Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dragon's Mouth

Monday we also went by an area of foul smelling pits. All manner of stuff was boiling here, from mud to sulfur. If the earth is an organism, then this is its rectum after a horrible bender, with a lot of bad tacos at the end.

Sumfin's rotten in the State of Wyoming.
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This is called the Mud Volcano.
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Naturally, I was skeptical of it.
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This one stinks to high heaven and is called the Dragon's Mouth.
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I was skeptical of that, too.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Return to Old Faithful

Monday we went to see Old Faithful erupt. I've always felt geysers were the least interesting of the many attractions of Yellowstone and my opinion has not changed. Still, it's interesting to see the many deadly things around ground and to watch the old giant erupt.

Before.
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After.
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I am skeptical of Old Faithful.
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Flagrantly violating federal law by stepping off the designated walkways. I am a rebel.
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The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Monday we dropped in at Artists Point to take pics of the so-called Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Yellowstone river. It is indeed a mighty view.

I am skeptical of the waterfalls.
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Purdy.
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The water looks almost like it is painted on.
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Lamar Valley

We've seen quite a few buffalo here and Sunday we drove both into and out of the Lamar Valley, where huge herds of these massive beasts usually walk to and fro. On our way back from the Beartooth Highway, we came very close on a couple of occasions, and once we were even driving v-e-r-y slowly while a herd surrounded us left, right, front and back. I also got a selfie with an individual, but at a much, much safer distance than some of the idiots who have been attacked here in the past few months.

I am skeptical of buffalos.
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A herd in the setting sun.
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These giants will wander back and forth across the roads without a care in the world. No animal is big enough to threaten a grown buffalo, and they are used to cars stopping for them. They will leave you alone unless you do something stupid - like honk, blink your lights, take flash photos... or possibly breathe too loud.
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A smaller herd we stopped to look at. The sounds buffalo make are really something to hear. They will walk around snorting and bellowing and sometimes bumping into one another or make threatening runs only to break off at the last moment. It sounds like they're basically going around saying "fuck you", "piss off", "stay away" and "yo' mama" in their native parlance.
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Return to Beartooth Highway

Sunday I brought Albie & Court down to the Lamar Valley and over the Beartooth Highway. I am glad to report they loved the views almost as much as I do.

Nice view.
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From Pilot Point the views very particularly lovely that day.
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Naturally there were squirrels of one sort or another pretty much everywhere.
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The mountains were also very lovely.
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The skies were very dark for a little while, but although we had strong winds and some thunder & lightning, we mostly staid dry.
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On the way down the mountain I spotted this little doe stuffing snout. I also saw a bear running across the road, something Albie & Court missed on account of having their noses firmly planted in their I-phones at the time.
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Return to Shoshone Falls and Grand Tetons

Friday was largely spent on driving the long ass way from Crater Lake, Oregon to Twin Falls, Idaho. Saturday was largely spent on driving an almost equally long way to Gardiner, Montana. I made return trips to the beautiful waterfalls at Shoshone Falls and the majestic mountains of the Grand Tetons (literally the Big Nipples). I managed to get some good shots of the interplay of clouds, the sun and the mountaintops.

View from Teton Pass over Jackson's Hole
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Arty-farty black and white.
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The Grand Tetons range.
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Evening sun and the honeylike texture of the light.
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Shoshone Falls in all their splendor.
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To be a child and play among those rocks...
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Deep space photography

Thursday night I got my first chance to try my hand at deep space photography. It's not quite as sci-fi as it sounds; mostly it involves finding the right setting on your camera... anyhow, these are the pictures that came out fairly clear.

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These pics are a little blurry, but you can see the friggin' gas clouds of the Milky Way!
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More from Crater Lake

Some more pictures of lake, trees, birds and mammals.

A dead treestump I photographed.
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The trees on top of Wizard Island were blown away. I have no idea what caused it.
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The other island in Crater Lake is called Phantom Ship island.
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At one of the first stops on the western rim drive there is a parking lot with lots of ground squirrels and birds. Here is a bird with a peanut I gave it.
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I thought this pic of a bird in flight was kinda cool.
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I can haz cheeseburger? These little rascals are very cute, but also very greedy and can get aggressive. If two or three convene on a nut or another piece of food there's a short but furious exchange of bites and growls before they go back to being friends again.
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Probably laying plans for world domination through cuteness.
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Albie is skeptical.
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Is this not the cutest thing ever?
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