Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just Life, and a Good One at That: Photo Essay

From my last couple of posts a reader might be inclined to avoid Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as depressing places good only for witnessing that Great Bitch Mother Nature wreak her havoc. Not so, let me assure you! They are in fact supreme places for lifting the spirits, making the heart sing, and, mostly, for being constantly awed by Nature at her best. Here are some examples, in no particular order. I'll keep commentary to a minimum so you can judge for yourself.
Early morning view, Grand Teton range
Newborn elk calf, Mammoth Hot springs, just learning to stand and nurse. The elk find safety from predators to be a fair exchange for the presence of humans, and their vehicles, and their buildings.
 The hike to Hidden Falls, Grand Teton National Park.
Lone Star geyser is an easily accessible back-country geyser in Yellowstone. The cone itself is about 12 feet high, and in full eruption reaches 30 to 40 feet and lasts half an hour. It's one of very few geysers that can be safely approached closely enough to fully sense the power of the eruption.
The trail to Lone Star geyser follows the Firehole River for a couple of miles.The Firehole is a great trout stream.
Bacteria and algae capable of thriving in extremely hot, very acidic or very basic, highly mineralized conditions in Yellowstone's thermal features - this one is the edge of Black Pool in West Thumb Geyser Basin - are responsible for the glorious colors.
Speaking of glorious color, these are the Red Hills, a little east of Grand Teton National Park in the Gros Ventre Wilderness; the red color comes from iron. The lake is Lower Slide Lake, formed by a sudden massive landslide that dammed the Gros Ventre River in 1925.
 Arrowleaf balsamroot all abloom in June, Grand Teton National Park.
Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park. We looked for otters but saw only the fish they feed on, the Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (classified as a threatened species), gathering near the inlet in preparation for spawning.
The female alpha wolf of Yellowstone's Lamar Canyon pack, known as "Middle Gray" hauling brisket of elk back to her pups.
Bison calves practicing being bison.
The Grand Teton Range, beauty beyond compare.

All photos from June 2013.


  1. You've captured the spirit of the place perfectly, Veronica. My favorite place to visit in the world.

  2. Beautiful photos! Those mountains are so awe inspiring. And the little bison so typical of young animals!

  3. I was cruising the TV channels yesterday ( as you do when you are confined inside with a heavy cold and feeling miserable) when I came across a programme that gives aerial views of various parts of the world. They were covering Yellowstone Park.

    It was spectacular, saw many of the larger animals you have mentioned (they did film at ground level occasionally)including an elk with the largest set of antlers I have ever seen. They also covered some of the hotspot and of course Old Faithful.
    I was so sorry that I had only seen half of the programme.