Monday, November 21, 2011

Warsaw Caves/ Our World

 Following a rocky trail at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Two Saturdays ago, my husband and I visited a conservation area a few miles east of Peterborough, Ontario. The weather was beautiful and a number of families were out exploring the trails, this one headed for seven caves created by a series of glaciers that once covered much of Ontario with two to three kilometers of ice.

As the last of the glaciers - about 12,000 years ago - began to recede,  melted water formed prehistoric Lake Algonquin (the remains of which is now Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Simcoe) and Lake Iroquois (the remains of which is now Lake Ontario). Deep meltwater flowed swiftly from Lake Algonquin to Lake Iroquois creating cavities in the area's limestone bedrock.

 Where cedars grow now, water once flowed

Over thousands of years, acidic water  - caused by high levels of carbon dioxide - dissolved the bedrock where it flowed through cracks that naturally form in limestone. Eventually water flowed over, through and under the bedrock.

Can you see the layers in the limestone?

The bedrock shifted as the weight of the ice above lessened and as erosion continued. Caves formed where underground river channels collapsed.

 Here you can see rocks, cracks, a hole...

Wait! Do you hear something?

Spelunkers!

Weren't these spelunkers (cave explorers) kind to pose for me?

Click HERE to see tons more photos celebrating Our World.

30 comments:

Shammickite said...

What a great place, I have never heard of it. I think I'll have to pay a visit in the spring, must add it to my "Things to do, places to go" list!

see you there! said...

What an amazing landscape. Thanks for the history lesson too.

Darla

ladyfi said...

What a great combination of the rocks and the trees. Looks like a great place to explore!

Lowell said...

What a fascinating post...and you are an educator, right, 'cause you did such a fine job of meshing commentary with photographs. Very interesting. Had no idea.

Spelunkers, however, are nuts!

RedPat said...

I had no idea there was such a place near Warsaw! Great shots and super info.

Martha Z said...

I enjoy developed caves, the kind with lights and pathways, but I have no interest in exploring as these young men were doing.

Gary said...

Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

VioletSky said...

I have a vague memory of going here when I was very young, but now that I see these photos I really want to explore it again on my own!

Sylvia K said...

What an awesome place! And such fascinating history -- thank you for including that! Your photos are fantastic as always, EG! Love seeing the young spelunkers!! Terrific post and photos for the day and a great look at a part of your world! Have a wonderful week!

Sylvia

aka Penelope said...

The contrast of uneven sinking land and tree growth must give the forest a mystical feel, especially when cave explorers emerge from the depths. :)

Carver said...

I love the shot of the spelunkers. Actually I like all the shots. Very informative post.

Halcyon said...

So much history around here. Love the spelunkers! :)

Kerry said...

It's mind-boggling to think in terms of geologic time. Nothing could persuade me to go spelunking, however, nothing!

Antonette said...

What a great place to visit! I would have tons of fun taking pics.

Take Care,
Antonette

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a pretty place to hike. My hubby is a spleunker, when he has time. Great photos.

Andrea said...

That's a great summary of summaries, instant information! I am also amazed at the persistence of those trees to grow in the rock crevices, and they certainly are already old. Amazing landscapes.

Kristy said...

This reminds of a state park in IL. Beautiful, but a such a workout for the legs!

SandyCarlson said...

That looks like a fascinating place. Geological time makes it all seem like yesterday. I will think of this post the next time the kids at school get my goat! It's but a blink!

J Bar said...

It does look interesting.

Indrani said...

This seems to be a great adventurous place.

Ms. Becky said...

this post is close to my heart. several years back I lived in a similar area in northern Wisconsin, and it was one of the most beautiful spots I'd ever lived. the rocks, like these here, had extraordinary beauty. and it's magical to stand, see, and take it all in with the knowledge of how old ancient is. that continues to fill me with wonder. I always thought the colors of the rock were out of this world. I'm glad you captured this and shared it with us. and your Collapsing house in previous post is very charming too! happy week to you EG.

Randy said...

That would be my kind of place! Lovely photos.

Dawn said...

GREAT post! I love the layers of rock/earth!
Isn't it all just so incredible?!

bettyl said...

Looks like a wonderful place to roam.

Kathy said...

I think I'd be frightened to go into one of those holes.

Viola said...

What a spectacular and fascinating place! And yes, I can see the layers in the limestone.. Caves are always so exciting to discover! And such a great information you gave next to the pictures! :) I loved to read it!

Francisca said...

What a beautiful and interesting conservation area! Amazing how those cedars can grow among the rocks! The spelunkers were good sports to pose for you... exploring caves is something I'd rather not do (although I have, and by serendipity report it in my Our World Post too LOL!)

Susan said...

Doesn't that Lake Algonquin have a monster that lives there in the water? I think I watched a NatGeo special on it, or maybe it was a MonsterQuest show.

Anyway, beautiful pictures. Sounds like a fun day!

Rose said...

I love that second shot...just something about it.

Powell River Books said...

I love those rocks. We live near a huge rock wall and never get tired of looking at it. - Margy

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.