Some landowners look at a cave as a hindrance, they attempt to fill the natural hole with all sorts of debris. Of course,we discourage this and volunteer to clean out sinks and caves. Some landowners realize they have a valuable natural resource in a cave rather than a hindrance. The owner of Catacombs Cave is one of these people. Ms. Peggy has a beautiful cave and a beautiful property. We all know that sometimes with busy lifestyles that it gets tough to care for the things we have. We also know that eight or ten people can get things done a lot faster than one. So, on Sunday August 3rd 2014 several cavers went over to volunteer to help clean the property. A small retention wall was reassembled to prevent massive runoff, invasive plant species were removed, gravel was spread over the driveway to prevent rutting, and the entire property was given a nice makeover. This was all done with the enthusiasm to Dance like no one is watching.
The cleanup volunteers had a nice lunch in the shade. Due to the cave being policed and gated it did not need any work at all. A couple of volunteers did scale the drop to check on the water level, which is very high, and the water was crystal clear. We did not do any caving other than an entrance inspection due to bat maternity season just ending.
When you think of a symbiotic relationship, you probably are transported back to Biology class thinking of two species that benefit each other–like Bees and flowers. Most people don’t think of a caver and a landowner as symbiotic. However, the relationship between caver and a landowner has been symbiotic since the early 1950’s when the Florida Speleological Society (FSS) was founded. If you have a cave, karst feature, or sinkhole on your property–drop us a line. We are happy to offer good manpower for a cleanup at no cost.
Story by Philip Walker
All photos by Jon Singly