Sunday, July 6, 2014

Splendor Underground. Luray Caverns

Splendor Underground. Luray Caverns

Splendor Underground. Luray Caverns

Posted: 06 Jul 2014 08:53 AM PDT

I spent the morning of July 4th visiting Luray Caverns, a subterranean world filled with magnificent rock formations. Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the caves were discovered In 1878. They are the only caves on the East Coast of the US. I first visited when I was a child and even then I remember being in awe of the wondrous rock formations I saw. I have to say, having visited again as an adult, I remain in awe of the stunning beauty of the place.

You enter the caverns through a very non-nondescript door inside the gift shop. From there, a path takes you into caverns were stalactites and stalagmites, rocks in formations known as draperies and waterfalls. Throw in a few "totem poles", a magical lake and a pair of fried eggs and you have just a few of the underground splendors that make Luray Caverns a very special natural wonder.

Image #1. Giants Hall - Giant's Hall is an enormous subterranean chamber where there is an amazing variety of large stone formations that are referred to as the "Totem Poles" which include a massive pair of side by side totems known as the Bride and Groom.

Image #3. Stalactites form from the ceiling down while stalagmites build from the ground up. The growth rate is one cubic inch per 120 years and some formations are over seven million years old!

Image #4. The Lake of Dreams is amazing. When you come upon it, it looks like a massive cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites but in fact, it's a very shallow pool of water that mirrors the stalactite formations from above. When you look at th water you think it's deep but that's just an illusion. At its deepest point, the water is only 20 inches deep!

Image #6. One of the unique formations in Luray is the dripstone which looks like icing dribbling down the side of a cake. The column on right is a set of stalagmites and stalactites that have touched.

Image #7. Another unique formation is flowstone which are crystalline deposits that form frozen waterfalls, veils and draperies. Saracen's Tent is one of the most perfectly formed drapery structures in the world. Some sections of the drapery are so sheer, you can see through the rock when a light is shown on it.

Image #8. The variation in the colors of the rocks is amazing! Iron and iron-stained clays create red and yellow hues, while copper minerals cause blue and greenish hues.

Image #10. Fried Eggs formation. A very small and unique formation that looks like a pair of sunny side up eggs.

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Posted: 06 Jul 2014 07:32 AM PDT

Germany is one step closer to reaching the World Cup 2014 final by defeating France 1:0. This victory now qualifies Germany for the semi-final game against Brazil. Hundreds of fans gathered at the Berlin Fanmeile, including 2 nuns in the crowd, and cheered the German team ecstatically while French fans stood helplessly in horror! After the game , hundreds of German fans drove their automobiles to the center of the city, the Kurf├╝rstendamm in downtown West Berlin, for a car parade and party. They blocked the famous boulevard waving flags, dancing and singing until they were eventually dispersed by the police after several hours. It was an exhilirating end to a super game and one cannot help but feel the growing excitement of even greater German madness in the coming days of the World Cup 2014!

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Ballon Festival

Posted: 05 Jul 2014 09:39 PM PDT

The fourth of July is celebrated with fun and festivities at Battle Creek, MI. It has Balloon and Air Shows every year and this year was no exception. Lots of things to buy with snacks and food stalls everywhere. Rides and games are in plenty.

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Cave of Three Eyes

Posted: 05 Jul 2014 08:24 PM PDT

Cave of Three Eyes National Park Dominican Republic

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NYC evening skyline lit up with July 4th fire works

Posted: 05 Jul 2014 01:35 PM PDT

I captured these amazing fireworks photos at July 4th 2014 Macys Independence Day firework's celebration in NYC. This time fireworks were held in east river area near NYC popular landmarks One World Trade Center and Brooklyn Bridge.

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Brazil World Cup 2014 - Germany Hits France 1 - 0

Posted: 05 Jul 2014 04:03 AM PDT

After the match at Kurf├╝rstendamm Boulevard in Berlin.

Markku Rainer Peltonen

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Fireworks in Kearney, Missouri...!!!

Posted: 04 Jul 2014 08:49 PM PDT

They reserve the 3rd of July to bring 10's of 1000's to the little village of Kearney, MO for a fantastic fireworks display. It is my understanding that this festival has been been going on for over 60 years.


It used to feature the ladies of the community serving up home made ice cream for all the kids and adults to enjoy.


It has grown and grown into one of the premier fireworks displays in the Kansas City area...yet still remains one that you have to "know about it", as it is less publicized than most.


So if you are anywhere near Kearney, MO on the 3rd of July and are looking to enjoy one of the best fireworks displays this side of New York City......tell your friends.


But know that you should plan on coming early, as those who arrive late will indeed see some of the best pyrotechnic displays, but will be waiting up to an hour to get back on the road....but somehow, it is all worth it...!!!


These images were captured with a hand held Canon Power Shot SD 780IS at Jessie James Park on 03 July 2014 by Doug Mackenzie, Principal Photographer, Mackenzie Images, Kansas City, MO

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