Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

We spent the day underground at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I’d only visited a few caves prior to today, but Carlsbad is by far the largest and grandest. I highly recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. How incredible that such splendor can exist beneath the surface of the earth. I was truly astounded, as always, by the imagination of our Creator.

Photos cannot do the cave justice, but my budding amateur photographer Andrew, tripod in hand, did an admirable job with his camera.

There are two ways to enter the cave. By elevator from the Visitor Center, or by a 750+ f00t descent from the natural entrance. We took the elevator down and opted to hike out the in door (below). Great workout!

We stuck around till dusk to see the bats fly out of the cave. In the past, 200,000 or more bats would band together in exodus, swirling in a vortex up and out into the night. Quite a sight, so we’re told. Sadly, the bat population seems to be declining at Carlsbad. Rangers speculate it could be due to the drought, and maybe they’re migrating to water. Anyway, only a few hundred bats exited the cave this evening, a few here, a couple there. Rather unspectacular. Great day, though.


Common Household Mom said...

I love the photos! I suppose a tripod makes a huge difference,but it can't be easy to take photos in the dark.

We went to Carlsbad Caverns when I was a child, about 12 years old. We saw the bats leave the cave en masse. I am so sorry to hear that there are so few left. I know there is some kind of bat disease around, but don't know if affects these bats.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Yeah, CHM, they talked about "white-nosed syndrome" but it hasn't been seen in New Mexico yet.