Steam devils in Yellowstone

As you may have inferred from my last entry, I recently took a vacation to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. A sublime experience, and definitely worthy of inclusion on the Great American bucket list. After all, the park belongs to everyone, just like the weather.

Inside the bubbling, fuming caldera, Dan and I caught a few nice steam devils spinning off the park’s famous geysers:

I can only imagine they’d be better in the winter, when the temperature contrast between the geothermally heated waters and the overlying atmosphere is all the greater.

Going to a National Park is kind of like storm chasing… complete with chaser convergence. Just swap in bears for tornadoes as the primary photo/video quarry. Whenever a bear appears within sight of a road, everyone pulls their vehicles over, and tripods and telescoping lenses are deployed. We witnessed some rather silly behavior by people dodging in and out of traffic trying to get their “money shots.” But in the end, everyone was there for the same reason – to experience nature’s majesty first hand.

Lower Falls, Yellowstone NP

Lower Falls, Yellowstone NP

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone NP

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone NP

Excesior Geyser, Yellowstone NP

Steam over Excesior Geyser, Yellowstone NP

Bison in Yellowstone NP

Some of the 3,700 resident bison of Yellowstone NP

Sunset over the Grand Tetons

Sunset over the Grand Tetons, 20 August 2011