Sunday, July 10, 2016

Day 11 - Old Faithful, Lower, Upper, Midway and Bisquit Geyser Basins

No trip to Yellowstone is complete without the obligatory visit to Old Faithful on the western side of the park.  Here is is, nice and peaceful, before it decided to "geys".  It awakens about every hour and a half give or take ten minutes.  The facilities around this famous landmark  have certainly changed in the last ten years.  Now there is a beautiful Visitor's Center and benches surrounding the area so you can sit and wait.  The weather was decidedly overcast and later it did rain a bit -- nothing that interfered with our plans for the day though,

After a few preliminary spurts, Old Faithful started shooting up.

It raised much higher than it did when I last saw it ten years ago.

It probably reached about 100 feet at its highest.  We actually visited the gift shops and watched a couple of excellent movies and then saw it erupt again but from inside as it was raining by this time!

Hopefully there is some order to the rest of these shots.  The first series were at the Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful is.  We then went to the Black Sand Basin, Bisquit Basin,, the Midway Geyser Basin and finally the Lower Geyser Basin and Firehole Drive.  You can see all the bubbling water here and a lot of sulfur laden steam everywhere -- sometimes so heavy it was hard to see the features.

Love the colors and textures here.  I think this was still at the Upper Geyser Basin.

 All the colors are caused by the different kinds of bacteria that grown in this environment.  This  yellow color was the only color I saw in New Zealand at their thermal park.  

I know this  shot  with the big opening was taken at Black Sands Basin.

 You can see the tiny people walking on the boardwalk above.

This was taken at either the Lower or Midway Geyser basin and  you can see the skies have started to clear up!

My guess is that this is the Grand Prismatic Springs but maybe wrong.  There was a lot of steam so the blue is not as intense as it could be -- blue skies would have helped too!

 Notice the white "sox" on all the trees.  The acid rich water spreads and kills everything in its path.  It amazed me to see wildflowers growing so close to these barren areas and  you can see grass sprouting up here as well

This was another rather large geyser that went off when I was walking by.  I think it was in the Lower Geyser area.  I had seen a couple of smaller geysers as well.

 It was a day for a new bird for me --  a Trumpeter Swan -- we saw several of these swans who are residents of Yellowstone.  They do come in small numbers to Mattamuskeet in NC but I hadn't seen one there.
This is a Mountain Bluebird -- also  new one for me.  He was hanging around Old Faithful.

 I do enjoy identifying the wildflowers as well.  This is a Bracted Lousewart.

This is a Gentian -- probably a Fringed Gentian. 
These are Little Sunflowers which were covering the hillsides


Bette said...

I've enjoyed seeing pictures of your trip, but today was especially interesting. When I was 10 our family took a road trip out west and yellowstone was one of the stops I remember well. Thank you for bringing my memories of a fun trip back to me.

Gail Baker said...

Beautiful pictures Beth!!