Just kidding there is no Monster, but there are some problems with Santa Cruz's Sea Caves.
Santa Cruz has five small, marble caves. These caves are home to two endangered arachnids and the threatened Townsend Big-Eared Bat. All of these caves have experienced massive vandalism and abuse, but Empire Cave in particular has experienced the brunt of it. On the University property and within a stone’s throw of the road, Empire Cave desperately needs our help!
A haven for partiers and vandals, this cave has taken an incredible amount of abuse. It's walls blackened by a tire fire in the main room, it's air poisoned by decaying bales of hay (since painstakingly removed), and its formations smashed and stolen by the hordes of vandals who come here to party, this cave would almost be considered a lost cause. Its proximity to the road makes gating almost impossible, and cleanup efforts are endless.
Why not write this cave off? Because this is the home of the endangered Dolloff Spider, found only in Santa Cruz caves, and the unique Empire Cave Pseudo scorpion, found only in Empire Cave! Our efforts here are not just to save a cave, but to save two species from extinction!
Halloween is particularly hard on Empire Cave. The parties are non-stop, drugs and alcohol are a constant presence, and more destruction occurs on this one night then most caves suffer in an entire year. One year, bales of hay were dragged into the cave to make their activities more comfortable. This hay was left in the cave, and soon after began to decay. The resulting CO2 from the decaying hay nearly killed all the native cave life and made cleanup trips hell! There was so much CO2 that even the flame of a cigarette lighter was unable to be sustained. We still haven't seen any of the unique Empire Cave pseudo scorpions return, but thankfully at least one Dolloff Spider has been spotted.
The November 1st 1997 cleanup was mostly hands-and-knees work, picking broken glass out of the muddy floor and pulling cans out of every little crack or hole in the wall.
Empire Cave is on University of Santa Cruz property, and is thus owned by the University. Gating was at one point attempted, but since the cave is so close to the road, each gate has been destroyed as fast as they can be installed. The University finally gave up their gating attempts and actually installed a ladder to ease entry! Not only has the University opened themselves up to epic lawsuits, but they have also made it an order of magnitude easier for vandals to destroy the cave and cause the extinction of two arachnid species.
More information on Santa Cruz's Sea Caves can be found at the following web address: http://www.caves.org/grotto/sfbc/projects/empire.html
Have a wonderful weekend everyone..............Buddy
Critiques | Translate
Kitty_the_Wild (1169) 2012-04-27 12:39
Very well composed, this sight on the bluffs framed by the dangling leaves, with this bright landscape coming out from the dark...
eldancer1 (31387) 2012-04-27 14:05
Very creative use of the shadows to frame this beautiful beach scene. But I'm sorry to hear the problem this area is having. When I used to live in San Diego in the early 70s we were able to party or even sleep on the beach up and down the California coast but that is no longer possible today and enforcement is strict. I'm wondering why this is being neglected by the authorities? I hope the state will do something about the problem. TFS.
Miguel82 (26528) 2012-04-27 16:20
very interesting story
good picture from the cave and view of the beach
Miguel from France
Sonata11 (33604) 2012-04-27 21:04
impressive captured of the view from this cave. Wonderful composition and fantastic natural frame with perfect perspective, colors, sharpness, clarity. I love the spectacular view and surroundings. Fantastic view of this place. An excellent work with fabulous effect.
All the best and have a nice WE.
jusninasirun (17162) 2012-04-27 21:07
This is a wonderful natural framing looking out at a fine view. I like the cliff, sand and blue water in the distance. Nice caveman view and have a great weekend.
ikeharel (62081) 2012-04-28 0:50
A well premeditated shot, Buddy.
The beach scenery through trees, like a natural frame is most enlighting, and with good light management.
The green veg.'s on the rock top's is giving fine cover.
Enjoy a nice weekend,
emad (284) 2012-04-28 1:18
Hello Buddy.a very nice photo,i think it was possible to apply more conttrast to eliminate faded objects in the foreground.
Silvio1953 (129304) 2012-04-28 4:08
Ciao Buddy, lovely composition well framed byy vegetation, wonderful natural colors, splendid light and excellent clarity, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
photoray (13410) 2012-04-28 6:44
Interesting geological and biological gems in the Santa Cruz Marble Caves, which I never knew existed.
And you captured a fine inside looking out to the distant cliffs.
PS: In SoCal the 'authorities' keep many beach areas reasonibly safe by strict enforcement of closed after sundown laws, or sometimes 10 pm.
Basically, the popular coastal areas that would attract the negative behaviors, are off limits to rowdy behavior. Law breakers are often escorted to jail and receive a hefty fine. The State park campgrounds are another story.....
I suspect Santa Cruz's Sea Caves would receive more respect if police handed out $500 fines for violations?
Tigerlily (3137) 2012-04-28 8:34
Ha,ha.. My friend from Califorma, the POV looked like a Monster's peeping, and waiting to get into the cave:-D, Great atomsphere.
What a story.. I do enjoy it.. hope everything will be sorted out, and all the spiders,scorpions will leave there saft and happy forever:-)
Have a nice weekend, Buddy.
debmercury (304) 2012-04-28 11:12
I like the title of your photograph which makes me imagine the cave is the monsters mouth and he is looking out at the beach beyond. Great capture.
All the best
bayno (18344) 2012-04-28 20:17
we live in a world full of vandals and injustice, excellent your POV and management of light, I like the natural frame made from the leaves at the top and bottom shadow...beautiful beach...
have a good day...
aliabazari (16053) 2012-04-28 22:41
Very beautiful and lovely. Excellent prospects with good lighting and colors.
jester5 (2024) 2012-04-29 4:57
A very interesting note with this one Buddy and a good photograph to illustrate the story too.I like your use of the ferns as a framework and a good job you have made of shooting from the dark into very bright light.Well done.
Sorry I've not been on for a while but been had a really good dose of flu.
delpeoples (54659) 2012-04-30 4:13
Hi dear Buddy
Judging by your POV, I thought it was YOU who was the monster living in the cave :) Great POV and good management of what look to be really difficult light conditions. And a lovely spot too, looks like a haven for the beachcomber or the hiker.
Thanks for sharing dear friend
Gigidusud (17673) 2012-04-30 5:46
Very creative use of the shadows to frame this beautiful landscape.Great contrast of light.
Thanks for sharing.