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Photographer's Note

Visible in the photo are stalactites extending downwards from the roof of a cave and their reflections, evocative of miniature skyscrapers. Luray Caverns underlie Shenandoah Valley of Virginia are found the largest complex of caverns of the United States. Their location is approximately 150 km (94 miles) west of the United States Capital of Washington, DC. It was in 1878 that three men wandering in the hills of Shenandoah Valley felt the cold air rushing out of a limestone sinkhole. Lighting a candle to get a better look into the cave, they saw their candle blown out instantly. This began the discovery of Luray Caverns. The men gently slid down a rope into the cave and were overwhelmed the eerie world of stalactites and stalagmites visible by the light of a candle. From the Smithsonian Institution report of July 1880 described the scenery, “There is nothing more beautiful in the cave than these scarves, shawls, lambrequins of translucent calcite, some white as snow, falling in graceful folds, fringed with a thousand patterns, and so thin that a candle held behind one of them reveals all the structure within.” Formed during 400 million years of calcite dissolving with stalactites dissolving and extending downwards, and stalagmites growing upwards precisely where the former dissolve. During the past week, we had friends visiting from Wisconsin. For years I've lived in the Washington-Virginia Metropolitan area, but this was my first visit to the magnificent natural formations. The area open to the public was about 2 km (1.25 miles) in length. Without a tripod and the opportunity to take time-exposure photos, I decided to shoot with my iPhone 6Plus. I was pleased with the outcome. In the near future, I will post additional photos from this extraordinary cave.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6797 W: 479 N: 12143] (41163)
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