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Mule Deer Fawn

Our latest visitor out the window.

Last week, a friend and I drove into Yellowstone for a short day trip. We’d both been to Old Faithful before, so we decided to go along Firehole Lake Drive. This little one way road made the news recently, as part of the road melted. Despite the fuss, this sort of thing is not that uncommon, given the location of the road in an active thermal area. (As a side note, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory issued an entertaining and mildly snarky press release August 8th about this and other recent furor over “THE COMING ERUPTION”. It’s worth a read.) DSC_0677Anyway. FIrehole Lake Drive tends to be less crowded than other areas of the park, because it’s one way, looks like it goes nowhere, and has limited parking. This is Firehole Spring, which burbles merrily away, with White Dome Geyser far in the background. Firehole SpringFountain Geyser is semi-predictable. The sign next to the road gives a two hour window for eruptions, and we timed it just right to see it erupt. The gaping hole in the middle of the pool is the geyser.DSC_0062It erupts out of the pool, and the water that erupts from it deposits thin layers of minerals as it flows over the ground, building the little terraces. DSC_0027As it quieted down, White Dome Geyser erupted in the background.DSC_0054When we got over to White Dome, it had stopped erupting, but the skies were getting ready to dump. The minerals deposited by White Dome form the cone shape rather than terraces. DSC_0064We paused for a little snack in the car, and managed to wait long enough for the geyser to erupt again.DSC_0085We also stopped at Firehole and Black Warrior Lakes. Most of the pictures I took didn’t turn out the way that I would have preferred, so this is a picture from a different trip. This is Hot Cascades, where steaming hot water falls down from Black Warrior Lake. DSC_0352Right across the road from where Firehole Lake Drive comes out is Fountain Paint Pots. Of course we stopped there…DSC_0144The paint pots here vary with the season, sometimes thin and watery with snowmelt, and sometimes thick and gloppy. That day, they were somewhere in the middle.
DSC_0152My previous trip here, Red Spouter had been fairly dry, with only the fumarole going. The fumarole, or steam vent, is impressive enough on it’s own, roaring loud enough to make conversation difficult. DSC_0172That day, though, Red Spouter was happily throwing mud around. DSC_0179Clepsydra Geyser was erupting, as was the little geyser in the background.DSC_0244We made a brief stop at Midway Geyser Basin, since my friend hadn’t stopped there before. There was too much steam to really see Grand Prismatic Spring well, but the reflections in the water were amazing.DSC_0260DSC_0274On the way home, we ran into one more storm, which we stopped to take pictures of as it crossed the Tetons and Jackson Lake.DSC_0279