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07 Sep 2011

I took a ton of photos in Yellowstone. I really didn’t expect to - Mike kept telling me that Yellowstone is overrated, and anyways, geysers sounded boring. Frankly, geysers are boring! They look like fireworks without the colorful explosions up above, and without that grotesque and marvelous smell. (I have very fond memories of lying on my back in an amusement park as a teenager dangerously close to where the fireworks were being set off, thrilled by the gunpowder stink washing across my face. Probably sounds disgusting when I describe it now, but it was incredible at the time.)

But oh, somehow I wasn’t expecting the prismatic pools and the colorful layers of thermophilic bacteria and such..!

First, something of interest only to me! This tree was right next to our campsite. I spent my bleary morning trying to identify precisely what kind of pine it was. Those proto-cone looking bits were soft and squishy and released pollen when flicked - fascinating!

Old Faithful dissolving into the clouds:

I expected to see dinosaurs chasing me around these pools near Old Faithful:

Or maybe witches:

I kept falling in love with the layers of color and texture of the heat-loving microorganisms near those pools by Old Faithful.

Mike kept asking what I thought the texture would be like if we touched them.

Not soft or hard, I’d think…

In fact, my best guess is that they would feel a lot like mother of vinegar.

Some people eat mother of vinegar, you know.

Can you imagine? And doesn’t this stuff look like modern art?

I don’t even like most modern art, and I thought this was beyond beautiful. I expect to be inspired by it in my glass work for ages to come.

What, no penguins?

You can see why people have that idiotic urge to wade in this stuff.

Again, the color textures!

Like rust bubbling up out of the earth.

Pools of it.

The water looked deceptively cool and refreshing.

This geyser only erupts when it has examined its priors and executed a cost-benefit calculation and determined that it is rational to do so:

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