Steam rises from the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. You've probably seen aerial shots of this thermal pool, which looks like a giant eye from up high. At ground level, you can see the variety of colors in the hot spring, caused by various bacteria and minerals in the water and ground. Features like these are why Yellowstone is my favorite place on Earth. Photo taken June 22, 2011.
Basking in the winter sun is a (probably) chicken turtle. Named after the taste of their meat, they are found living their lives in the marshes and ponds that offer very still water. Characterized by their almost fluorescent green stripes and vivid colors, they often are also one of the prime choice of food for the omnipresent alligators in this area. One of the members of the unique everglades ecosystem!
What I can’t show in pictures are the stars that came out after this sunset. The Milky Way stretches in a thick vein over our camp and stars of every size twinkled overhead. A kit fox came and darted in and out of our camp, looking for scraps but finding only the lingering scent of our rice and beans. The desert was quiet aside from it’s scuffling.
To reach Artist’s Palette @jpalmers drove (I sat and picked my jaw up off the car seat) through a winding one way canyon. The scenery around was stunning, but nothing compares to this sudden burst of color splattered across the mountainsides.
The white crystals spread out in front of us, an endless palette of white in every direction. The mountains around us were no less dazzling with purple, red, and green stripes launching diagonal towards the cloudless azure sky. They were topped with crisp white snow which seemed impossible given the heat that soaked into our skin as we walked through the lowest point in the US.
We walked across the dunes silently, soaking up the soft morning light and the cool air lingering from the night before. As we walked further and further out, the footsteps became fewer and the path less well traversed. For a brief time, our tracks were the only ones around, making me feel like we were exploring an untouched planet. I realized then that we were. This piece of this planet was at that moment untouched. I felt small and giddy, enthralled with the alien landscape and eager for the exploration to come. #sanddunes