Posts Tagged ‘Yellowstone National Park’

© janet m. webb

for One Word Sunday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72: Waiting

As I’ll be on the road again tomorrow, a travel theme seems appropriate.  Ailsa’s theme this week (yes, I’m a bit late, but posts about Ben Franklin got in the way) is “Delicate.”  My photos this week aren’t necessarily from exotic locations, but I did travel somewhere to find them and I think they’re delicate.  What do you think?

This first photo is from Yellowstone National Park, one of God’s most amazing places.  If you’d like to see more photos from our trip there this summer, find the “Travel” category on the left side of my site and join the many people who shared our summer adventures there.


For this delicate photo of shadows, I traveled to our dining room.  🙂  I hope the journey wasn’t too far for you.


Our final destination is the front yard of our former house on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio.  This natural grass had very delicate and beautiful fronds.


After Mammoth Hot Springs, we head toward our last stop–Old Faithful. It looks as though it’s going to rain, but fortunately it doesn’t. We’re tired when we get to Old Faithful, named in 1870 for erupting almost every hour and a half..faithfully. Oddly, Old Faithful was used as a washing machine that Sheridan’s men found cleaned cotton and linen, but ruined wool. 🙂 We sit on benches, glad for the break, waiting for the eruption. After it’s over, someone behinds us remarks (complains?) that it was 5 minutes early. We’re now ready to head back to the cabin, although we won’t arrive until 1:30 am, 3 1/2 hours short of a 24-hour trip, but well worth it.



If you’re an artist, I’m not sure you’d want to use these paint pots, named for their colors, but they’re another of Yellowstone’s unique features. The forest surrounding this area was reseeded naturally by the fire of 1988, when the fire almost reached the historic lodge near Old Faithful, the next stop on our tour. Nowadays, the heat is all under the surface. Many places in the park are boiling hot, literally, and although people are told to stay on the path, there have been casualties when someone fell in and was boiled to death, not my preferred method of dying!

The standing dead trees are called bobby sox trees for their white bases. When the nearby water flooded, the minerals plugged the base of the trees and they died.  As you go up the hill, there’s less water and where gas is present and escapes the mud bubbles and pops. Be careful not to get hit by flying mud. It had been dry when we were there, so some of the holes had dried up, forming fumeroles, or steam vents.

If you’d like to see the mud actually bubble, you can watch this short video:


In the city, brake lights are generally a source of frustration and possibly road rage. In Yellowstone, brake lights mean one of two things: a traffic jam, probably due to construction, or animal sightings. All too often, they’re the former, but during this trip we were extremely lucky and only came to a few places where there was construction. An added bonus was not getting behind any RV’s, which make both seeing anything and passing them impossible. Choosing to visit on a Monday was a good choice.

After driving alongside Yellowstone Lake, a gigantic body of water, we came to our first string of vehicles and brake lights.  Glancing hopefully ahead, we saw buffalo on either side of the road, with a few emerging from a nearby lake.  We’d spotted a solitary buffalo (strictly speaking, a bison) earlier, but this was a group of thirty or forty and they were not only on either side, but crossing the road.

People were outside their vehicles, which stretched in both directions, as well as heading towards the main herd, while a park ranger tried to keep order and safely.  One of the leaflets handed out when you enter the park warns you to keep at least 100 yards away from animals, but people tend to ignore the suggestion.  We’ve seen people getting very close to have their pictures taken, not realizing that although the buffalo seem tame, they are wild animals that can run at speed and have gigantic heads complete with horns.  As the buffalo began moving in our direction, the ranger yelled at everyone to return to their vehicles, which they actually did.  The sight of an animal whose head is half the size of a large man can tend to have that effect.

The buffalo began to walk between vehicles and, as you can see from my pictures, they got rather close.  We could have put our hands out and touched more than one and there couldn’t have been more than an inch or two between a potential buffalo robe and the front of the van more than once.  It was as close as we could have gotten without going buffalo riding or giving one of the van seats to an animal.  Some of the males were making noises that were a cross between a pig and a cow, making them sound as if they were complaining about all the gawkers.



Leaving behind the falls, we wind down the canyon to the flat land, heading towards Cody, gateway to Yellowstone.  Over-grazing in many places has left sagebrush as the main vegetation and it takes many acres for one cow to graze.  The top ten cash crops in Wyoming are hay, sugar beets, barley, wheat, corn for grain, dry beans, oats, marijuana and potatoes.   The country becomes much more open but in the distance, we can see the mountains that are indicators of Yellowstone.

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