Friday, February 24, 2017

What's Under There? This.

The Divine Cabin sits atop a bluff and from the road people can see, in winter and spring, what looks dramatically like a cave at the bluff's base. They actually park on the shoulder and walk on down there. It's so familiar I barely notice it, but I explored today so you can visit. In the above photo you can see in the left bottom corner my two three-foot hiking sticks, for scale, so the opening is about 30 feet.

The "cave" goes back about 20 feet, and although you can walk in you must stoop and then crawl and then meet a solid wall without portals, so it's not a cave but merely sandstone rock that is vulnerable at that layer to weathering. There's daylight enough inside for photographs. Because it's a sandstone bluff its flooring is sand with fallen chunks of solid sandstone (this presents danger and is why it's off limits), and animal tracks, mostly opossum. I found a bone about 10 inches long. What is a cave without a bone? The bone also had teeth marks (see the close-up photo). Before the flood of '15, a fox den was nearby--but beneath the bluff is not a good animal hideout because there's only one way out, and for the climbers, nothing to climb. Claws can't climb sandstone.

The bluffs were cut by LaBarque Creek when it was ancient and higher. The LaBarque is now about 40 yards to the west, beyond those trees. A fox's den will always be near water. The bluffs are wet and green year-round and they used to form a swampy pond ("the secret pond") at their base, full of frogs in spring and summer, so many they climbed the cliff and up the side of my house and stuck on the bedroom window. The flood of '15 thickly covered the creek's silty margins with sand and evened it out so there's very little pond area. A two-minute video I made way back when, in 2011, preserves it.

What you see from the road
Nearby I found a damp log with a few fresh oyster mushrooms that were in the pan 20 minutes later.

No comments: