We often saw coyotes after dark as we left the park.

They’d dart across the road ahead of us…could never get a photo.

Ahhh, but our luck changed one afternoon, and we saw this one cross in the fading daylight. Notice the notch in his upper lip….DSC_3518

Then good fortune smiled broadly on us one nicely lit afternoon, and we found these two coyotes together. They ignored me as long as I stayed beside the car…and we were close! The first two pictures are one animal, and the third is the other one.DSC_3697DSC_3688DSC_3680

Caught in the middle

This was one of my very first photos when we arrived in Yellowstone. I just liked the scene….where this sweet little evergreen was growing out of a rock in the middle of the Madison River.DSC_0530

I wanted to call the post “Grow where you’re planted”, but I couldn’t find other scenes to match the theme.

But then it became clear it needed to appear with these next two pictures under today’s title.

Robyn and I call this next rock “The Ballerina”, because we can see a lady en pointe in a tutu.DSC_1913

The tension in these next rocks is palpable from the bank of the Yellowstone River…when will the small rock succumb to the pressure? An even more pressing question: how in the world did it land in such a position?DSC_2158

This last picture barely qualifies to be included in this post…I just like scene! Click it to fill your screen…there’s sooo much going on….DSC_0726

Bighorn sheep

We have had good fortune on three occasions to see Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

We were lucky to even notice the first one, because he was high on a cliff immediately above the road after a curve. But eagle-eye Robyn spotted him!DSC_1343

He seemed to be showing off! Once I came back around the corner nearly opposite him, he even looked at me and seemed to pose for a moment!DSC_1374

But the second occasion was much more heart-warming!DSC_1788

Such a little sweetie, in the company of two adult females. The crowd of people who stopped to look initially made the youngster nervous, but he or she (see those horn stubs?…but both genders have horns) eventually grew more comfortable.DSC_1780

Our third encounter was really cool. High on the side of the mountain pass out the east entrance road, we saw two males making their leisure way above the road. When they came to a spot where the cliff came out to the road, they had to come down and traverse some pavement before clambering back up and into the woods.


Some strange geology

Everyone knows about Yellowstone’s geysers and hot pools.

But some of the geology is pretty strange.

Look at this cliff face. No artist could have designed it more beautifully.DSC_0924-2

That’s steam rising because blazing hot water is bubbling out at the top. The white is from the minerals the hot water dissolved on its way to the surface, which have now cooled and settled out from the water…and built all the hills and valleys on this cliff face. The yellow and brown and sort-of-green colors are the microbes and algae that grow in the hot water.

Here’s the rest of that picture.DSC_0924

The pile of mineral this hot spring has created over the years is probably as tall as a 5 story building, and longer than 3 football fields! This photo only shows part of its length.

Here’s some of what’s down at the other end of this mammoth mound:DSC_0935

Who knows why the bubbling hot water creates these shapes rather than the smooth cascades at the other end. Some of these are larger than your bathtub.

This large mound is found at Mammoth Hot Springs at the northwest part of the park. Across the top to the northeast portion is Tower Falls.

So named not because the falls are so tall, but because of the distinctive towers of rock at the brink of the falls.DSC_1275

I found the rock wall beside the road above the falls to be fascinating. Very strange rock formations.DSC_1278

Still, at the end of the day…when the bright lights go out…Yellowstone is no different than any other gorgeous spot on Earth.DSC_3608