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Hunting Rainbows

Like so much about Yellowstone National Park, the colors and shapes that inspire artists have geothermal origins…

according to the 19th-century painter Thomas Moran…

“its beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human art”

though Moran still tried to capture this canyon on canvas

he produced a number of paintings of the Falls

Well, after my big day at Upper Geyser Basin – and my rainbow capture at Castle Geyser – I was fired up for my outing back the waterfalls. I had read that at certain times of the morning in late summer, rainbows could be photographed in the mist of the falls. So was off to hunt rainbows…

Or, perhaps I should simply say – hunting colors – the colors Moran spoke of – and, here too, I would be in for a few surprises…

At “rainbow time” at Inspiration Point I started to think that the “white skies over Yellowstone”, due to the smoky haze, might create some problems – and , unfortunately , I was right… no rainbow during the 9:30 am window at this location…but did spot the osprey in the nest and a few colors…


Then it was off to the subject of Moran’s paintings – Lower Falls from Artist Point – for the 10:30 am rainbow from that vantage point. I actually met up with a few other photographers chasing rainbows – read the same guide book I had 🙂 but , here too, we were not to see the rainbow given the lighting…but spent a lot of time capturing my own Moran painting





Then a quick stop to see the upper falls

A stop at the Brink of the Upper Falls revealed a different set of colors – and, a rainbow in the mist – hundreds of feet below me…





And, then the “local knowledge stop” …

Remember I mentioned gathering some local knowledge at the visitors center? Yup, found the little known – and rugged/steep – climb up the ridge overlooking Grand Prismatic Spring.

It has the distinction of being the park’s largest hot spring. It measures approximately 370 feet in diameter and is over 121 feet deep. And, an historical footnote – a description of this spring by fur trapper Osborne Russell in 1839 also makes it the earliest described thermal feature in Yellowstone that is definitely identifiable.

Most folks view it from the boardwalk – but, for a really wonderful view of the spring you either hire a helicopter or climb up an eroding hillside and over deadfall…


That’s all for now…letting the pictures provide the update…hope you enjoyed

Take care…see you down the road…

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Suzanne #

    Very nice

    September 4, 2012
  2. Beautiful photos – you’re a gifted photographer…

    September 21, 2012
    • Stephen #

      Cheryl
      wow -thanks for the nice feedback – glad you liked the images. It helps when you’re in some beautiful places like the National Parks. Just wish there wasn’t as much smoke out West as there is this year – some vistas just haven’t worked out for me – but enjoying seeing all this beautiful country. take care

      September 21, 2012

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