Sunday, February 12, 2012

Something Struck A Nerve

Yellowstone National Park's Norris Geyser Basin has a distinct unearthly quality to it. 

Well, I'm sick again. Life is pain. The thought of going outdoors is terrifying right now, and so here I am pounding away at this blog. I thought about doing another gull post (the last one was disturbingly popular), but I'll wait a little for that. I feel quite strongly that Slaty-backed Gull is a California Nemesis for me now, but at least I got to see a couple in Alaska.

Which has nothing to do with anything, at least not today. Some of you may remember that I blogged about visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks last August, and I recently remembered that I still have a bunch of photos I haven't shared yet. Amazingly, I managed to document things that were not birds, which I suppose is ok once in a while (DON'T HATE ME).

As I said before, I really look forward to going back there someday. Something about that area really stuck with me. Yeah the birding could be better and the throngs of tourists lose their entertainment value after a couple of days...but so what? Road trip anyone? Drinking whiskey at a campfire is not as fun by yourself.

Compared to Yellowstone's geysers, the views in parts of Grand Teton National Park are mega-earthy. Facemelting even. I think this is String Lake.

En route to Vegas (the logical next stop after seeing the parks) I ran into some Pronghorn...this is actually somewhere in Utah.

A different perspective of Norris Geyser Basin. Stark, bleak, and awesome.

If I was a better scientist, I would know what to call these. Thermophyllic bacteria? Pretty cool formations, at any rate. Photographed at West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park.

Rocky Mountain Elk, Yellowstone National Park. It may seem friendly and tame, but make no mistake, it would like nothing more than to impale a gaggle of tourists on those antlers.

Dark-morph Swainson's Hawk. I think this was photographed at a gas station in Idaho.

Geysers, without a doubt, are better seen/heard/smelled/felt in person than in pictures, but I like this one. Yellowstone National Park.

A fledgling Black-billed Magpie at Grand Teton National Park's Mormon Row. 

Tip-toeing Least Chipmunk, a close relative of the flying chipmunk. Yellowstone National Park.

Osprey chicks generally grow up with a pretty good view, but I think the birds in this nest may have the best. Photographed in Yellowstone's "Grand Canyon".

Red Crossbills are more often heard than seen, so it was nice to find a friendly flock hanging out at a pullout east of Yellowstone. Gallatin National Forest, MT.

This shot was taken from Signal Mountain, looking West to the Grand Tetons. You can see the stratification of smoke from wildfires, which mostly ruined pictures, but made for an interesting shot at sunrise.


  1. Most (all?) thermophiles are Archae. Not sure if those are living or mineral deposits though. If I were a better scientist I would know.

  2. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to visiting that area, so I enjoyed your photos very much. They are beautiful. ~karen

  3. Get better. Your pictures of Yellowstone are superb. I live 70 miles from it and love to visit four or five times a year. But get better so you can enjoy another trip this year.

  4. Thanks Bill. Lucky you to live in such a remarkable area!

  5. whiskey!? campfire?! roadtrip?! pick me!