I could have spent all day in this cave. So many tunnels and places to explore. Very hard to compose in the dark with only flashlights, but I think this one works. I love the rubble on the floor from collapses millenia in the past.
I should have done more tree detail work, but it was so overwhelming to be w ith these trees that I didn't except for a few shots like this one of some laurel growing about 15 feet off the ground on a redwood trunk.
By this time, my husband was really feeling the effects of a bad cold and so I hurriedly shot and stupidly left the camera on handheld settings even though I used a tripod. Doh! Still, it was tough to find scale in this massive forest. Trees like this one are typical in the old growth sections.
When you visit any redwood forest, you spend a lot of time doing this. It's so staggering because the scale is so out of the normal human experience...at least for those of us who don't live with these giants. This is in the Stout Grove which is an amazing section of redwoods.
I like this one for the scale the staircase adds. Huge chamber and before it was a park, this was a speak easy during Prohibition. Hundreds of people would be down here boozing it up. Funny. You can see the walking path on the right and some stone stairs that lead up and out to the right. The big jumble of boulders on the left is part of a ceiling collapse. The rest is in a deep chasm on that side.
These caves are completely different from the ones at Lava Beds and you can't go exploring on your own. Still the guided tour was fun and I got some shots that are ok. Couldn't bring a tripod so high ISO handhelds were my lot in life. Amazing formations though. The whole mountain is made of marble and water basically carved all the caves.
This large bull stood for quite a while just yards from dozens of people, watching over his herd (we were all behind a fence or on a footbridge). Stoic and ever-vigilant he didn't seem to mind us or the mess in his antlers.
It was funny watching tons of other people shoot wide landscapes in the terrible light of mid-morning. I just kept the long lens on and shot slices. Here I liked the textues and the geometry of the foreground trees.
so named for that bit of light ahead in the tunnel. As the crust on the lava tube surface became unstable, it collapsed forming skylights in the cave. It's one of the few with any light at all except for the entrance.
We debated hiking out to this waterfall, but since the trail was easy and it was only 2 miles round trip, we went for it. The light was bad, but I did my best. Thought I lost a lens cap here, but it was in my jacket pocket which was in the car. Oy.
It's hard to show depth in these caves, but I think you can make out the back of the tunnel where it curves away to the right. The ceiling here is about 5-feet so we were both hunched over, stepping over loose rocks and gravel. Up ahead it got even smaller and I basically had to crawl. Then we just sat and turned off the flashlights for a few minutes. Such stillness I've never felt before. Absolute darkness and silence. It was awesome and truly humbling.
I was over the moon that it was foggy for our first visit to the northern California redwood groves. This is the Ladybird Johnson Grove and is a quite an elevation compared to other forests and so the fog hung around.
When we reached the Stout Grove in the Jedediah Smith Redwood forest, the sun was fairly high, but I decided that the filtered sunlight was something I could work with and I like the contrast between the shaded trunks and the sunlit branches.