Ocala Caverns, Lake Room, Marion County, Florida, Brent Aulenbach 1

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Ocala Caverns, _Lake_Room, _Marion_County, _Florida, _Brent_Aulenbach_1, I_AMC8670
© Copyright Alan Cressler 2011

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Ocala Caverns is a former tourist cave located south of Ocala, Florida. The cave was exposed by a very old limestone quarry operation. At the conclusion of the commercial venture, the cave fell into disrepair and became a site for people to party and vandalize. This practice continued until a couple of years ago when local cavers took an interest in protecting and restoring it. With cooperation from the land owner, the cave was gated and cleaned. It is recovering nicely. Cave life is making a come-back. We observed many troglobitic crayfish in the pools and a small colony of southeastern myotis bats. www.floridacaving.com/pages/events/OcalaCavernsProject200...

I've known about Ocala Caverns for years but it was very low on my visitation list because of its former condition. Last year I saw a beautiful image taken by local caver Sean Roberts and my interest peaked.

Last weekend Sean agreed to show us the cave so we could take images. He also volunteered use of the light source that he used to create his beautiful image.

Lighting for this image is a combination of a single strobe and powerful LED dive light used to paint the underwater portion during a 13 second exposure. Thanks very much for that Sean. When we arrived at the pool, it was covered with calcite rafts. www.nps.gov/archive/wica/Speleothems.htm This created an opaque covering over the crystal clear water. I tried a shot of that then we agitated the surface and sank them. This image with the clear water was much better. The blue color is created by dissolved solids in the water. This water has a high calcium content.

Brent did a great job of holding still during the long exposure.

title Ocala Caverns, Lake Room, Marion County, Florida, Brent Aulenbach 1
date yyyymmdd hr:mn 2010:03:07 12:15:24
source Flickr
flickr_agent alan_cressler

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