Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yellowstone

Cougar Creek in Gallatin Natl Forest
We arrived in the town of West Yellowstone on the 19th. If all goes as planned we will be here until the middle of August. Ann is working three days a week in the Gallatin National Forest Ranger Station while I continue my working from "home". West Yellowstone is near the west gate to Yellowstone National Park.

Needless to say we will be spending a lot of time on weekends in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks (which is on the south side of Yellowstone). If the parks get too crowded we'll have plenty of hiking in the National Forest, too. We took a walk on Friday and here is a picture to get an idea of the scenery.

Moving at the speed of Bison
We've already spent two days in Yellowstone National Park. We figure as schools let out and vacations begin the parks will become more and more crowded so we are going to high profile areas now. We went to the Old Faithful area on Saturday. We walked a total of 7 miles on paths in that general area including Black Sand Basin and Biscuit Basin. The geysers, pools and springs are as great as we remembered from 10 years ago when we were here our first time.

The Grand geyser
Traffic wasn't bad yet even on the holiday weekend. The only bad traffic was the slow moving Bison. They just don't walk fast enough and the cars pile up behind them. Oh well, they have the right of way.

One highlight was when we were lucky enough to see the Grand geyser, which only goes off every 12-14 hours, without sitting and waiting for hours. Same for the Beehive geyser, pure luck.  Oddly enough, we didn't see Old Faithful because we weren't in that area when it went off. No problem., we have all summer to see it.

Punch Bowl spring
Morning Glory pool
The variety of small geysers, pools and springs is fabulous. The chemicals in the water, the temperature of the water and the amount of water flowing all vary causing different shapes and colors. It is simply amazing. I'm including a few favorites.


Gibbon Falls
On Monday we went back into the park but it was cloudy, windy and cold (actually some snow flurries at times) so we didn't do a lot of walking. We made a few stops for sights close to the road and then did some indoor things like the Museum of the National Park Ranger at Norris and the Visitor Education Center at Canyon Village.

Museum of the National Park Ranger
The Museum of the National Park Ranger is in a historic log cabin built in 1908 and originally used by the U.S. Army as it was originally responsible for the park. The building is not very big so there are just a few displays and a couple of the rooms are setup to give a feel for how they were originally used. The Visitor Education Center is pretty new and has loads of information about the geological history of the area. Displays focus on volcanic and earthquake history. My favorite display was the huge topographical map showing the elevations throughout the two million acre park.

Here are a couple more pictures and a video (the only way to give justice) of the bubbling mud pot at Artists Paintpots.
Biscuit Basin - Sapphire Pool

Black Sand Basin - Emerald Pool
video


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last update from Barr Lake

I made another trip around the lake to see what I could see. Here is my collection from that walk. We move on to a new location this weekend so my next post will be from there. For those that don't know where we are going next, I'll keep you in suspense.
Bullock Oriole

Western Kingbird


The owlets have feathers - one nest
has already flown off, these will soon

Red-tailed hawk babies

The Rookery - nesting Cormorants
This shows one small part of a very
large colony

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Baby owl update

Great Horned owl nest
The other closer nest
It's been 9 days since my last baby owl pictures so I went out to check on them today.  They have grown a lot and are starting to "branch out". Their feathers are still coming in so they can't fly but they are starting to ease out on branches.  Such dare devils.

American Kestral - female - out our window