Category Archives: Yellowstone National Park

Wild Yellowstone – Day 9 (Yellowstone National Park)

This was our last full day within the official park boundary. Most of the morning was spent driving along the Grand Loop road towards Gardiner, which we hoped to get to by early afternoon. Our route took us past many  of the areas we’d visited earlier in the week (i.e Gibbon River, Elk Meadow, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Dunraven Pass), but was just as rewarding as it had been previously.

A few miles short of Tower Falls we came across about a half dozen cars parked by the side of the road. Not being an official stop we were fairly sure that this was because bears had been spotted. Are suspicions were correct, but to our delight it was actually a pair of Black Bears (mother and cub) playing amongst the meadow flowers.

Black Bears (mother and  cub), Tower Falls Area

A quick stop in Gardiner to check into our motel was followed by the short drive down into the Gardiner Basin. This area is usually the best place to find Pronghorn Antelope, and we weren’t to be disappointed.

Pronghorn Antelope, Gardiner Basin

The Gardiner Basin road is really not much more than a dirt track bounded on one side by mountains and the other by the Yellowstone River. Apart from a few farms and the Pronghorn there usually isn’t a lot else to photograph. However, on this occasion we found a Wheel Line irrigation system in full flow.

Wheel Line Irrigation System, Gardiner Basin

Images edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.

Wild Yellowstone – Day 7 (Yellowstone National Park)

Day 7 began very early (5.30 am) as we wanted to photograph sunrise over the river in Madison Valley and the steam and mist rising from the various geysers, hot springs and thermal pools of the Lower Geyser Basin. During winter and fall the steam and mist linger for much of the day, but in summer the high temperatures burn it off very quickly.

Lower Geyser Basin

By the the time we reached Tangled Creek (7.00 am) much of the steam and mist was already gone. Nevertheless, we decided it was still worth stopping and trying to make the best of what remained.

Skeleton Trees at Tangled Creek

The plan for the remainder of the day was to make our way across the park to the West Thumb Geyser Basin. This basin lies on the shores of Lake Yellowstone and is always very popular with tourists coming into the park via the South East Entrance Road. As it happened we arrived at West Thumb at the same time a two fully laden buses of Chinese tourists. A sturdy tripod comes in very useful in such occasions 😉

Tree Swallows Mating, West Thumb Geyser Basin

On our journey back to West Yellowstone we made a short stop at Black Sand Basin, which has always been a personal favourite of mine. Given the lack of steam and mist from the thermal pools we wouldn’t normally have bothered, but on this occasion it provided an opportunity for panorama shots of Sunset Lake.

Sunset Lake, Black Sand Basin

 Images edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.

Wild Yellowstone – Day 6 (Yellowstone National Park)

Day 6 took us along a section of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop road over the Dunraven Pass. Given its height this area of the park is closed during the winter and when there are heavy snow falls at other times of the year. Having not been able to see this area of the park on my four previous visits I was pleased to finally experience the splendour of the pass, the views from Mount Washburn and the Hanging Valley at Tower Falls.

Hanging Valley, Tower Falls

During our drive over the Dunraven Pass we made a number of stops to photograph the wild flowers. We even managed to see a Grizzly Bear mother and cub, but sadly they were too far away to make a useable photograph.

Alpine Spring Beauty, Dunraven Pass

In the afternoon, we spent an hour or so photographing the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from the various viewpoints. My favourite viewpoint is Artist’s Point from where it is possible to photograph the Lower Yellowstone Falls head on. The lower falls are just over 300 feet high and in winter it freezes. Even in summer it’s possible to find snow and ice lingering in areas shaded from the sun.

Lower Yellowstone Falls from Artist’s Point

Our return drive back to West Yellowstone took us along a section of the Grand Loop Road bordering the Gibbon River. Again, many stops were made, but the most enjoyable was coming across a pair of Bull Elk in ‘Elk Meadow’.

Bull Elk Grazing in Elk Meadow

 Images edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.

 

Wild Yellowstone – Day 5 (Yellowstone National Park)

Another long and busy day with lots of photography. As we drove into the park this morning we came across a herd of bison grazing in Madison Meadow. Later we visited the Lower and Midway Geyser Basins. As with the thermal pools and springs at West Thumb Geyser Basin the colours in the various pools and spring were a lot more vibrant than was the case during my Winter and Fall photo shoots.

Bison and Calf, Madison Meadow

Skeleton Trees, Lower Geyser Basin

Clepsydra Geyser, Lower Geyser Basin

To round off the day we attended a rodeo event being held a few miles outside of West Yellowstone. I’ve never been to a rodeo before and was pretty clueless as to what lens to use, etc. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with the results.

The Hat, West Yellowstone Rodeo

Another One Bites the Dust, West Yellowstone Rodeo

Images edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1

** Disclaimer** Above images are quick previews specifically for this blog so that friends and family can see how I’m getting on.