Category Archives: autumn

Solitary Geyser

Solitary Geyser

A morning alone with Solitary Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

This pretty geyser is indeed, solitary, sitting all by itself and located a short hike from either the Upper Geyser Basin boardwalk or on the way up or down the trail from Observation Point. This is one of those geysers that people tampered with way back when they didn’t understand geysers or geology that well. They wanted to use the hot spring water so they put a pipe in it, which lowered the water level several feet and caused the then-hot spring to turn into a geyser that erupted every few minutes. They removed the pipe and the water level rose again, but it continued to be a geyser that now erupts every 5-7 minutes (give or take). It’s not a huge geyser, though. It sort of “burbles” and erupts about 3-4 feet (so the nearby sign says). It was difficult to even see it erupt on that chilly day because of all the steam. I could only tell it was going to erupt by watching for ripples in the water in the far left corner of the geyser, which occurred just before that “burble” of an eruption.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 5DSR, autumn, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

“Leaf Peep For Science” – Searching For Fall Foliage Photos From Acadia National Park

Looking Into Acadia

Hey folks, I’m sharing this article about fall foliage photos from the National Parks Traveler. Maybe you can help as Citizen Scientists and send any film-era fall foliage photos you might have taken during visits (pre-2000) to Acadia National Park.

Click on the image above and read this interesting article to find out more.

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Filed under Acadia National Park, autumn, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons

Listening To The Sounds Of Yellowstone

Yellowstone Landscape

The National Parks Traveler has published my latest article. It’s not the usual still-photography fare, however. This article is about listening … to the sounds of Yellowstone National Park.

To read and listen to this article, click on the image above.

 

 

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Filed under autumn, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons, Travel, video, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Opalescent Pool And Black Sand Basin Landscape

Black Sand Basin Landscape

I first visited Black Sand Basin in Yellowstone National Park during the evening on the previous day from this shot. It was overcast and getting dark and I didn’t even notice this little side area next to the entry drive to the parking lot. I didn’t see this until I visited the next morning, a lovely, sunny day. I’ve been reading: TravelBrains’ “Yellowstone Expedition Guide” and learned this interesting fact: the trees you see here are dead, of course. The bottoms of their trunks are white because they absorbed the hot water in the area, which is filled with silica in solution. That silica comes out of solution and is what has colored those trunk bottoms. It’s the first step in petrification of the trees. Oh, and Black Sand Basin gets it’s name from the black obsidian sand grains in the area. Cool, huh?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DSR, autumn, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

“Stay On Walk”

Stay On WalkIMG_3442IMG_3436

There are signs all along the boardwalks at the geyser basins telling visitors to “stay on walk,” While I didn’t see anybody actually walking off the boardwalk (there was this one moron who walked off the boardwalk to get an up-close and personal look at Old Faithful, but he did it at night and suffered bad burns for it while I was there), I did see people do stupid stuff at Norris Basin.

The first photo you see is a morning shot at Upper Geyser Basin, and I was getting an overall shot of the beautiful scene in front of me, including a leading line of the boardwalk and a portion of the sign.

The other two photos I took with my iPhone of people doing stupid stuff at Norris Basin. That first shot is of a lady from a tour bus who sat on the edge of the boardwalk and put her feet on the thin crust so her honey could get a fashionable shot of her. The second shot is of an idiot who decided to risk screwing with the delicate ecosystem there and leaned over to touch the foliage along the boardwalk. I was almost hoping he’d fall in so I could get a shot of that, too. I’m not very nice when it comes to seeing people do stuff they shouldn’t.

Another story comes to mind of a couple of friends I made while at Upper Geyser Basin. I’d hiked with them to Fairy Falls because they didn’t want me hiking alone in an area frequented by a bear. The following day, they’d walked to Morning Glory Pool (I got there a little later than they did) and they told me the story of a couple there at the pool, and the woman climbed over the fence there to squat next to the hot spring to get a photo of herself. When someone said something to her, she looked up and said “You’re not rangers.” My friends were flabbergasted. I asked them if they’d gotten a photo of that stupid creature and they said the woman quickly got her selfie and climbed back over the fence before they could get their smartphones out. Another one of those days when I wished I would have been there to get a photo and send it to the National Parks Traveler for posting as well as posting it to my own page. People don’t really realize just how thin that crust is out in the geyser basins and how hot and acidic that water really is. I read that some of the hot springs at Norris are as acidic as battery acid.

Stay On Walk, folks!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Artist Paint Pots, Yellowstone National Park

Artist Paint Pots Geothermal Basin And Mount Holmes In The Dista

Artist Paint Pots Geothermal Basin with Mount Holmes in the distance, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

 
It’s a short walk along a well-trod path to get to the boardwalk beginning the loop around the Artist Paint Pots basin. As I stepped onto the boardwalk, I passed a couple of men talking to each other. Another friend approached and they told him that their wives were off looking at the sights while they remained there, since they were not that enthused about the area. Lo and behold, as I passed the men, their wives returned and one of them said sarcastically “Well, that was a blast.” They were not impressed, either.
 
I don’t know what those two couples were expecting, but I have a feeling they have not been reading my photo column in the National Parks Traveler, where I urge people to 1) keep their expectations on the low side since it’s likely they will not see exactly what they expect to see, and 2) observe what is around them. Really *look* at where they are and what they see. I am assuming that the couples, like many other people who come to this area, were a little jaded and didn’t stop to think about what they were standing upon: thin crust with a busy geothermal system beneath them. It’s amazing that we can enter a national park that is so geologically active. How many other places in the world can you see so many active geysers, hot springs and fumeroles all in one area? How many other places can you actually hear the hissing of the steam and see the bubbling water and mud pots? I know there are some, but I’ll wager not that many that you can actually get to. When you are someplace like Artist Paint Pots, you are walking beside geysers and hot springs with boiling or near-boiling water.
 
These couples probably did not appreciate the many colorful hot springs around them (hence the name “Artist Paint Pots”), or the panoramic view that included a snow-iced Mount Holmes in the far distance.
 
I brought with me the mindset of a geologist and photographer, so I saw beauty everywhere I walked in that small basin. As a matter of fact, that’s what I told a retired gentleman and his wife as he approached the trailhead, with a daughter and active 6-year old in tow. He stopped me and said: “Two questions: how far to get there and is it worth it?” I told him I thought it was worth it but I was seeing everything through a geologic and photographic background. I then told him about the reactions of those two couples. I told him that I’d also seen another couple with their 4-year old child who was managing the walk and the uphill climb to the bridge overlook (which is where I stood to take this photo) with no problems. I said to him that they’d have to judge for themselves as to whether or not the hike and the view were worth it. I certainly thought both were.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Soon, Soon ….

Just Before Sunrise

Usually, I don’t travel to any national park with high expectations. I even wrote an article in the National Parks Traveler about the rewards of lowered expectations.  I know it’s going to be rainy, overcast, snowing, probably the roads will be slick, and there might even be another f***ing government shutdown while I am there. Nonetheless, I am stoked to be returning to Yellowstone National Park in a few days for 8-1/2 days of  fall photography. For a portion of that time, I’ll be staying at the historic Old Faithful Inn, and will definitely get some interior architecture images of that beautiful lodge. I so wanted to do this during my short summer stay (2-1/2 days) during my road trip move from Texas to central Washington, but the inn was full, the crowds were YUGE, and I ultimately needed to get back on the road again to my sister’s home.

I’ll be taking 3 cameras with me and an assortment of lenses: my Canon 5DSR, Canon 1DX Mk II, and Pentax 645z. I’ll take the Canon 16-35mm, 14mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 100-400mm with a 1.4x extender, Pentax 28-45mm, and Pentax 55mm lenses. No need to tell me it’s going to be a heavy backpack I take onto the plane with me. I already know that. I had to pack one of my lenses into my laptop bag, which will also be carried onto the plane.  Hey, I don’t know when I will be able to return to Yellowstone, so might as well bring as much as I can carry and that’s allowable on the plane, because I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus, I’ve broken lenses before while traveling (Hawaii comes to mind), so I’m being a little redundant with one of the lenses. I decided on this instead of trying to work around taking my Canon 500mm lens. As it is, I’ll probably forget something, even though I’ve written a list of things to pack.

Soon, soon, I will be back inside America’s first national park. Can’t wait!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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