Sunday, August 19, 2012

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Images from Midway Geyser Basin, Excelsior Group, Yellowstone National Park
The Excelsior Group in Midway Geyser Basin is no doubt my most favorite feature in Yellowstone National Park. Maybe, Midway Geyser Basin awed us beyond compare because we already had seen so much beautiful scenery and amazing features in Yellowstone that we thought with all the beauty we had seen, what else was there? Midway Geyser Basin answered us: "there are more!"

Waterfall from the Geyser Into Firehole River
I could not pick the right words to describe the feeling of awe and wonder that we felt when we were at Midway Geyser Basin. We did not really start excited in our walk here, maybe, because the parking lot was so small that we almost did not get a space to park. Not seeing the beauty that lies hidden from the parking lot, we almost left without exploring. But thankfully, we were lucky enough to have several cars left before we finally exited the area. After we had parked, we saw two buses loaded with tourists. We told ourselves, "oh no!" Not that we are allergic to crowd, but just could not stand it when there are too many people on the boardwalk. We decided to nourish ourselves first with chocolates and seaweed. I don't know if we took so much time munching our chocolates, but the moment we started our walk towards Firehole River, those bunch of tourists we saw from the 2 big tour buses were already leaving. Because their visit was so fast, we thought there was nothing to see.
Waterfall from the Geyser Above Emptying to The Firehole River
I thought that the waterfall was the most unique part of this geyser basin already. I never had seen a waterfall before where steam was rising above it. We crossed a footbridge to cross the Firehole River and took a few steps up of the wooden staircase to go up the hill. On reaching the plateau up the hill, I finally had my first glimpse of the source of the waterfall.
the source of waterfall: Excelsior Crater Geyser
The amazing palette of colors in most of Yellowstone landscape is the result of the combined work of thermophilic bacteria, algae and minerals that thrive in the acidic hydrothermal environment. As we continue walking on the elevated wooden walkway, we were greeted by this beautiful deep blue pool. 
Excelsior Crater Geyser
The steam above the deep blue pool in Excelsior Crater Geyser added more hypnotism for me. I wanted to take a dip in that brilliant blue water, but I know for MY SAFETY and for the BEST OF THIS GEYSER, I SHOULD NOT
So Beautiful Blue, Excelsior Crater Geyser
In the 1880s, Excelsior Geyser was the largest geyser in the world, where its eruptions reached 300 ft both in height and width. During the eruptions, it poured out so much scalding water to Firehole River that horses would not cross within half a mile downstream. The violent eruptions in the 1880s is believed to have caused the dormancy of this geyser. After 95 years of dormancy, Excelsior Geyser awoke again in September 14 to 16, 1985. The eruptions were only up to 75 ft in height and width, lasting 2 minutes with intervals of 5 to 66 minutes. Since its eruption in 1985, Excelsior Crater Geyser has remained to be a dormant, steaming deep blue pool.

While still not wanting to leave being awed and struck by the hypnotic beauty of Excelsior Crater Geyser, my attention was caught by a colorful cloud of vapor not so far from me. 
When I first saw it, it felt almost unreal, for I have not seen colors of rainbow reflected on mists from the rising steam before. Slowly, I left my spot in Excelsior Crater Geyser area and walked towards the source of colorful rising steam.
Grand Prismatic Spring
As soon as I had the full view of the spring, I could hardly moved, stunned by its features. I was quiet for a while, not wanting to be disturbed as my heart sang praises of joy. I spent some quiet time taking in the scenery despite there were other people in the boardwalk. In that moment of silence, slowly some tears came streaming down my face. It is not often that nature makes me cry, and being there in front of Grand Prismatic Spring was one of those few times. 
After some moments of silence singing quietly praises and prayers of thanksgiving, I took my camera out and started taking pictures. While taking pictures, I heard several people uttered "ahhhh, so beautiful...this is Heaven on Earth" each time they passed by that same point where I first had my full glimpse of the scenery. It felt indeed being Heaven on Earth, and if we only could stay longer. 
Grand Prismatic Spring
These wonderful display of colors are not always year round. The display of vivid colors is the result of thermophilic or heat loving bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The bacteria produce colors ranging from green to red, depending on the chlorophyll to carotenoids ratio and on the temperature of the water. In the summer, the bacterial mats tend to become more orange and red, whereas in the cooler months, the bacterial mats are usually dark green. The intense deep blue color of the pool is because of high purity as the center is too hot to support any bacterial life, and also because of the depth of the water in the center.
We were probably two of the few people who seemed to be glued here not wishing to leave. I remembered those 2 big bus loads of tourists. I was glad I did not follow my initial assumption that "there is nothing to see" after seeing them leave in maybe after 15 minutes. I was also glad we munched some sea weed and chocolate snacks first, for it allowed us to enjoy this beautiful place with much fewer people and much quieter time. 
Opal Pool (shot by my hubby )
When we finally decided to leave The Grand Prismatic Spring so that we still would be able to explore other places, we passed by two smaller pools, the Opal Pool and Turquoise Pool. I must admit I was still running high from being awed by the Grand Prismatic Spring that I was too lazy to even lift my camera to take some shots. My hubby however kept on shooting pictures. I guess he sensed the reason why I stopped taking pictures of the other sights that he told me, " dear, this may not be as interesting as the Grand Prismatic Spring for us right now, but one of the benefits of taking photos is that when you view this again later you are reminded of the different beautiful ways of how nature works."
Turquoise Pool (photo by my hubby )
He was right! When my heightened emotions from viewing The Grand Prismatic Spring had subsided, and I was viewing his pictures, I told myself, "huh? where was this?" DUH! I am glad my hubby did take pictures of the Opal Pool and turquoise Pool, otherwise, I would totally have forgotten in my memory that there are also two quiet, little, and beautiful pools in the Midway Geyser Basin.

You may want to check out also the Upper Geyser Basin ( part 1 and part 2) in Yellowstone which I had written previously.

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  1. Lovely photos of Yellowstone. The Grand Prismatic is my favorite, it is so colorful. Wonderful photos.

  2. So stunning. I am in awe from your photographs. Nature offer us great opportunity to enjoy its beauty, we just have to find where they’re at. I love those waterfalls, so calming and relaxing to see even in the photo itself, how much more in person. Bluish and yellowish and reddish :D perfect in colors.

  3. Yellowstone will be yours and become your registered trade mark.


  4. All the blue wondrous things here are making my eyes open wide Betchai! Almost like a dream even while viewing the photos...I wonder how I would have felt too have I been with, just wow...lost for words to describe how beautiful everything you captured here are...

  5. Incredible and magnificent views in all of your wonderful pictures, Betchai. Each has its own amazing color and just so beautiful. Really really out of words just seeing these photos..

  6. truely surreal place....amazing!!!

  7. Great pictures, it must be fantastic to stand there.


  8. Those are amazing captures betchai! The colors and the beauty of the place is vivid.
    I am loving your series, these geysers are superbly captured by you.
    Have a wonderful sunday :)

  9. Those photos are so amazing. The blues are so blue. I would love to visit Yellowstone.

  10. gan to share words of motivation
    Negative-minded people always see difficulty in every opportunity, while successful people are always looking for opportunity in every difficulty.
    gan may be accepted me Greetings and wait behind the visit: D

  11. Wow! I'm lost for words too considering I'm just staring at these photos, what more if I see this upclose and personal.

    You're so lucky to have seen this wonderful creation of God.

  12. at least you have back up photographer. awesome place miss beth. that blue pool is majestic and that colorful mist is magic.

  13. Wow! The Grand Prismatic Spring is so colorful!! Amazing!

  14. Fantastic photograph, fine views. I am greeting

  15. I love the colors and scenery. You are right; we may think you have seen all God's glory but He is never done amazing us.

  16. This is such a great creation of God! Lovely scenes are captured wonderfully.

    Thanks for sharing Sis Betchai :)

  17. The color contrasts are simply amazing! Great pics. Appreciate the share.

  18. i. am . in . awe! as in speechless!!! thanks for always making my heart jump and my soul shout for joy in marvel of God's awesome creation.

  19. Opal Pool looks really ohhh-some

  20. What a sight to behold! Thanks for sharing these lovely creation of God!

  21. amazing photos! Are you kidding me? take me there. I have to remember this for my list of places to see.