On this Trivia Tuesday, did you know that you could once actually drive up to view Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park, instead of the 1.5-mile walk you take now? You can read about this and other interesting facts about this unique hot spring in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.
To read the story, click on either of the images above.
Thanks to people, this pool has changed its colors due to all the trash and coins folks have thrown into the water. Just a reminder: none of those colorful hot springs are wishing wells or trash cans, folks. They are unique, rare, and delicate geologic features that deserve our wonder, respect, and appreciation, not rocks, kleenex, snack wrappers, and coins.
Heart Spring, Upper Geyser Basin, temperature > 190 degrees Fahrenheit
Belgian Pool, Upper Geyser Basin, temperature ~ >150 degrees Fahrenheit
Did you know that the colors of the beautiful hot springs you see at Yellowstone National Park indicate the water temperature? Make no mistake, you do NOT want to soak in any of these after a long day hiking. Rule of thumb: the bluer the H2O, the hotter it is. And the orange, yellow, and brown colors you see ringing the springs and leading away from them are thermophilic (heat loving) bacteria.
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.
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?
Morning Glory Pool, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Yes, I now have my own images of a much-photographed park icon. It’s photographed because it is so beautiful. The interesting (and sad) thing, though, is to see how much the colors of this pool have changed over the years, due to people throwing coins, rocks, and other trash into the clear, once deep blue water and lowering the temperature.
I ran a search on the National Parks Traveler site and found a December 2014 article about the changes in color and how efforts to clean the pool weren’t able to reverse the damage done. To read the article, click on the image above.
Sunrise and sunstar over Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
It’s National Public Lands Day, today, Saturday September 22nd, 2018. Where will you be? Perhaps visiting a national park, monument, recreation area or historic site?
The image above was not taken during National Public Lands Day, but rather during a very early summer morning while touring the boardwalks around Old Faithful, in Upper Geyser Basin. The back-lighting very nicely accentuated the steam rising from the geysers and hot springs, and I wanted to try for a sunstar as well, bumping the aperture up to f/18.
During the summer months, cooler mornings are the best times to view lots of steam as well as avoid the inevitable crowds, who usually don’t get out there until sometime starting at 8:00 a.m. Cool mornings (and wintertime) create more condensation in the air, which makes the landscape steamier than during the hotter portion of the day.
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