Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice Gallery

Spring means baby animals in the park. Here a bison calf nurses behind steam from a geothermal feature.

morning along the Madison River \ right: Glacier Lily, one of the early blooms.

elk in velvet.  Antlers are grown each year by the males.  The velvet will come off and the antlers will be shiny and sharp by the rut season

Arnica Fire, Sept 2010 with new spring growth.

Across Yellowstone Lake with Lake Hotel on the shore

Another view of the Lake. The ice does not break up until early June, with some chunks along the north shore until the middle of the month

stormy day along the Firehole River, hot runoff from Midway Geyser Basin.

hot spring in Midway Geyser Basin. Stormy sky is the same storm which included lightening on the boardwalk at Old Faithful, striking\affecting visitors, none fatally fortunately.

Thermophiles, microscopic organisms grow in hot water in some of the springs and in the runoff. It creates large mats in variety of colors. This is a mat at Grand Prismatic, the spring with the largest surface area in the park, and third largest in the world. The two bigger ones are in New Zealand

Excelsior Geyser, which last went off in the mid 1980s, after being dormant since 1901.

Grizzly. this is probably a three year old female. She spent a couple of hours digging in this small area right next to the road. It was an extremely cold day, with snow flurries. My guests didn't want to leave the bus and subject themselves to the wind. This was great as they could photograph from the bus. Some snow blew in thru open windows, but we had enough protection to make this an exciting experience for the guests. I seldom photograph during the tours, but we were here a long time so I photographed over the shoulder of a guest for part of out stay there.

Calf and bison cow. The young are often called "red dogs" As the summer goes on, the coat will darken to match the adults.

The photos were not taken on the Solstice, but they are all late May\June photos and are being loaded on the blog on the Solstice.

I am sitting in a coffee place in Cody, Wy, looking out the window on the old Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill Cody. This is my first "city" day since arriving in Yellowstone the third week of May. My refrigerator is empty, I needed a hair cut, and have some other errands to run.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Spring in Yellowstone

Swainson's Hawk

It is a typical June in Yellowstone. Yesterday the high was 41F with a sharp wind that made it feel far colder. We had snow flurries all day. Today the sun is out, the morning was calm, although there is a slight breeze this afternoon, and folks are in shirtsleeves and shorts.

It was a mild winter in Yellowstone but spring has been wet. The snow is long since gone from the ground and Yellowstone Lake lost the last of its ice just over a week ago.

It is good to be back. This is my third season and the return is like coming home; warm greetings from all the people I met in the past years, familiarity with the place, stepping back into my job as photo guide/historic yellow bus driver.

I have no internet connection at my motorhome at Yellowstone Lake, where I am located most of the time. I am using my little Acer notebook on my days at Old Faithful, where my aircard works, to do my email. My schedule is to work at Old Faithful two days a week, followed by two at Lake and then a three day weekend. but I've not had a normal week yet due to some flaky new hires who quit (without notice, just skipped out in the night without telling anyone), some illnesses, and one pre-scheduled time -off so another driver could attend a family event. I've driven tours other than the photo tours, which meant some quick reading up on details of some of the geo-thermal features and history of the Lake Hotel.

However, I look forward to three days off beginning Sunday. My hair is shaggy and places to get it cut are distant. I also need a real grocery store, hardware store and place to get a few photos printed as examples of photo theories and tips.

This is the time of year of baby animals, roaring water in the falls, and the beginning of wildflower season. I'll transfer some of the photos from the larger laptop to this very portable device and get them posted for everyone to see within the next week to ten days. The only photos in this posting are of a Swainson's Hawk I saw on my drive from Lake to Old Faithful yesterday, the only images on my camera. I could have waited until everything was ready, but getting an update out on my whereabouts and activities seemed like a good idea, especially as a few of you have noted the long break since the last posting.