Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Candle Smoke Writing

Here's a different kind of writing for you: Candle Smoke Writing, or rather, historical graffiti. My son and I stopped by Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky on our way down to Space Camp in Alabama, and while we had only booked the standard Mammoth Cave Passage tour, the guide was nice enough to take us small group of between-Christmas-and-New-Year's visitors on a side trip to Gothic Avenue, where you can find these rather magnificent displays of graffiti from before the Civil War. See inscription from 1827 in the middle of this picture. The 7 is backwards as many of these writings were done by holding the candle over a mirror rather than craning your neck for a few hours.

Turns out most of the guides in those days were slaves, and allowing visitors to leave their names on the cave ceiling was a way for them to make some money.

Another way for them to earn a little something was to offer visitors the chance to leave their own stone tower or "monument." This was also a rather clever way of clearing the path of rocks, something the slaves were in charge of.

A beacon of modern light - the Christmas tree in the Rotunda in Mammoth Cave.

Coming up for air - I shall leave you with this image of the bare forest above the cave. Still no snow yet in this picture, perhaps we shall see a dusting as we are on our way back now. More impressions from our short trip coming soon.

Happy New Year!


  1. Great photos Annette! That last one would definitely be a beautiful scene with snow capped branches!

  2. Wow...AMAZING!!! I had no idea...I love that you always show us stuff that's so different...wonderful!

  3. Great photos! I went there once as a kid, maybe thirty years ago? I mostly remember the peacocks that hung around outside the souvenir shop. :)

  4. What great pictures!!! Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing this with us- you always have a way of sharing things in such a way that it makes me want to hop in a car and go where you've gone :)

  5. Diane - yes, a bit of snow would have been great.

    Rena - thanks for commenting!

    Natalie - thanks, glad you like what I come up with.

    Coleen - no peacocks when I was there!

    Anjuli - thanks! I just try to share what I find amazing myself.