Monday, April 11, 2011

Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland

One of my favorite things to do that I don't do nearly often enough is visit caves and caverns. Here is a virtual tour of Aillwee Cave in Ireland -
The Brown Bear (Ursos arctos) has been extinct in Ireland for over one thousand years.

Rhinolophus hipposideros, the lesser horseshoe bat, one of the smallest bats in the world. Can you see him there in the center of the photo? (Click to enlarge.)

A large calcite formation dubbed the "Great Cascade."


Drip, drip, drip...

The biologist in me hates that they use artificial light in these caves because it causes bacteria, fungus, and plant life to grow in places they would not occur under natural conditions. (See that greenish spot near the top of the photo?) The photographer in me, on the other hand, is excited to take these excellent shots without having to use flash.

Long, little fall...

Along the wall of the blast tunnel. I like little mineral inclusions in rock like these.

This was an Australian couple that we actually ran into twice. We stood next to them at the St. Patrick's parade in Dublin and then saw them two days later on the other side of the country at Aillwee Cave! It really is a small world!!!

Lichen on a rock outside.

The Burren Birds of Prey Centre is right next to Aillwee Cave. We didn't go in, but here are some pretties that were out in the parking lot. (These are not birds of prey.)


  1. I love Australians. They're so excited about everything and so nice and also the most likely people to willing wear name tags. Love them! Great post.

  2. Cool!! Great memories!! Thanks for sharing...can't wait to go back!