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"Since 1986, dedicated to the conservation and protection of our underground resources."

Rolling Oaks Cave Preserve

Workday November 10, 2012

Huge thanks to the 17 volunteers who helped with the dig in Niche Cave on the Texas Cave Management Association Rolling Oaks Cave Preserve in Northwest San Antonio.  108 volunteer hours logged!  Volunteers trimmed trees, cut dead trees over the property, and removed approximately 1 1/2 cubic yards of trash and debris from Niche Cave.  Bob Cowell also found a small dig on the property that I named Old Man Cowell Sink.  Most of the trash in Niche Cave was whole glass bottles with about a 4:1 ratio of bottles to dirt and rocks.  Volunteers were full of excitement as they hauled out bucket after bucket of trash and eventually opened up a passage under all the trash on the floor of the entrance.  Tom first noticed the void when his rock bar nearly fell through the floor.  The newly opened area is too unstable to enter but is about 4 feet deep and can be opened with more digging.

Thanks to: Ellie Watson, Ron Ralph, Rick Corbell, Galen Falgout, Don Arburn, Tom Florer, Allan Cobb, Linda Palit, Fran Hutchins, Bob Cowell, Chris Murray, Jessica Snider, Robert Davis, Juline-Amanda ViTapay, Mat Zappitello, Saj Zappitello, Tom Rogers.

We ended the day at 2pm with a good lead to greet us for the next work day in the Spring, date to be determined.

Article, photos and captions by Ellie Watson.
Click on any image below for a larger image in a new window.

Niche Cave. We began the day with a small access to a small passage below with cave wall and ended the day with almost the entire floor being dug down. Tom, Bob, and Linda get the dig rolling. Bob and Tom haul buckets of trash out of Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio. Old Man Cowell Sink
Niche Cave.  We began the day with a small access to a small passage below with cave wall and ended the day with almost the entire floor being dug down.  Tom Florer, Bob Cowell, and Linda Palit get the dig rolling. Bob Cowell and Tom Florer haul buckets of trash out of Niche Cave.  Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio. Old Man Cowell Sink
Obvious Cave, Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio Saj doing her biology thing in Obvious Cave, Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio The dig is in full swing! Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio
Obvious Cave, Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio, Saj Zappitello doing her biology thing in Obvious Cave, Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio The dig is in full swing! Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio.
Fran had the wheel barrow under control. Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio Ron checks things out. The pile of trash from Niche Cave started out small and ended up large. Dirty boy.
Fran Hutchins had the wheel barrow under control. Niche Cave.  Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio. Ron Ralph checks things out.  The pile of trash from Niche Cave started out small and ended up large. Dirty boy.
Don sorts glass bottles and dirt at Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio, Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio
Don Arburn sorts glass bottles and dirt at Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio. Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio. Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio.
The lovely Saj displays our digging progress. We started the day with the floor level about at her waist. Now we have access to a small crawl-way around a quarter of the sink that was previously discovered but covered totally with trash and fill when we started the dig in Feb 2012. The opening! Trash started spilling into this 4ft hole once all the years of trash was removed from atop. Brigade! Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio
The lovely Saj Zappitello displays our digging progress.  We started the day with the floor level about at her waist.  Now we have access to a small crawl-way around a quarter of the sink that was previously discovered but covered totally with trash and fill when we started the dig in Feb 2012. The opening!  Trash started spilling into this 4ft hole once all the years of trash was removed from atop. Brigade!  Niche Cave.  Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio.
Group photo and more bottles from Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio, 11.10.12
Group photo and more bottles from Niche Cave. Rolling Oaks Work Day, San Antonio, 11.10.12.
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