped Hinoki cypress, ginkgo tree and a 50-year-old San Jose juniper.
Setting: Windows give visitors an inside look at the award-winning neo-tropical orchid collection (about 1,000 plants that represent more than 800 orchid species from the American tropics).
Improvements: Orchids have their own space. (They were previously cultivated in the production greenhouse.)
Must-see: Blooming orchids -- including pansy orchids spilling from a hanging basket and rare mini-pleurothallids -- are interspersed among other plants in the Palm Dome and North Garden.
PLEASE NOTE THE GC.COM RULE THAT THE PHYSICAL SITE OF A VIRTUAL CACHE MUST BE VISITED IN ORDER TO LOG THE FIND. I had to delete logs from people who almost certainly did not visit the physical site. I will continue to check each log to verify that the finder appears to have visited the physical site, and if it is highly likely that you did not, your log will be deleted, even if you answer the question correctly. In order to have a fair playing field, everybody in the game needs to follow the same rules.