Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone, Wyoming, USA by Howard Clark

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Picture Story

For many decades, I had dreamed of visiting Yellowstone National Park and taking a photo just like this. However, it was not until 2019 that all the stars aligned, and a friend invited me to join him for a photoshoot in the Park during the last week of September. While some park visitors may dream of photographing the animals (bison, elk, pronghorn antelope, wolves, and more), I longed to explore those parts of the Park where "The Earth is Turned Inside Out" -- the place whose official name is "Mammoth Hot Springs."

Finally, on the fourth day of our tour, we reached the Upper Terrace of Mammoth Hot Springs. It was wonderful, and I got many great shots, but the collection of terraces I dreamed of photographing were nowhere in sight. “Oh,” he said, “those are in the Lower Terrace. You’ll have to come back and visit them tomorrow.” Indeed, I did, and what a wonderful day it was – with good light and gorgeous clouds.

At first glance, you might complain that this scene is just an unusual set of wet of terraces and not a waterfall at all. However, according to Wikipedia, the structure shown here is “a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine. It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the springs cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution)….Algae living in the warm pools have tinted the travertine shades of brown, orange, red, and green.” Don’t you wonder what it might look like in snow?


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