Last found/checked: 11-JUL-10-08 Minor clue update
Location: coutS akeL arkP 5902 W. Loomis Road, Greendale, WI
Time: Approximately 30-45 minutes depending on season & trail conditions (approximately ½ mile)
Terrain: slight hills, dirt/grass and asphalt trails
Around the globe, the Chinese New Year celebrations took place based on February 7th 2008, which is start of the Lunar New Year. Preparations for the New Year often begin during the last month of the lunar year. It is an auspicious occasion, and great detail is taken in its readiness. The home must be cleaned thoroughly. The past year's dirt is swept away, and clutter is straightened out. This is done so that negative aspects of the past year are not brought forward to the New Year. New clothes and new shoes are worn to usher in the New Year. Special foods are carefully prepared. Red envelopes containing money are given as gifts to children and employees. The red envelope is given to bring good luck, prosperity and happiness to the recipient.
2008 is an Earth Rat year. In Chinese Astrology there are five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) forming a complete cycle of sixty. This means there are five different types of Rat years: wood rat, fire rat, earth rat, metal rat and water rat.
Being born under the Rat sign determines many talents, as well as other characteristics that may not be so commendable. Rats are very lively and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation (sounds like a born letterboxer!). They can be calm and perceptive, but sometimes their brains can cause a mental restlessness, tempting them to take on too much, only to discover they are unable to meet their commitments. Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going. Add to their intelligence a curiosity and a bright imagination, and they seem as sharp as a needle. Rat people exude great leadership qualities and are good at taking the lead. They don't mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect. For those with the Rat nature, status and monetary satisfaction are the greatest motivation.
General Rat characteristics: Creative, problem solver, imaginative, hyperactive worker and respected for its resourcefulness. Intuitive with ability in acquiring and holding on to things it values. Outward personality is certainly appealing, but below the surface there often abides a crafty and opportunist character. In financial matters, they are erratic, scrimping, cutting corners and budgeting carefully when money is scarce, but spending lavishly instead of saving in time of plenty.
Types of Rat:
1912 (and 1972) WATER: 18 Feb 1912 to 5 Feb 1913 and 15 Feb 1972 to 2 Feb 1973
Traits: shrewd, perceptive, is motivated by education, is traditional and understanding.
1924 (and 1984) WOOD: 5 Feb 1924 to 24 Jan 1925 and 2 Feb 1984 to 19 Feb 1985
Traits: inquisitive, intuitive, apprehensive, adaptable, is motivated by diligence and is not very conventional.
1936 (and 1996) FIRE: 24 Jan 1936 to 10 Feb 1937 and 19 Feb 1996 to 7 Feb 1997
Traits: aggressive, dynamic, competitively motivated, self-determining and is full of ideals.
1948 (and 2008) EARTH: 10 Feb 1948 to 28 Jan 1949 and 7 Feb 2008 to 25 Jan 2009
Traits: trusty, adult, is motivated by permanence, is realistic and sanctimonious.
1960 METAL: 28 Jan 1960 to 14 Feb 1961
Traits: sensitive, idealistic, envious, is motivated by thought and is possessive.
The inquisitive Earth Rat decided to explore a local park. Since a Rat is a good leader, you’d do well to follow him. He started in the parking lot and then instantly noticed the path heading towards the lake. He intuitively knew to take a right at the Y and crossed a stream. Many water elements here: lake, stream and soon a hydrant. Since he was an EARTH rat, he turned at the last water element and instead headed diligently along the trail behind the pavilion into the woods. He became a bit apprehensive at another Y intersection, but being a rat, he took the “sinister” path. He scurried up the slope and ignored a trail that merged in from the right.. After a short while he shrewdly perceived a change in the forest - some evergreens appeared on the right.. Now it was time for him to put his problem-solving skills to work. He stopped on the trail adjacent to the first evergreen and took out the compass he had so resourcefully brought along. Taking a bearing of 282 degrees, he darted the equivalent of 24 steps to reach a log near unlike sisters. The log had two small upright branches at its end, and this is where he decided to wait, hoping to receive some New Year’s red envelopes. If you pay him a visit, be sure to tuck him away carefully before you depart.
To find your way back without the Rat to guide you, continue along the path you were on, ducking under a lazy tree. Take a left at a Y, then take the path at 233 degrees when you reach another intersection. You’ll return to asphalt and it will be your choice to circle left or right to return to the parking lot.
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