Tag Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Sandhill Crane

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This sandhill crane sighting was one of the highlights of a recent fun outing in Yellowstone National Park.

These graceful, long-legged cranes may stand over four feet in height, and can often be found sauntering through fields in search of food near shallow marshes.  Coloration is technically pale gray, but they often have a rust color from preening themselves with muddy bills.  A red head crest along with an unforgettable mating call makes them easily identifiable.

 

Pine Creek Lake

Pine Creek Lake is an alpine jewel nestled in a glacial cirque accessed about fifteen miles south of Livingston, Montana in the Absaroka Mountains .

The moderately difficult hike goes past beautiful Pine Creek Falls at the first mile.  This is far enough for most casual hikers since the trail then steepens to gain over 3,000 feet elevation in the last four miles. Of course, the wildflowers, cascading stream, and open scenery is so amazing, one might just forget about the difficulty of the hike.

The lake is a popular youth-camp destination, but overnighting on a weekday meant we basically had the lake’s one good camp spot and all of the its surrounding beauty to ourselves.  The most obvious photo op is at the outlet falls just below the lake, where I made a few successful compositions at sundown and early the next morning.

Space & Time

Old Faithful 20140525-109Old Faithful midnight eruption, Yellowstone National Park.

In this photo, we have an illustration of the simultaneity of natural events, predictably ticking off time like a metronome of the ages.   I set a time exposure facing North to show star trails encircling Polaris.  About midway through, the geyser vented boiling water and steam over 100 feet into the night air.  Captured in a single exposure, the powerful 3-4 minute geothermal event appears rendered as a fine mist lost to space and time.

 

Minus Ten

This collection comes from Yellowstone National Park two weeks ago on a day when the mercury dipped to an uncomfortable negative ten degrees.  Extreme temps are the norm here.  Winter occupies almost three-quarters of the year, and snow commonly remains in the mountains until June and returns as early as September.

The park’s thermal features can make for interesting scenes on cold days like this.  Featured here are the spectacular Mammoth terrace formations, Gardner Canyon, The Boiling River, and some very chilly bison.

Beartooth Falls

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Most travelers view this plunge from the car pullout along the Beartooth Highway, but it’s worth taking a short excursion on foot to get this close-up vantage of one of the best waterfalls in the Beartooth Mountains.  The left third of the falls and the teal pool it dumps into can only be viewed by rock-hopping into the small cove at its base, close enough to feel the cool morning mist splashing off steep rock walls.