I have a number of nice slides from Woodward Cave. But they are slides, and not modern digital pics. Scanning them is not perfect.
My pic of the day is, however, is from Woodward Cave in Pennsylvania. It was taken back around 1995. This is a commercial cave that let us in to map it and explore after hours. We made a nice map and found some new cave.
Melrose Caverns still has more interesting things, even after two postings about it. Well, don't all caves? True, but the variety of stuff in Melrose is somewhat amazing given that you can see most all this stuff rather easily in a single trip. Granted I did about six trips into the cave to get all these photos.
The cave is a graffiti wonder. And a lot of it is historical stuff. Lots of Civil War stuff but also things like a Mason's drawing apparently done by one or more of the Harrisons for whom Harrisonburg, VA is named. I'll get a photo of that next time I get there, as it is complicated and hard to light and I was in the middle of helping with a TV news bit when I learned about it.
Speaking of the news item, it is here and you can watch the video:
And while others are documenting all the art/graffiti, here are a few examples.
While lots of this stuff is engraved, there actually are a couple of honest petroglyphs. This one is of a face, and I find it looks like the standard shot of George Washington available back in the day. Most of the soldiers who visited the cave were Union, and there is a pictograph of Abe Lincoln in the cave, so some credence to my interpretation. Your opinion may vary.
And while the cave is full of this kind of stuff, on to another interesting bit. Roots. Toward the back end of the cave it is quite close to the surface, and a number of tree roots have made it into the cave.
Those were the two big bits that needed added to really cover Melrose Caverns. But there is more, and I will finish with a set of photos of this, that, and the other thing.
And two passage shots. I wasn't taking passage shots for the most part, but always nice to get a bit of what the cave looks like.
And finally, I end with a bat, given that by profession I am a bat biologist and generally don't put enough bats on this blog. It is a tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus). This bat has been proposed for endangered species status but failed it's first attempt. Formerly quite common, as a species it has succumbed to White-Nose Syndrome (a fungus that kills bats during hibernation) in big numbers. Time will tell how this bat fares over the long run.
Yesterday I presented stuff from the outside world, to just inside the cave. Now a post with a bunch of pictures and stuff from inside the cave. Likely a third post tomorrow to finish all this up.
And time to think about soda straws, a cave formation common across the globe.
This is a little one, but has an interesting crack in it's structure. But also a decent shot to show that macro photos are more artistic and enjoyable to the masses if the main subject is in focus, but similar subjects are in the background out of focus. A technique used by photographers to make a thing more in place without distracting the eye.
So chalk up a new phenomena to Melrose Caverns. But wait, this wasn't the soda straw with a bubble that I had been told about, but a new one. So now there are two soda straws in the cave that do this. Allow me to present the original specimen.
What, you thought I got these images on my first try? Hardly. This stuff takes hard work and much time to get right.
And a few more shots of the cave. Note that I had to do this with just one off-camera flash, nothing else.
And looks like a third installment on Melrose will be needed, as still more pics worth posting.
Melrose Caverns, located just north of Harrisonburg, VA is a former show cave (mid-1900s) that is being restored by cavers at the request of the owners. It is a win-win, as cavers get to go caving and study an interesting cave while the owners get a lot of free labor to restore the cave (a mile of electrical cable has been removed from the cave, along with many bags of stuff left in the cave either from the former commercialization or just folks who littered the cave).
Having just been there this past weekend, it looks amazing. The cave is getting into great shape, history is being documented, and the cavers are doing one awesome job of things.
But lots more to do, and for my part I took a few pictures. Nothing amazing, I was mostly just mostly taking macro shots,
So this is part 1 of Melrose Caverns
And then you go in the cave..
More to come...
For a variety of reasons, I have not been able to get out and walk as much as I prefer. But today was just so nice out with temperatures in the low 50s and blue sky for most of the morning.
So off I went to Great Falls National Park. Their website is:
http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm and I learned something. I have always inserted the word "National" into the name of parks, as I did in the title of this blog post. But this is just Great Falls Park. So how about others? I used that same website to quickly look up the pages for a few other famous parks. Yellowstone National Park. Death Valley National Park. Yosemite National Park. While I didn't search too heavily, only Great Falls seems to be missing the word "National." Go figure
So, the obvious thing to do is to have a look at the falls from the three observation decks. The water was up a bit with the snow melt, and infeeders near the left bank were muddying things up a bit while the water in the center channel was running pretty clear.
And speaking of infeeders...
So I started my walk, and it got a lot quieter away from the falls. But still there was this little babbling brook of snow melt gurgling away. But after that it was mostly just the crunching of snow underfoot. And a hint: It is far easier to see birds and wildlife if you don't have to watch where you are walking, so I wear 18 inch high waterproof muck boots and just walk though the snow and puddles without have to dance around.
And then I spotted a lovely...
And it was just totally quiet while I stood still to photograph the bird, so I decided to put on some music. The bird looked right at me and...
I couldn't believe it, but you have to know the song I was playing...
Okay, so I'm making all this up, but it is what I was thinking. And so songs kept running through my head as I encountered various things along the way like...
I'm not going to put all the videos in this post, but links if you are curious.
Bang Your Head
So next came a...
And right after I took this picture, I saw another large bird coming above the treetops, and got this shot of a raven also sailing by.
Okay, so I had been standing there long enough that the wildlife activity was picking back up, and right down the tree in front of me comes...
The Mississippi Squirrel Revival
So what more could happen on one short walk? Well I ended up hiking upstream after going downstream. Made sense to me, and upstream is where there are usually...
The Duck Song And if that isn't enough Duck Song, there are at least two sequels.
And I heard a bird on the ground, slowly turned and spotted this...
Walk Like an Egyptian And yes, this is the best video version.
And that was the last thing of interest I saw. I walked back to my car along the road just to do something different and didn't see much.
Hope you enjoyed my walk as much as I did.
A nice snake an orange ringed snail eater, from the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology in Baru, Costa Rica
Another frog from the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology in Baru, Costa Rica, the Gliding Leaf Frog (Agalychnis spurelli)
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist