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OT: Calcium in Caves

  • Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] OT: Calcium in Caves
  • From: "J. Griffin Crump" <jgcrump@erols.com>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 17:37:13 -0500

Here is a photo of yours truly MANY years ago at the entrance of Lost River, an underground river in southern Indiana's karst (a type of limestone terrain) region, and one of the formations along the river's course.  During the decade or so during which I explored these caves and underground streams, we also found, quite rarely, a formation which we called a "moonmilk waterfall", which was limestone in a liquid state, pure white, cascading from a height at a flow rate so slow as to appear staticUnfortunately, I have no photos of that.  We also found what were called "gypsum flowers" quite frequently.  When I brought my first seedlings, packed in wet sand, to Virginia almost 29 years ago, the only spot in the yard that had full sun was solid yellow clay.  Not having any money to spare in those days, I pulverized an old stump and worked that into the soil, while looking for a source of gypsum.  No one in the area, including the major local nurseries, had ever heard of it.  I finally found an industrial plant where it was used and persuaded them to sell me a couple of bags.  With this added to the soil, the seedlings survived that first year, while I cleared more areas for planting. --  Griff
zone 7 in Virginia

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