Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yellowstone: Some geyser basins

Okay, so today we're going to cover geysers and hot springs and such because I'm saving the best for last. Not that the thermal features of Yellowstone aren't cool, but I was subjected to Yellowstone field trips for many years and the only thing we ever looked at were the thermal features. It gets old after awhile. So yes. Animals will be on Friday.

Anyway, the Upper Geyser Basin, which we didn't actually spend much time in. All of the Old Faithful pictures are in my last post, but we did get to see something else exciting:
Beehive Geyser, which I'd never seen erupt before!
Unlike Old Faithful, Beehive Geyser doesn't have a predictable eruption schedule. If you look in the picture, you can see this tiny spurt of water to the right of the geyser, which is the Beehive Indicator. Basically, whenever the indicator starts spurting water, you can expect Beehive to erupt soon after. It only erupts about once a day, so we were lucky to be there are the right time!

That's all I have for the Upper Geyser Basin, but after that we went to Midway Geyser Basin, which is one of my favorites because there's stuff that just looks cool. Observe:
Grand Prismatic Spring--most definitely my favorite hot spring in the park.
The other side of the walkway from Grand Prismatic Spring.
Excelsior Geyser Crater. It's huge and the water is boiling.
Yeah, there is colorful boiling water and crazy bacterial everywhere that makes everything pretty. Luckily the weather was relatively warm the day we visited, because otherwise my pictures would have been a waste. The water is so hot that on super cold days, all you can see is billowing clouds of steam.

There are a bunch of different geyser basins in Yellowstone, but we only visited one more during our trip: Norris Geyser Basin. It's regarded as the hottest basin in the park. Also, if the Yellowstone super volcano decides to explode, Norris is supposed to be where all of the action's gonna start.
Norris Geyser Basin from above. Unfortunately not much was happening.
Puff 'n Stuff Geyser. BEST NAME EVER.
Mini river that's crazy hot and filled with sulfuric acid and bacteria.
Echinus Geyser, which is foggy because of silt eroded by sulfuric acid. 
I tried to take you guys some epic scenery images, but despite mountains and waterfalls and such, they didn't really turn out all that great. What can I say? I was having some camera issues that I didn't realize. So instead it's time for the obligatory creepy tree pictures, because I couldn't resist.
The ground soil is so hot that it killed and then bleached these trees.
Casualties of the 1988 fire. And some tree babies. :) 
This tree is growing out of a rock. Seriously.
Now, have you ever seen some cool hot springs or just the ones for soaking in? Both are pretty sweet, but in completely different ways, you know? And what about those weird trees? It's starting to look like they're everywhere. What do you think? Tell me in the comments.