2014/01/26

Verble Hollow

During the polar vortex of 2014, Kristen Bobo, Emily Davis, and Greer Crabtree hiked to Verble Hollow. Access is difficult and hampered by numerous cliffs. Gaps have to be found, climbing has to be done, gear has to be protected. Sufficient clothing for a trip in these frost conditions is difficult enough to travel in. In addition, I had caving gear, and photography gear.

After a few hours we arrived at our destination. From a cave a stream emerges, plunges 80 feet, and disappears into another cave. This feature is known as a karst window in geology. What that really means is that geomorphologically, the caves used to be a single system, but collapse has provided a "window" into them. Karst windows crop out pretty much anywhere you have cave systems. What is special about this one, is that it is one among just a handful of other features which reveals not just a stream, but a waterfall. Other better known examples of this include Lost Creek Falls, Virgin Falls, and Rylander Cascades (Dry Creek Cave Falls).

At the time of the shooting of this waterfall, I know of only one other set of photos of it on the internet, and those were also taken by me. To then get photos of it covered in ice was a really special event.

In addition to enjoying the waterfall, we also explored several of the caves in the area. They were all small with plenty of crawling. Across from Verble Hollow Falls Cave, we encountered dozens of tri-colored bats (Perimyotis subflavus, aka "pips" from their previous, though incorrect scientific name Pipistrellus subflavus). Their heavy presence near the entrance of the cave we speculated was the result of white nose syndrome.

Unnamed waterfall, Emily Davis, Greer Crabree, Putnam County, TennesseeIce cone, Putnam County, TennesseeVerble Hollow Falls 1, Putnam County, TennesseeUnnamed waterfall, Putnam County, Tennessee
Verble Hollow Falls 2, Putnam County, TennesseeLower Verble Hollow Falls Cave twilight, Greer Crabtree, Putnam County, TennesseeLower Verble Hollow Falls Cave, Kristen Bobo, Putnam County, TennesseeLower Verble Hollow Falls Cave, Greer Crabtree, Putnam County, TennesseeAcross from Verble Hollow Falls Cave, Perimyotis subflavus, Greer Crabtree, Putnam County, TennesseeUnnamed creek, frozen, Putnam County, TennesseeUnnamed creek detail, frozen, Putnam County, Tennessee
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