Sunday, October 14, 2007


Blasting my CDs (never had a CD player before in a car) along the highway, I finally decided I'd stop and take a peek at a cave I hadn't been to before. There are certainly enough to go around in this part of the world, and heavens-be should I miss one. So I pulled off onto a little bumply road and drove awhile until I found myself at Onondaga State Cave Park.

It was Very hot, and I nearly ran right over the parking curbstone, still being rather pooped. Finding it a little hard to focus, but under the circumstances that seemed understandable. Tired, long drive, bright light. Figured I'd look around the gift shop and the exhibits and then decide in my sweet time if it was worthwhile taking the tour.

It was cool inside, but a tour was gathered to go right then, so I had to decide pronto or wait an hour or two. I think there was only one tour left after this one anyway, so I thought whattheheck and whipped out a ten for the tour and was shuttled into a waiting room, last body for the show. There was a little film and we were told to use the facilities now or forever hold our...bladders...since it was about an hour's walk and no plumbing and they didn't take kindly to people being innovative about that sort of thing down there. A couple of men ran out and came back before I could even weigh the matter, and the guide came in and hustled us off to the cave. I forgot (dumb for someone who has been in as many caves as I have) that sweaters are a wise fashion choice when going into a cave. I mean, it was soooo hot outside, the asphalt was sizzling, so it was understandable to forget such a thing. So it got rather cool, but then, the exercise of a long, zippy walk kept me from getting cold enough to notice. Humid, yes, since it was a living cave (wet).

G ood opportunity to attempt more Pictures in the Dark/low-light shots. Never really could get anything with the Minolta, at least not much. Since we had to walk fast and it is hard to aim and walk in the dark where you've never trodden before, I didn't have a lot of luck with the digital, either. At least until I figured out the right buttons. However, art programs can provide a lot of light where there was none in the original shot, so I did get some results.

S ome better than others.

Very fuzzy stalagmite. (You didn't know they were fuzzy?)

Better shot. Looks like a rocket!

All the same, not quite getting the walking, climbing, listening, focusing and shooting thing coordinated too well...

However, I'm nothing if not persistent when learning something.
I started getting somewhere when I started fiddling with the settings. Duh. Got a decent shot of this pair of cones...(or were they Shmoos?).
Still, you can't move in low-light without getting the shaky blurs, mutter. This one I call Cousin It.
Now this one is structures of a cave wall, entirely black (no flash and too little light)...but gamma'd up to the hilt. Just to prove the lens was aiming at Something, lol.
This kind of flowstone stalactite structure always reminds me of mammoth teeth or something.

More flowing rock...

Sometimes I could stand still a moment, and accidentally got on a useful setting! Didn't disturb any bats with flash, but there were a few pipistrelles or little browns around, trying to nap over the entry door. Most of the ones down here are the Mexican freetails, but as little tiny blobs in the dark at a distance, it's a moot point anyway. Unless you're one of the bats, of course.

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