Mystery Cave trip

Mystery Cave – 08/06/16

Trip Leaders Erin and Mihai

At Approximately 11:00 am cavers Beth (Nebraska), Josiah (Nebraska), Micah (Nebraska), Ryo (Nebraska/Japan), Aron (Univesity of Illinois), Mihai (LEG), Erin (LEG), and Phillip (LEG) entered Mystery Cave via the gated entrance.  Since the Nebraska crew was made up of new cavers, in the Cathedral room, we had a brief talk about safety rules in caving to both preserve the cave and ourselves.  These cavers were excited and eager to get our trip underway.  Aron was with us for a different reason all together.  He is gathering specimen from different caves on both sides of the Mississippi River to compare their genetics and so on and so on.  This was a perfect trip for invertebrate sampling and new cavers as both will be moving through the cave rather slowly.

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The trip began with pictures at the Sentinel.  All were greatly impressed with the coloration of this formation.  As the crew slowly developed cave legs we made our way towards the Liberty Bell.  Again everyone was greatly impressed with this formation and Aron was able to take many samples of the cave invertebrates he was looking for (the largest concentration of these invertebrates he had ever seen in one spot).  We continued down Liberty Bell Passage until we reached the breakdown pile where our only option was to turn around.  From here we made our way to Red Fork Passage.

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In Red Fork Passage there were discoveries of teeth and other bones which fascinated Josiah.  For the most part this section of the cave was just easy going caving.  Erin and Mihai took our new cavers to see the  Iron “Blood” Formation while Phillip took Aron down the Fossil Passage.  Aron’s day was made when fresh raccoon poop was found in this passage just as they were about to turn around.  Aron found this habitat to have everything he was looking for. This score alone made his trip a complete success.

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Everyone met for lunch around 2:30 at the convergence of Red Fork and Liberty Bell Passages.  Together we shared good food and laughs.  Once our bellies were full we continued our journey, making our way to the Stage Curtain Room.  Everyone was extremely impressed by this formation.  While the group admired this section, Aron picked up his last inner cave debris sample slightly further down the passage towards the Lily Pad Room.  Upon completion the group came together for a photo near the Curtain (which came out very blurry).  This concluded the plans for the day and we began our exit through the Mystery Cave Main Entrance.  Everyone exited safely while Aron collected his last sample of the trip, sampling from just inside the entrance.

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This trip concluded with many smiling faces captured in our group photo just outside the main entrance.  This was truly an enjoyable and successful day for all!

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Written by Phillip

Fall 2015 Campout

LEG will be hosting a Fall 76 campout for November 13-15, 2015. All members are welcome! We will be enjoying a weekend of campfires and caving! For more information, please email erin.thomas@littleegyptgrotto.org

Thank you for 50 years of service!

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Mystery Cave, 7/11/2015

 

We arived at Park Et at 9:00 AM and had breakfast. Richard filled in the logbook. We entered the cave at around 11:00 AM by the gated entrance and spent some time in the rubble room trying to see why the flash on my digital camera was not working. It was because we kept a finger on it every time we took a picture so it was not opening at all!

We went through the main stream until we reached the active passage on the right (the one with water flowing over the stalactite on the high ceiling). We kept on going upstream on that passage until there was no more water. Then we came back to the main stream and took the passage toward five forks. We followed an upper passage until it got blocked with collapsed pieces of ceiling and clay. At some time somebody tried to dig into the pile to go further.

I do not remember how we got to the passage with the clay banks. Richard and I thought that the white clay was actually loess, which would be silt not clay, brought from the surface and deposited into the cave.

We saw two salamanders and the second one (photo Salamander2) was quite deep inside. We also saw lots of phreatic features formed when the incipient passage was completely filled with water. Most active passages in Mystery are beautiful textbook examples of a two stage passage formation that starts with dissolution by water under presure filling the conduit and continues downward with a free level stream.

We exited the cave at around 5 PM through the same entrance. By the way Don’s skipole and Jeff’s cave logbook were still there. We had dinner at Park Et and then left.

Story by Mihai Lefticariu

Ceiling mudcracks Clay banks Mihai Passage Richard Rubble room Salamander Salamander2 Spleothems

White Nose Syndrome Cure Found

A common bacterium we find in everyday things, like food flavorings, is giving scientists hope that bat populations can be saved from deadly White-nose Syndrome.

The new treatment was developed in Missouri by Forest Service scientists Sybill Amelon and Dan Lindner, and Chris Cornelison of Georgia State University.

The bacterium, Rhodococcus rhodochrous, dwells in pretty much all soils found in North America and is safe for plants and animals. In fact, it’s been used in more than one industrial application, including flavorings for our food, for over half a century, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Read the full story here.

Karst Field Studies Course Summer 2014

Greetings,

The Department of Geography and Geology at Western Kentucky University and its partners encourage you to participate in the summer 2014 Karst Field Studies Program at and near Mammoth Cave National Park . Tentative courses this summer will include:
– Karst Geology, June 1-7, Dr. Art Palmer
– Exploration of the Mammoth Cave Area, June 8-14, Dr. Stanley Sides
– Cave Survey and Cartography, June 15-21, Dr. Pat Kambesis, with assistance from Mr. Howard Kalnitz
Take a class for fun as non-credit workshops OR courses may also be taken for graduate, undergraduate, or continuing education credit.
For more information about the program, courses, how to register, and instructors, please visit karstfieldstudies.com. But hurry, the deadline to reserve you spot is approaching fast…Friday, May 9. Space is limited.
If you have any questions please contact the Karst Field Studies Director, Dr. Leslie North, at leslie.north@wku.edu.
Please forward this message to your friends, students, staff, and/or colleagues. We need your help to spread the word far and wide!
“Like” us on Facebook at Karst Field Studies (WKU/Mammoth Cave).

Hope to see you this summer!

Dr. Leslie A. North

WNS Video

Attached is a link to a video put together and shared by Ravenswood Media.  This video was produced for the US Forest Service and holds interesting information about White Nose Syndrome.  

https://vimeo.com/76705033

76 Campout

We will be putting this together soon.  Typically this takes place in late October or early November of each year.  For more information, contact info@littleegyptgrotto.org

WNS Confirmed in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today confirmed the presence of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a disease fatal to several bat species, in four Illinois counties. The University of Illinois- Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), the United States Forest Service (USFS)-Shawnee National Forest, the University of Illinois’ Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UIVDL), and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center-Madison, WI (NWHC) assisted in the discovery of WNS which was detected in LaSalle County in north-central Illinois, Monroe County in southwestern Illinois, and Hardin and Pope Counties in extreme southern Illinois.

Click here for full story.

Perry County, MO grotto sculpin

Visit the link below for more information about the current debate about the grotto sculpins in Perry County, MO.  (Link forwarded by SEMO Grotto)

MDC video talks about controversial grotto sculpin