Tag Archives: geology

Trivia Tuesday

Blue Star Pool

Blue Star Pool on a chilly autumn morning, Yellowstone National Park

It’s Trivia Tuesday, folks! Here’s one from Janet Spencer’s “Yellowstone Trivia”: One ranger set out to remove the pennies from Upper Geyser Basin’s Blue Star Pool. After 15 minutes of work, he removed 700 pennies. That means 700 people figured “just one penny” wouldn’t hurt.

As a National Park placard says near another hot spring in Yellowstone National Park: “Thermal features are not trash cans or wishing wells – they are among earth’s rarest geologic treasures …”

Do your part, don’t litter, pack out what you pack in, and report any vandalism to a park ranger.

 

 

 

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Filed under autumn, Geology, National Parks, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Withstanding Time And The Elements In Zion National Park

Withstanding Time And The Elements

I may be an SLR gal, but I freely admit that point-and-shoots are great at capturing national park images, too. When I am out in the parks, I always carry one of my two little point-and-shoots in my pocket. They are not only backup in case the photographic unthinkable happens, but they are great at getting macro shots.
 
This photo of a ponderosa pine growing atop a cross-bedded red-rock knoll (probably a little lithified sand dune) and framed by other trees, was captured with my Canon GX7 MkII. While it’s not the most sturdy of cameras around the lens area (the dainty little shutter blades that made up the “lens cap” and opened and closed when the camera was powered on and off broke off when the camera accidentally fell out of my vest pocket. Thankfully, it still works and I purchased a push-on lens cap to protect the lens.
 
So, don’t knock the point-and-shoots. They produce some nice little images, too.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, Equipment, GX7 Mk II, National Parks, Photography, Point and Shoot, Seasons, Travel, Utah, winter, Zion National Park

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

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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Filed under autumn, Canon, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, smartphone, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

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

Sunrise Over Bryce Amphitheater

Sunrise Over Bryce Amphitheater

Sunrise in this national park is sublime, no matter whether it’s a sunny day, an overcast day, or an in-between kind of day.

And now, in addition to sunrises being sublime, so are night skies, since this national park has been certified an International Dark Sky Park.

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/08/bryce-canyon-national-park-certified-international-dark-sky-park

The park’s 20th Annual Astronomy Festival will be June 17-20, 2020. I’ve made my reservations for a room during that time. Maybe then, I’ll actually stay awake late enough to get some cool night shots, since I didn’t do that during my previous two visits (sigh). I readily admit that Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite national parks.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

 

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Canon Lens, Geology, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, sunrise, Travel, Utah, Utah