I've been away from the blogosphere for a few weeks on vacation. We journeyed to Yellowstone, with its wealth of geologic and wildlife wonders, and to Grand Teton. It's an amazing part of the country, well worth visiting if you can.
In spite of significant numbers of tourists (us included!), the wilderness feeling of the place is constant. Look at the gnarled root of the Utah juniper above as it grows over the rock below it.
I hadn't expected to see so many wildflowers this late in August, but Yellowstone averages 8000 feet in elevation and has a very short summer, so they flower later here. This is alpine goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata.)
We and the Obamas were at Old Faithful at the same time, and although we missed them at lunch, their presence was clearly evident in the crowds, helicopters and traffic delays that day!
Blue-pod lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus.)
These potentilla were at Mamoth Hot Springs near Minerva's Terrace. Notice the white, extremely alkaline soil in which they are growing.
Considering the inhospitable conditions in some areas, it's surprising how much plant life thrives at Yellowstone. Above, the West Thumb Geyser Basin.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium.)
Cute little mystery plant! Ideas, anyone?
Scenes like this are everywhere: visit northern Wyoming!