Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Visual Inspiration: Yellowstone, the Landscape Edition

There is much to say (and show) about the Magic and Wonder That Is Yellowstone, so I'll try to break up our week there into little themed chunks that are at least mildly interesting and possibly won't bog down your old computer and too-slow internet connection (Mom, I'm looking at you, and I know it's not your fault). Info on each photo is written below the image.

The basalt cliffs at Sheepeater's Cliff. Evidently, all the Native American tribes in the area thought the Tukudika folk of present-day Yellowstone were some bad motherfuckers, because they chased down and ate bighorn sheep and lived above 7,500 above sea level. Straight gangsta.

The white travertine formations caused by the geysers and springs at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Lost Lake, near the Roosevelt camp and cabins. Some large animals took a group crap near this beautiful vista--other than that, it was a great view and a really good hike.

I think this is near Fairy Falls, but I'm drawing a blank for some reason. It was just a great shot with the sky and clouds and little trees there in the shade.

The view north(ish) from a hill/small mountain we hiked up to get to Monument Geyser Basin. Extraordinary views. You see a lot of dead trees interspersed with the little green pines--that's from the fires of 1988. Those fires were the first to happen after the National Park Service (NPS) decided that, while it would protect buildings and people, it would no longer try to put out every single fire that started in its boundaries, whether it was human or natural in cause. 37% of the park burned that summer, which had seen record high temps and record low rainfall amounts. While folks were horrified to see the trees burned to crispy black sticks, it turns out that lodgepole pines actually need fire in order to reproduce on a real, grand scale--some of their seed cones won't open up unless the surrounding temperature gets over 150 degrees. What we now have is mile after mile of 6'-12' high green pines everywhere. Letting the 1988 fires burn themselves out was a controversial decision at the time, but we have to remember that forests work on a 20-50 year cycle, not a 1-2 year cycle like much of humans' timetables.

Mountain range in the Lamar Valley, towards the northeast entrance of the park.

Natural Bridge, near the Lake Yellowstone campground/hotel/cabins. You used to be able to walk across it, but you can now only walk around it. Probably a good thing--Guy does not need to tote my clumsy ass out of the forest after I fall off of something like this.

1 comment:

ms. kitty said...

Oh wow, I love seeing these pictures! Thanks for posting, Pixie.