Home

Video: River Cave

Leave a comment

Tham Khoun Xe from Ryan Deboodt on Vimeo.

Not much to write about this time. I’ll let the video do the talking. The film shows a trip through Tham Khoun Xe cave, which envelops about four miles of the Xe Bang Fai river in central Laos.
The cave had been closed to foreigners until about 2005. The video is by photographer Ryan Deboodt. His Vimeo video channel is here.
For more on Tham Khoun Xe, including a detailed map, check out the July 2009 issue of National Speleological Society’s magazine.

Advertisements

Caves and waterfalls

Leave a comment

We spent last weekend exploring caves and waterfalls. And caves at the top of waterfalls, which meant climbing the waterfalls to get to the caves.

Which is how I ended up slipping and breaking a big toe. Not that it slowed me down much. In fact, here’s a list of things you can do on a broken toe before beginning to suspect the toe is broken:

— Climb back down a waterfall.

— Climb up the waterfall again.

— Climb part way down the waterfall trying to figure out where the kids wandered off to.

— Climb back up when realizing the kids are climbing up.

— Explore the tall, shallow cave at the top of the waterfall that starts with an icy spring.
— Climb down the waterfall. Keep in mind this is a Midwest waterfall, more like a stream running down a steep, rocky hill, and not a huge, roaring down a sheer cliff waterfall.
— Explore the ice cave. The ice cave was about half a mile away and offers some shade and natural air conditioning. The deeper reaches appear to have been closed off for now.
— Drive 90 minutes home.
— Get a weeks worth of groceries.

Photo: Palisades paths

2 Comments

Stone stairs. (C) 2014 J.S. Reinitz

Stone stairs. (C) 2014 J.S. Reinitz

Digging through my old photos the other day, I came across this shot of stone steps on a path through Mississippi Palisades Park near Savannah, Illinois. The place has great views of the Mississippi River, hiking trails and rock climbing. There is even a small cave tucked into the base of a cliff.

Posted using Tinydesk blog editor

White nose found in more parts of Mammoth Cave

Leave a comment

Park officials have found signs of white-nose syndrome in more areas of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The disease was first noticed in 2013, but the new areas are along the tour routes. This is a concern because of the possibility of humans carrying the illness to other caves through their footwear and clothing.

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. — White-Nose Syndrome, a disease that is deadly to bats, has been found to be present along the toured passageways of Mammoth Cave, according to National Park Service officials. Park staff discovered WNS in remote sections of Mammoth Cave last year, including colonial hibernacula.

WNS was first detected in New York State in 2006 and has killed millions of cave-dwelling bats in eastern North America. As the disease progresses, bats become active during months when they would normally be in hibernation. Mortality rates of bats have reached almost 100 percent in multi-year infected caves.

“We have observed some increase in bat activity, which may be due to the illness,” said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. “We have also found several dead bats in the last few weeks.”

“It is important to remember that White-Nose Syndrome affects bats, not humans,” added Craighead. “As with all our wildlife, we caution visitors not to approach animals, including bats. If contact should occur, please notify a ranger.”

Tours and research are continuing at Mammoth Cave National Park, accompanied by extensive education and outreach on WNS, and adherence to approved cleaning methods recommended by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Visitors must walk through bio-security mats as they exit cave tours.