As we were climbing toward the exit from our walkabout deep within the Luray Caverns in Virginia I noticed the water flowing over these walls… sparkling jewels catching faint traces of light. Water is truly the life of this and every cavern system. Water carries the dissolved minerals that build the arresting formations within cavern systems. Drop by drop the water creates its forms… sometimes influenced by air currents, creating drapery flow-stone formations… sometimes within still chambers building massive stalactites and stalagmites that join into immense columns as in the Hall of the Giants and as evidenced as the formation called Pluto’s Ghost. These are processes that have been ongoing for hundreds of thousands of years. This is, however, a fragile environment. A mere touch from a thoughtless or careless hand can leave behind deposits of oils from our skin that disrupt the process and cease the ongoing creation. Thoughtless intervention from a human touch can halt thousands and thousands of years of creation in the life of this or any cavern system. Please resist those urges to seek tactile stimuli if you are fortunate enough to visit this or any other cavern system.
straight from the box: Nikon P80; 23mm; f/4.5; 1/60 second; ISO 800