Friday, April 5, 2013

Educational. Exciting. Entertaining.

Those words describe the 260 feet descent to the bottom of the Skyline Caverns in Front Royal, Virginia.  Dr. Walter A. Amos, a retired geologist, and his 20 men expedition discovered a sinkhole as they were exploring and mapping the caves around the area in 1937.  The sinkhole is now the parking lot to the Skyline Caverns.

I am taking a break from gardening to spend quality time with my granddaughter. Our excursion brought us to the caves where we enjoyed The Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom, a naturally white and extremely rare formation of anthodites grown in a vacuum.  Exactly how they are formed is still a mystery.

The Grotto of Nativity consists of several stalagmite formations and with a little imagination Mary holding the Christ Child with Joseph at her feet soon becomes apparent.  Further away are the three Wise Men bearing a gift of gold.

An excellent example of pillar formation is the 9 ton and 12,000 year old Capitol Dome which needs no explanation.  It is just as easy to make it out to be a huge elephant's foot trampling in chewing gum.  Of course, my granddaughter loved the Fairyland Lake with Cinderella's castle.

In the Skyline Caverns, scientists discovered seven (7) Valentine Beetles, about 1/4 inch long, amber, and with no eyes--the only seven in the world.  When the beetles were brought out of the cave, they died.  This happened in one single day.  The beetles may now be seen, if you request it, at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very interesting outing. Sad that the beetles no longer exist.