corvi (corivax) wrote,

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Living stone

In Missouri, I was introduced to a very nice, if somewhat over-touristy cave. Nobody I was with had been there in at least fifteen years, and so we were somewhat surprised to find railings and poured floors and a gift shop. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful walk, and I attempted some pictures, which came out surprisingly well.

Soda-straw stalagmites. Most of these pictures are strongly yellow, but the cave itself was most gray/tan dolomite and limestone, lit in faint yellow or pale white, and, in places, red, white, and blue. (Sigh. I am Not Patriotic.) Iron oxide for rich scarlet ribbons and veins, and some shimmery pale white onyx, which reminded me of melted white candle wax dripped over the other stalagmites.

There is a reflecting pool for the bottom forty percent of this image or so. You can only really see the water line on the stalagtite at the far left in this picture. Cool breezes, sounds of drops falling, faint splashes. Light caught in the droplets.

One of my favorite images. The stalagtites in the middle that appear to be glowing are pale, pale onyx, and the lighting is pale yellow. They really did shine like fireflies.

Another reflecting pool. This was shot at a much greater distance; the largest stalactite (the one that's partly obscure bya rock that rises above the surface of the water) is about as thick around as I am. It looks to be made of thick braided stone cables. I think of Medusa.

Every caver seems to have a different name for these formations, but they're usually food-related. I think of them as 'popcorn'. I've heard them described as 'cotton candy' or 'grapes', too.

Folded-ribbon stalactites above, origami with shimmery thick stone paper. The tall stalagmite on the bottom has a series of little pools and tiny little waterfalls that channel the water that flows on it. It sings softly of Zen. I wish I'd had better low-light film.

This one I got by locking my legs about the railing and suspending myself that way horizontally over a steep drop and shooting straight up. In retrospect, I have absolutely no idea how I managed that, especially not how I managed to hold myself still enough to shoot a half-second exposure. That should require a tripod. It seemed liek a good idea at the time...
Wax drips, heavy silken ribbons in onyx and iron oxide, blood red in the poor lighting, very beautiful.

A collection of broken and rippled stalagmites that managed to give me the distinct impression of a dragon, curled up in a nest with his nose under his tail. You can see his spine and the flexible plates on it in this picture, and the top of his head (at the bottom, tilted-cross-shaped).

Frozen waterfall, icicles, wind-rippled stone. Crystalline-looking onyx in pearl white and greenblack and soft brown-red. This thing is about forty feet high; the pictures shows only a tiny piece of one edge.

Many thanks to gfish, who helped me rescue my film from where I'd absent-mindedly left it.

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