A Tapestry of Nature – Cave Loop, Lava Beds National Monument

Cave Loop – Lava Beds National Monument by Larry Eifert



A Tapestry of Life

Cave Loop – Lava Beds National Monument

Commissioned by the Crater Lake Institute and painted by Larry Eifert in 2006.

Species list for the key drawing:

  1. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  2. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
  3. Townsend’s Big-eared Bat Corynorhinus townsendii
  4. Blue Elderberry Sambucus nigra.
  5. Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
  6. Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena
  7. Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
  8. Purple Sage Salvia dorrii
  9. Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus
  10. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea
  11. Black-tailed Jack Rabbit Lepus californicus
  12. Desert Paintbursh Castilleja linariifolia
  13. California Needlegrass Achnatherum occidentale ssp. californicum
  14. Canyon Wren Catherpes mexicanus
  15. Mariposa Lily Calochortus macrocarpus
  16. Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys californicus
  17. Arrow-leafed Balsamroot Balsamorhiza sagittata
  18. Western Rattlesnake Crotalus viridis
  19. Least Chipmunk Eutamia minimus
  20. Wolf Lichen Letharia vulpina
  21. Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta
  22. Mountain Quail Oreortyx pictus
  23. Pika Ochotona princeps
  24. Yarrow Achillea millefolium
  25. Carpet Phlox Phlox caespitosa
  26. Alligator lizard Gerrhonotus coeruleus ssp. shastensis
  27. Juniper Titmouse Baeolophus ridgwayi
  28. Long-tailed Weasel Mustela frenata
  29. Mountain Mahagony Cercocarpus ledifolius
  30. Western Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica
  31. Northern Checkerspot Chlosyne palla
  32. Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Aglais milberti
  33. Western Bluebird Sialia mexicana
  34. Coyote Canis latrans
  35. Blue Grouse Dendragapus obscurus
  36. Western Juniper Juniperus occidentalis
  37. Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus
  38. Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor
  39. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
  40. Black Sage Artemisia arbuscula
  41. Bobcat Lynx rufus
  42. Lava Tube
  43. Collapsed Lava Tube
  44. Indian Petroglyphs at lava tube opening
  45. Tule Lake

A Tapestry of Life

Cave Loop Area – Lava Beds National Monument


Lava Beds National Monument has the largest concentration of lava tube caves in the United States. The monument lies on the northeastern flank of the Medicine Lake shield volcano, the largest volcano (measured in total area covered) in the Cascade Range. At almost 5,000 in elevation, the Cave Loop area of the Monument near the Visitor Center lies atop the lava flows near Crescent and Hippo buttes, and provides a fantastic view of the park.
However, there is more here than spectacular cinder cones and lava flows. This land is filled with a complex living association of animals, birds and plants—all interwoven to form a broad tapestry of life. Nature is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Many pieces are tangled together to form one large ecosystem–or single picture. At first glance we think all these pieces should go together easily, but we quickly come to realize that each separate piece, each animal, bird or plant, is unique and fits into only one place relative to the whole picture. Leave out one of these pieces and the entire ecosystem, or puzzle, is incomplete.

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