Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Inside Carlsbad Caverns

with 26 comments

On June 14th last year we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2018 at 4:40 AM

26 Responses

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  1. I live so close, but still have never made it out there. We did visit the caverns in Sonora a few years ago. They were amazing.


    June 14, 2018 at 8:13 AM

    • I’m sorry your comment slipped through; I rediscovered it just a few minutes ago. Years ago we did the Caverns of Sonora as a day trip from Austin, and like you, found the place worthy of visiting. Maybe it’s time to go back, just as it’s time for you to go to Carlsbad Caverns.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2018 at 10:02 AM

  2. Nice! This reminds me of my recent visit to the Caves of Sonora where they have special tours just for photographers. But, I bet you’ve already done that. I did not…..


    June 14, 2018 at 8:36 AM

    • A long time ago we did the Caverns of Sonora as a day trip from Austin. I didn’t know about the special tours for photographers—perhaps those weren’t offered at that time. If I ever go back, that would be the way to see the place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2018 at 6:54 AM

  3. …so the third photos appears to be a creature escaped from the movie set supply of Aliens or Star Wars.

    Just curious to know if you walked out or took the UP elevator?

    esther wilson

    June 14, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    • We happily took the elevator back up. That third photo does seem to show an alien, doesn’t it?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2018 at 6:56 AM

  4. Beautiful! I haven’t been there since I was a child!


    June 14, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    • We’d gone once, a couple of decades earlier, but somehow found the formations much more interesting this time. I’m glad we gave the place a second chance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2018 at 6:59 AM

  5. I was also there as a kid, and it was pretty awesome. You captured some neat textures here. And it was cool! Which was also pretty wonderful in that part of the world, it was over> 100 degrees the whole time we were in NM.

    Robert Parker

    June 14, 2018 at 7:45 PM

    • I’ll take “cool”in both senses, if I may. As a kid I never visited Carlsbad Canyons, or in fact any famous sites in the west. Now I’m doing my best to make up for lost time. It’s worth a trip back to Carlsbad if you haven’t returned since you were a kid.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2018 at 7:43 PM

      • I have relatives living in Soccoro, so I’m sure I’ll visit at some point,

        Robert Parker

        June 15, 2018 at 8:33 PM

        • Relatively speaking, you may find succor in Socorro (which is what the word means in Spanish).

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 15, 2018 at 9:20 PM

          • ¡Ayúdame! ¡Hace mucho calor en esta ciudad! I’m forgetting my Spanish, haven’t been speaking it. Yes, my cousins there told me that the local Indians helped the Spanish settlers in the old days.

            Robert Parker

            June 15, 2018 at 10:13 PM

            • Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about that:

              “In June 1598, Juan de Oñate led a group of Spanish settlers through the Jornada del Muerto, an inhospitable patch of desert that ends just south of the present-day city of Socorro. As the Spaniards emerged from the desert, Piro Indians of the pueblo of Teypana gave them food and water. Therefore, the Spaniards renamed this pueblo Socorro, which means ‘help’ or ‘aid’. Later, the name “Socorro’ would be applied to the nearby Piro pueblo of Pilabó.

              “Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro, the first Catholic mission in the area, was probably established c. 1626. Fray Agustín de Vetancurt would later write that around 600 people lived in the area during this period. Mines in the Socorro mountains were opened by 1626.

              “During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Spanish refugees stopped in the pueblo of Socorro. A number of Piro Indians followed the Spaniards as they left the province to go south to safety. With no protection of Spanish troops, Socorro was destroyed and the remaining Piro were killed by the Apache and other tribes.”

              Seems socorro isn’t perpetuo.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 16, 2018 at 6:23 AM

  6. Wow, majestic.


    June 14, 2018 at 8:53 PM

  7. Seaweed!


    June 16, 2018 at 1:47 AM

  8. In the first and last photos particularly, the sense of flow is strong. Its hard to see them as images of solid surfaces; it’s as though a fast shutter speed captured them in the process of creation. The last looks remarkably like kelp on a beach, with water flowing over it. It’s an interesting variation on the stalactites shown in the first photo, and a great abstraction.


    June 16, 2018 at 7:44 AM

    • Viva abstraction! Now that you mention it, these formations are the result of flowing water, even if it’s a very slow flow.

      I didn’t see much kelp along the Atlantic seabord. I did see another kind of seaweed that fascinated me just as much as the kelp in New Zealand last year. The new kind will eventually show up here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 10:55 PM

  9. Your photos are wonderful, Steve. We finally made it to this amazing place two years ago. If I may be so presumptuous:


    June 16, 2018 at 9:11 AM

    • Not presumptuous at all, Tanja. Thanks for the link. I’m glad you made it there, too.

      I wanted to visit Mammoth Cave in Kentucky yesterday, but the website says no flash photography is allowed, so as a photographer I passed it by. Too bad.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 11:00 PM

      • Thank you for taking a trip into Carlsbad Caverns with me, Steve. I am sorry you missed out on Mammoth Cave, but I hope you are enjoying your trip. Safe travels!


        June 17, 2018 at 6:39 PM

        • I appreciate your good wishes. We got back last night, the 25th day of the trip. We’re still putting things away, doing laundry, getting back into our home routine.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 17, 2018 at 6:48 PM

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