Friday, 16 March 2012

Me, myself I - cave photography for one.

For various reasons I needed a day out of work so chose to use some flexi time and take the friday off. The plan was vague, but part of the reason was to start fettling kit for a caving exped over the easter period. This trip is basically a week in the Canadian Rockies carting kit for two cave divers who are pushing Canadas longest cave - Castleguard.

So with some new lights to play with, and wanting to test the cave photography kit a bit more, I slunk off to my local cave, Lesser Garth Cave. Not a major system but it has the benefit of being in the hill next to where I live - thus not far to travel, though the slog up the hillside is pretty entertaining!

So a little photo essay from the cave featuring me and taken by me (well on the cameras timer...) - all pictures taken on a Lumix G10, using a small tripod, some cheap radio slaves and a max of two flashes;

At the entrance.
The entrance has been the site of a number of archaeological digs and there is evidence of early habitation. The remains of around seven bodies have been found, the latest being medieval in age, and of course King Arthur is buried here somewhere........
In the main passage
After a climb down, which needs some care, the cave becomes pretty big and nicely decorated with much flowstone, Sadly though there is also alot of evidence of vandalism, with damage to the formations and rubbish lying around. I always remove some on these trips.
About halfway through the main part of the cave.
Roughly halfway a small pool is encountered and the passage narrows. This  pool surprisingly has a healthy population of the tiny groundwater isopod Proasellus cavaticus (a kind of aquatic woodlouse). These are true underground dwellers so tread carefully.......
Same as above but single flash.

At the 'second' pool.
A bit further and a second pool is encountered, and despite the attempts of careless visitors is still a pretty place. The cave continues a bit further but then ends at a boulder choke.
egg case of the cave spider Meta menardi
The entrance of the cave is not a good place if you don't like spiders. A number of species are commonly found here but the most striking is the large cave spider Meta menardi, a beautiful and distinctibe spider reddish in colour. The camera set up isn't great for macro stuff but I did manage to get a decent shot of one of the spiders egg sacs.

Another spider inhabits this cave, but is much smaller - a meer 2mm. This is Porrhomma rosenhaueri. This tint spider is a rare beasty and is in unique in the UK as it is our only true cave dwelling spider. For some reason it likes this cave and is another reason to tread carefully................

Porrhomma rosenhaueri (taken on previous survey work with a proper macro lense) - scale: the body length of the spider is 2mm!

1 comment:

  1. Nice shots mate, I was on Flat Holm that day, another me, myself & I ;D