POTD: Medusa

Medusa
Yellowstone National Park
2010

The full or nearly full moon has been so bright around here the last few days you can see quite well at night, except the moonlight seems to make a lot of common objects take on a bit of an other-worldly nebulous luminosity. Depending on your state of mind, the resulting lunar visions can appear as pleasantly magical or somewhat sinister. This particular dead tree, if I’d seen it at night, would fall into the latter category I think–especially with Halloween coming up.

POTD: Vacancy

Vacancy
Yellowstone National Park
2010

Another interestingly stark white tree on the edge of the geyser basin at Old Faithful, bleached somehow (not sure exactly how that works) by the water from the geysers and hot springs that killed it. No obvious residents in this one.

POTD: Traffic Cop

Traffic Cop
Yellowstone National Park
2010

If you enjoy my photos of crows and ravens, you should check out this week’s episode, A Murder of Crows, of the show Nature on public television. It’s usually broadcast on Sunday evenings-check your local listings.

POTD: Inholding

Inholding
Yellowstone National Park
2010

Some bird used this lone dead tree on the edge of the geyser basin at Old Faithful for its nest. Perhaps it had a keen interest in geysers and thermal activity; there was a commanding view of the whole area from the tree.

POTD: Grotto Geyser

Grotto Geyser
Yellowstone National Park
2010

Although we go to our backyard national park (Yellowstone) fairly regularly, it’s been many years since we stopped at Old Faithful and walked the boardwalks there. A couple of weeks ago we decided to brave the tourist crowds and do just that. Even though there had been a record number of visitors (over three million) to Yellowstone already this year before September was even over, the crowds weren’t that bad the day we were there. We checked out the new 38 million dollar Old Faithful visitor center ($38 million sure doesn’t buy what it used to) and then walked down to Morning Glory Pool and back, a nice leisurely stroll of about three miles.

Finding new photography subjects at a place you’ve been many times is always a challenge. This was the only noteworthy geyser shot I got that day. In the right light, due to it’s unique structure (which is the result of a buildup of mineral deposits over some dead tree stumps),  Grotto geyser is an interesting subject even when it is not going off.

POTD: Stink Bomb

Stink Bomb
Livingston, Montana
2010

A little outhouse humor in this one. They say you can find the recipe for a atomic bomb on the internet. I don’t know about that–I haven’t looked. But I did look for stink bomb recipes and found a bunch. Here’s a link for an easy classic rotten egg stink bomb recipe in case you’re feeling particularly juvenile or in need of a good Halloween prank. In junior high school, my trickster friend Robin Church had a vial of this stuff and was always trying to embarrass me with it. We’d be walking down the hall between classes and he’d release a cloud of the stuff and then say “Oooh, Larry, way to go. That was a good one.”

POTD: Body Language

Body Language
Yellowstone National Park
2010

Something about the intensity of Connie’s reading stance made me glad I wasn’t that sign. Kind of reminds me of Aretha Franklin dressing down Matt “Guitar” Murphy in the movie The Blues Brothers.

Still shot from The Blues Brothers, 1980

Heck, I might as well post the video:

POTD: Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold
Yellowstone National Park
2010

This needle-filled crack reminded me of an Andy Goldsworthy creation, maybe an early one anyway before his work got so fantastically elaborate. Or maybe this naturally occurring design is the kind of thing that inspired him in the first place.

Cracked Rock Spiral
Andy Goldsworthy
1985