こちらは、おそらく多くの方が御存知のハハコグサ。春の七草の中の「ゴギョウ」です。名前の由来を調べたら、1) 新芽がやや這うことから「這う子」からなまった、2) 葉や茎が白い綿毛に覆われている姿を母親が子を包みこむ様子にたとえた、3) 白い毛に覆われている葉を「乳児の舌」にみたてた、4) 茎も葉が綿毛におおわれている姿を「ほうけた」ような状態に見たてた「ホウコグサ」がなまった、5) かつては「草もち」の材料としてポピュラーで「葉っこ草」と呼ばれており、それがなまったなどなどです。英名は Jersey Cudweed。ジャージー牛が反芻して食べる草。そのままですね。学名は Gnaphalium affine。英名が付いていますが、東アジアに主に分布しているそうです。
This is a Jersey Cudweed. Its scientific name is Gnaphalium affine. It grows extensively in East Asia including temperate regions of China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan as well as some high altitude tropical regions of India, Nepal, and Thailand according to Wikipedia. It is one of the herbs consumed in the Japanese spring festival Nanakusa-no-sekku (seven-herbs festival). Japanese name of this plant is haha ko gusa, which means "a mother and children weed". Strange name, huh? There are several hypotheses of origin of the name, but the origin is still ambiguous.
こちらはイカリソウ (学名: Epimedium grandiflorum var. thunbergianum) という草です。中国語で淫羊藿と言い、英語では、Rowdy Lamb Herb やHorny Goat Weedと呼ばれている事から分かるように、どうやら羊や山羊がこれを食べると興奮して乱暴になったりするようです。これには現在科学的に説明がついているようで、イカリソウの成分のイカリイン (icariin) というフラボノイド配糖体に、一酸化窒素 (NO) レベルを上昇させたり、ホスホジエステラーゼ (PDE)-5に対する弱い阻害作用があるそうです。これらの作用により平滑筋が弛緩し陰茎などの血流が増え、弱いながらもバイアグラと共通の作用をするのだそうです。
This plant is called Icari sou, which means anchor weed, in Japanese. Its scientific name is Epimedium grandiflorum var. thunbergianum. Chinese name and English name are interesting. This plant is called Rowdy Lamb Herb or Horny Goat Weed in English or Chinese (I mean translation of Chinese). According to Wikipedia, many species of Epimedium are alleged to have aphrodisiac qualities. This property was discovered by a Chinese goat herder who noticed sexual activity in his flock after they ate the weed. The "active ingredient" in Epimedium is icariin, which is purported to work by increasing levels of nitric oxide, which relax smooth muscle, and inhibiting PDE-5 activity. Injections of Epimedium extract directly into the penis of the rat results in an increase in penile blood pressure. This mechanism is the same with Viagra, although the effect of icariin is weeker.
こちらの植物はヒトリシズカ。静御前が舞う姿に花の咲く姿を喩えたんだそうです。すごく不思議な形の花です。静御前の舞いは、残念ながら私にはこの花の姿からは想像もつきません。学名は、Chloranthus japonicus。英語の common name はなさそうです。
This plant is called hitori-sizuka in Japanese. Shizuka is one of the most famous women in Japanese history and literature. Ancient Japanese thought that this flower looks like Shizuka dancing. Shizuka was probably so beautiful and cool. But, unfortunately, I can't imagine Shizuka from this flower, the shape of this flower is very unique though. Scientific name of this plant is Chloranthus japonicus. There is no English common name.
我が家のユキノシタの花にたくさんついている小さな虫です。縞縞模様が美しいです。これは、ヒメマルカツオブシムシ。小さくて綺麗な虫なんですが、幼虫はどうやら衣類や剥製、乾燥食品を食害する、いわゆる害虫ってヤツみたいです（成虫は花の蜜を吸って生きているそうです）。幼虫は特に標本などの乾燥した動物質を好んで食べ、乾燥や餌切れにも非常に強く、餌が無くとも自分の脱皮殻を食べて３年間も生きたという記録もあるそうです。びっくりですね。さすがに衣類を食べられたら困るので、家の外でだけで繁殖して欲しいものです。この昆虫の学名は、Anthrenus verbasci。英語の common name は Museum Beetle, Sacramento Anthicid Beetle, Sacramento Beetle, Varied Carpet Beetle, Variegated Carpet Beetleというそうです。Museum beetle とか、Carpet Beetle とか言い得て妙ですね。
This insect is called Museum Beetle, Sacramento Anthicid Beetle, Sacramento Beetle, Varied Carpet Beetle, or Variegated Carpet Beetle. Since its larva eats clothes, stuffed specimens (animals), and dried food, probably museums have had troubles caused by the larva of this small beetle. Adults eat nectar of flowers. The larva can survive 3 years by just eating empty shells of itself. Wow. It's amazing. Please avoid getting them in your home! Scientific name of this insect is Anthrenus verbasci. Japanese name of this insect is Hime maru katsuo bushi mushi.
この美しい花はベンケイソウの一種であるフチベニベンケイ (学名: Crassula portulacea) の花です。英語の common name は、Jade plant または、Money tree だそうです。フクベニベンケイの別名のカネノナルキは、Money tree の直訳でしょうか。ベンケイソウは葉が厚く，切り取って暫くおいてもしおれず，土に挿すと根が出て元気よく育ちはじめる丈夫な性質が弁慶に例えられたそうです。ベンケイソウ科の植物はCrassulacean Acid Metabolism （CAM) 植物と呼ばれ、特殊な光合成を行う事で有名です。通常植物は昼にCO2を取り込んで酸素に還元しますが、この植物は夜にCO2を取り込んで、酸素に還元するそうです。これは、この植物の本来の生息環境（砂漠）に適応するために発達した機構のようです。砂漠で昼間に気孔を開けると、水分が失われてしまいますもんね。ちなみにパイナップルも CAM 植物だそうです。
This plant is called Jade plant or money tree. Japanese name of this plant is Fuchi benkei or Kane-no-naruki, which means money tree in Japanese. This plant family has a very unique metabolism called Crassulacean acid metabolism, also known as CAM photosynthesis, which is an elaborate carbon fixation pathway in some plants. This plant fixes carbon dioxide (CO2) during the night (Ordinary plants fix CO2 during the day). The CAM pathway allows stomata to remain shut during the day; therefore it is especially common in plants adapted to arid conditions to inhibit evaporation of water from stomata. The Pineapple is also a CAM plant.
こちらはツタ性の常緑植物のツルニチニチソウ。スペイン、南フランス、バルカン半島など地中海沿岸原産。英語の common name は Large Periwinkle、Greater Periwinkle または Blue Periwinkle。学名は、Vinca major。Vincaは、ラテン語の 「vincire（結ぶ、巻き付く）」が語源だそう。
English common name of this plant is Large Periwinkle, Greater Periwinkle and Blue Periwinkle. Its scientific name is Vinca major. It is native to southern Europe, from Spain and southern France east to the western Balkans, and also in northeastern Turkey and the western Caucasus. It is an evergreen trailing vine.
こちらはムラサキケマン。漢字は紫華鬘と書くそうです。華鬘というのは仏殿の欄間などの装飾具の事だそうです。学名は、Corydalis incisa。英語の common name はないようです。
Japanese name of this plant is murasaki keman. Murasaki means violet, and keman is a kind of a Japanese decoration at fanlight of Buddhist sanctum. Its scientific name is Corydalis incisa. There is no English common name.
こちらはキランソウ。漢字では金襴草と書くそうです。長い毛が生えた茎や葉が特徴的です。民間薬として鎮咳、去痰、解熱、健胃、下痢止めに効能があるそうで、イシャゴロシ、イシャダオシなどとも呼ばれているそうです。学名は、Ajuga decumbens。英語の common name は creeping bugleweed。Bugle とはラッパという意味ですが、なんで bugleweed と呼ばれるのかは分かりませんでした。
This plant is called creeping bugleweed in English. Japanese name of this plant is Kiran sou. Its scientific name is Ajuga decumbens. In Japan, this plant was used as an antitussive agent, expectorant drug, defervescent, digestive medicine, and antidiarrheal agent.
I wrote that I learned lots of things in the dinosaurs resource center. One more thing. Dinosaurs and reptiles including ichthyosaurs, and pterosaurs, have Sclerotic rings. The guide told us that current birds also have it. Although I'm a veterinarian, I did not learn it. I checked my text book, but the bone is not described there. But according to Wikipedia, the sclerotic rings are rings of bone found in the eyes of several groups of vertebrate animals, except for mammals and crocodilians. They can be made up of single bones or small bones together. They are believed to have a role in supporting the eye, especially in animals whose eyes are not spherical, or which live underwater. Fossil sclerotic rings are known for a variety of extinct animals, including ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs, but are often not preserved. Hmm. Interesting!
こちらは、Cave of the winds に行った時に、そこの駐車場にいたバッタです。いろいろ名前を調べたのですが、よく分かりません。でも調べているうちに、Rocky Mountain locust (ロッキートビバッタ) というバッタがこの地域に生息していた事をつきとめました。なんで過去形かというと、このバッタ、1902年に絶滅してしまったそうです。このバッタは19世紀末まで、アメリカ合衆国の西半分全域と、カナダ西部の一部に生息していたそうです。群れの大きさは昆虫の中では最大規模のもので、1874年にある昆虫学者が目撃した記録によると51万平方キロメートル（この面積はカリフォルニア州全域よりも大きい）だったそうです。この記録はギネスブックにも「動物の作る最も大きな群れ(greatest concentration of animals)」として掲載され、群れの大きさは少なくとも12兆5000億匹、総重量2750万トンと書かれているそうです。ところがその後30年足らずで、このバッタは絶滅。理由には諸説があるようですが、有力な説としては、移民により耕作と灌漑が進んだことにより、生態系が壊されたとするものがあります。Buffaloももうすぐ絶滅するところでした。そしてこうして現に絶滅させられてしまった生物もいます。悲しい事です。私が見つけたバッタですが、ちょっとRocky Mountain locustに似ているような気も？もしどなたか同定できたら、教えて下さい。
We found this locust, when we went to cave of the winds. It was in a parking lot there. I tried to identify its name, I failed it. If you know name of this locust, please let me know. During I'm searching name of this locust, I found a interesting description about Rocky Mountain locust, which was extinct.
According to Wikipedia, the Rocky Mountain locust (Melanoplus spretus) was the most important locust species that ranged through almost the entire western half of the US (and some western portions of Canada) until the end of the 19th century. The insect may have produced larger swarms than any other locust species. One 1874 sighting famous to entomologists recorded a swarm 198,000 square miles (513,000 km²) in estimated size―greater than the area of California. According to The Guinness Book of Records under the heading 'greatest concentration of animals', the swarm must have contained at least 12.5 trillion insects with a total weight of 27.5 million tons. But less than 30 years later, the species was apparently extinct. The last recorded sighting of a live specimen was in 1902 in southern Canada. And because no one expected such a ubiquitous creature to become extinct, very few samples were ever collected. The cause of their extinction is disputed. It is possible that the plowing and irrigation by settlers disrupted the natural life cycle of the insects.
As I mentioned, buffaloes were almost extinct, and this insect was actually extinct. It is very sad. We should be very careful, since human have such a big influence to the nature. By the way, the locust that we found looks like the Rocky Mountain locust, isn't it? I know that it's impossible though.
Garden of the gods にある visitor center では、ロッキー山脈の形成の歴史などを学べる他、インディアンの歴史や、Garden of the gods を発見した人々、そしてアメリカ人の Buffalo の大虐殺の歴史が学べます。アメリカンインディアンは、慎ましく食用や毛皮用に群れを崖に追い込むなど伝統的な手法により必要な分だけ狩猟を行っていました。ところが、西部開拓時代に猟銃による狩猟が行われるようになり、数千万頭の生息数は激減し、19世紀末には1000頭未満にまで減少したそうです。現在は生息地で保護され、生息数は数十万頭まで回復したとされています。以前は大地が真っ黒に染まる程たくさんいたバッファロー。どんなに獲ったっていなくならないと鷹をくくった人間の傲慢さ。スポーツ感覚で殺戮数を競った浅はかさ。Wikipediaに私が visitor center で見たのと同じ写真が出ていたので (著者の死後70年以上経っているので、著作権の問題はないそうです)、下に掲載します。数万頭のバッファローの頭蓋骨がうず高く積み上げられ、その頂上に誇らしげに立つ人物の写真が見られます。その頃は英雄だったのでしょうが、大馬鹿者の一人として後世に記憶される事でしょう。ちなみにアメリカでバッファローと呼ばれている動物は、正しくはアメリカバイソン。バッファローはアジアで水田の耕作に使われていた水牛を指し、アメリカバイソンは水牛に比べ毛が長く、外見が随分違います。
We learned a lot about the American history at the Garden of the gods visitor center. We learned that Americans killed millions of buffaloes literally. There were more than 10 million buffaloes. But by the end of 19th century, the number was decreased to less than 1000. They were almost extinct! Now the number is recovered to 100,000. I found the same photo that I saw in the center on Wikipedia. Since its copyright is expired, I put the photo here. A man on the buffalo skulls looks very proud. But he was just an idiot. We should learn from our history and save the earth. This photo will be a good reminder for humans. We should not repeat this kind of things including whaling. By the way, although American usually call the animal buffalo, strictly speaking, the animal is American Bison (Bison bison). According to Wikipedia, "Buffalo" is somewhat of a misnomer for this animal, as it is only distantly related to either of the two "true buffaloes", the Asian buffalo (or "water buffalo") and the African buffalo.
TIPI - Though it was not used by the Anasazi, most consider the Tipi as the dwelling of North American Indians. For nearly three hundred years, the North American Plains Indians found the Tipi ideal for a nomadic (遊牧民の) lifestyle. This portable shelter allowed Indians to move in pursuit of buffalo, whose hides were the covering for this uniquely shaped tent. Flaps in the top were opened to let smoke out and were closed during bad weather. Ribbons tied to the top of the lodge poles discouraged birds from landing on them.
When we visited MANITOU cliff dwellings, we saw Tipi. Although I introduced it as TeePee in my old blog "Today's word2", both TiPi and Teepee are OK. TiPi was described like below (or see right picture).
TIPI - Though it was not used by the Anasazi, most consider the Tipi as the dwelling of North American Indians. For nearly three hundred years, the North American Plains Indians found the Tipi ideal for a nomadic lifestyle. This portable shelter allowed Indians to move in pursuit of buffalo, whose hides were the covering for this uniquely shaped tent. Flaps in the top were opened to let smoke out and were closed during bad weather. Ribbons tied to the top of the lodge poles discouraged birds from landing on them.
In Japan, I learned the word "Prairie", when I was a junior high school student. At that time, since the US was far away, I just remember the word for passing the test. But this time, I saw the Prairie in Colorado! Actually, the Prairie is very boring huge grassland. So I did not take many pictures. The above photo is the only photo of Prairie. Although the landscape of Prairie is not so exciting, I like it, since my home town, Tokyo, don't have this kind of very relaxing scenery.
Aspen [名] アスペン。ポプラ科の木の総称。北アメリカに生えているのは、Populus tremuloides (common name は Quaking, Trembling または American Aspen, アメリカ北部及び西部に生息) と Populus grandidentata (common nameはBigtooth Aspen, 場所はアメリカ東部に生息)。
コロラド州は Aspen と言う名前の市があるほど、Aspenがたくさんある場所です。私も gift shop でAspenの葉っぱを鋳型にしたピアスを買いました。一つ一つ葉脈が違うんです。綺麗でしょう？北アメリカにはPopulus tremuloidesとPopulus grandidentataという２種類の Aspenが生えているようです。このうち、Populus tremuloidesはアメリカの北部と西部に、Populus grandidentataはアメリカ東部に生息しているそうです。コロラド州はアメリカ西部。だからコロラド州のAspenはきっとQuaking, Trembling または American Aspenなどと呼ばれているPopulus tremuloidesでしょうね。
Colorado has a lots of aspens. The state even has a city named Aspen. I bought beautiful earrings in a gift shop in Colorado. There are two kinds of aspens in North America. One is Populus tremuloides, which distributs in north and west sides of the US and another is Populus grandidentata, which, distributes in east side of the US. So, Aspen in Colorado is probably Populus tremuloides. Its common name is Quaking, Trembling or American Aspen.
I went to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. I had a wonderful time there, since I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid. We participated a tour, which only two of us joined. The tour guide told us lots of interesting things and we discussed a lot. Although I loved dinosaurs, it was long time ago. So I did not know, now Brontosaurus was disappeared. Brontosaurus was actually Apatosaurus. He told me that it happened because researchers mixed two bones from two dinosaurs and thought the two bones from a dinosaur. So I said that if we can extract DNA from dinosaurs bones, we can distinguish dinosaur species. He said that usually dinosaur bones are replaced by minerals, and thus cells or DNA are rarely found.
He also showed us a cancer developed in some soft tissue of dinosaur. Since I'm studying cancer, I was imagining that dinosaur might have had p53 tumor suppressor gene? or these things (You know, even yeasts have many human homologues. It can be.). He also told us that insects in amber are almost empty, because bacteria ate inside of these insect. So it is very rare that blood of their prey (can be dinosaur) left inside of them unlike the movie, Jurassic Park. I did not know. So it was interesting.
He also told me how to distinguish mammals and dinosaurs. You may think that it is not so difficult. But researchers usually need to distinguish it from incomplete skeletons without knowing appearance. The guide said that mammals have distinguishable two back teeth. So we can tell it from the teeth. When I was a kid, my book said that dinosaurs were cold blooded, and mammals were warm-blooded. But now there is a hypothesis that dinosaurs might have been also warm-blooded. Anyway, we can't tell it from skeletons.
I also did not know there were "dinosaurs" and "reptiles" in the same era. We usually mixed them up. But the guide told us that strictly, dinosaurs are described as terrestrial archosaurian reptiles with limbs held erect beneath the body, that existed from the Late Triassic to the Late Cretaceous. Many other prehistoric animals are popularly conceived of as dinosaurs, such as ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs, and Dimetrodon, but they are not classified scientifically as dinosaurs. They should be called "reptiles". Marine reptiles like ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, and plesiosaurs were neither terrestrial nor archosaurs; pterosaurs were archosaurs but not terrestrial; and Dimetrodon was a Permian animal more closely related to mammals.
When I was in the center, I was wondering how big dinosaurs' cells probably the same size of mammals)? How big blood vessels are? nerves are? heart is (blood pressure should have been very high)? and so on. If you are studying dinosaurs and if I made mistakes or you know the answer to my questions, please let me know. By the way, this resource center has real Darwin's notebook (right photo). A famous researcher was touched by this center and gave it to this center. This center is really great. Even I, who is not a specialist of this field, enjoyed a lot, if you are a specialist, you must have a great time there. Please go and check it.
Garden of the gods を訪れた際、数羽の bluebird を見ました。アメリカには3種類の bluebird がいます。Eastern bluebird、Western bluebird、Mountain bluebird の３種類です。これら３種類の棲み分けはコチラのページでcheckして下さい。メリーランド州に住んでいた頃、Eastern bluebirdは２回見ました。メリーランド州にはEastern bluebirdしか住んでいないので、見分けるのが容易でしたが、コロラド州には３種類ともが生息しています。なので、見分け方を勉強しました。Eastern bluebirdは胸から嘴のところまでオレンジ色の部分がつながっているのに対し、Western bluebirdは胸のみがオレンジ色。Mountain bluebirdはオレンジ色の部分がなく全身青色だそうです。今回見た blue bird はどれもそんなにオレンジ色が強くなかったのですが、きっと季節や性別・年齢によるものでしょう。嘴のところまできっちり胸からの色（今回は白っぽい）が続いているので、きっと Eastern bluebird だと思います。見た事のない Western bluebirdやMontain bluebirdを見たかったのは確かですが、でも胸の羽毛を膨らませたり、石の上から飛び降りたりする瞬間の写真が撮れたので満足しています。
I saw bluebirds at the garden of the gods in Colorado. There are three kinds of bluebirds in the US. They are Eastern bluebird, Western bluebird, and Mountain bluebird. This web-site shows distribution of this three kinds of bluebird. When I lived in Maryland, I saw Eastern bluebird twice. Since Maryland has only Eastern bluebird, it was very easy to distinguish. Since Colorado has all the three kinds of bluebirds, I learned how to distinguish the birds from the web-site. It says that the Western Bluebird is most easily distinguished from the Eastern by the presence of his blue "collar" that runs above his red breast but below his beak. The red breast of the Eastern Bluebird extends all the way up to the beak. Mountain Bluebirds are easily distinguished from the other two sub-species in that they are entirely blue. They have no red on them. Therefore, although red (orange) is not so clear, since I don't see blue "collar" that runs above his red breast, I think that the bluebirds in above photos are Eastern bluebird. As you know, the same bird show different appearance depending on age, sex, and season. Thus, I think that my estimation is plausible, but if it is wrong, please let me know. When I was watching the bluebird, he/she puffed up (3rd photo), and also jumped off from a rock (5th photo). I'm glad that I took these moments.
When we were driving back to Denver from pikes peak, we passed a small casino town. It was like "what?", because it did not match with the beautiful nature there. But as you may know, the area had the Pike's Peak Gold Rush (later known as the Colorado Gold Rush) at 1859. I found an interesting episode in Japanese Wikipedia. Levi Strauss & Co. was founded in 1853 by Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss, who invented jeans for people who mined gold at the Gold rush era, because they needed tough pants.
We saw llamas in Colorado. The llama (Lama glama) is native to the Andes mountains in South America. But according to Wikipedia, llamas appear to have originated from the central plains of North America about 40 million years ago. They migrated to South America and Asia about 3 million years ago. By the end of the last ice age (10,000–12,000 years ago) camelids were extinct in North America. Due to importation from South America in the late 20th century, there are now over 100,000 llamas in the US and Canada. Wow. 100,000 llamas!!! In Japan, we see llamas only in zoo. But it seems that this animal is more popular in the US.
I introduced Black-Billed Magpie few days ago. When I took the above photo, I thought that it was a magpie again. But when I looked carefully, it did not have the distinguishable long tail. I checked it carefully, and found that it was a Lark Bunting, which is a Colorado state bird. Since my photo is not so great, please do Google image search to find better one, if you are interested in this bird. According to Wikipedia, Lark Bunting has a small gray bill and a white wing patch. Adult males in breeding plumage are black except for their white wing patch. Other birds are more sparrow-like in appearance. Thus, I saw an adult male in breeding plumage.
I saw two babies of Dall sheep in the Denver zoo. If you have a chance to visit there, you can see the cute babies. They are so curious and running around their mommy. The sheep inhabit the subarctic mountain ranges of Alaska, the Yukon Territory, the Mackenzie Mountains in the western Northwest Territories, and northern British Columbia. Do you know the difference between goat and sheep? Goat have beards, but sheep don't have it. The bottom photo is an adult male with big horns. You see, even the adult male don't have beads, thus they are sheep. Female Dal sheep also have horns, but males horns are bigger.
Since mountains in Colorado don't have much water, there are few kinds of plants growing there. I think that the plant in the above photos is a kind of Yucca. It can be Yucca angustissima or Yucca harrimaniae, but I'm not sure. When I lived in Maryland, I had fried yucca in a Mexican restaurant. That was yummy. I don't know whether that yucca was the same yucca that I saw in Colorado, since there are so many yucca species. Anyway, I enjoyed the very unique vegetation in Colorado.
洞窟探検が好きな私は、コロラド州でもCave of the windsという洞窟を見に行って来ました。デンバーから南下し、先日御紹介した garden of the gods を通り過ぎ、Manitou Cliff Dwellingsのすぐ近くにこの洞窟はあります。この洞窟の入り口は切り立った崖の上。崖下への転落には十分に御注意を。落ちたら確実に死にます。この洞窟の感想ですが、私が愛したバージニア州の洞窟群に比べると、乾燥していて鍾乳石などの美しい構造物は乏しいです（あるにはあるのですが、あまりゴージャスではありません）。コロラド州の山々は雪が積もるので水は豊富かと思いきや、Garden of the godsも乾燥していて、Prickly pear (ヒラウチワサボテン）まで生えていたように、岩でできているこの地方は、おそらく雨や雪が降ってもそれを地盤に維持できなくて、水はすぐに逃げて行ってしまうようです。美しい湖や鍾乳石を見たいのであれば、水が豊かで絶えず鍾乳石が形成されているような場所に行く方が良いですね。私としては、いろいろな気候や地理が洞窟の形成に及ぼす影響を学べて有意義でしたが。そうそう。私は参加しませんでしたが、この洞窟では希望すれば「ランタンツアー」というツアーに参加させて貰えます。観光客向けの点灯は一切行わず、真っ暗闇に手渡されたランタン一つで臨むという、かなりハードなツアーのようです。小一時間で制覇できるくらいの距離らしいですが、真の暗闇を知らない現代人には小一時間は長いでしょうね～。挑戦された方は御感想をお聞かせ下さいませ。
Since I love spelunking, I visited the cave of the winds in Colorado. We went to South from Denver, went through garden of the gods, then the cave is near by Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Entrance of this cave is located at top of the cliff. If you fall, you will die. Be careful! This cave is very dried compared with caverns in Virginia, where I loved to visit. Since Colorado mountains have lots of snow, I thought that these mountains have lots of water, But it seems that this region is dry because of the rocks (Rocky Mountain!!!). So you can't expect huge beautiful stalactite and stalagmite, or beautiful lakes in the cave. If you want to see these structures, you should go to cavers with lots of water. But it was still a great experience for me, because I learned how weather and geographic characteristic affect formation of caverns. By the way, this cave has a unique tour called Lantern Tour. You can enjoy spelunking in real darkness with a lantern. It seems that the tour is little hard. Since I did not participate it, please let me know how it was if you tried it.