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.

Click.DSC_3428

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