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Blink and You’ll Miss It

June 22, 2016

Close your eyes and imagine a world with no trees, no wildlife, and no natural beauty. We are fortunate that this is not our reality. The National Park System belongs to us and it’s important for us to keep our eyes open to all that is around us because if you blink, you’re going to miss it.

For seven days we’ve kept our eyes wide open from 5 am until 10 pm taking in all that Yellowstone has to offer. Have you ever seen the pouch of a white pelican wobble in the morning? What about a pine marten running through lodgepole pines at Pelican Creek? Most people haven’t. Not only because they aren’t truly looking for the small treasures within the park, but also because they aren’t aware of the natural beauty that can be found in our own backyards. This morning our group had the privilege of experiencing some of these moments.

As we approached the Continental Divide, we never would’ve anticipated the surprises that lurked below the lily pads in Isa Lake. From leeches to caddisfly larvae and, most impressively, the red feathery gills of a blotched tiger salamander larva, we explored the unseen wonders that so many people simply drive by.

Looking in Isa Lake at blotched tiger salamander larvae

Looking in Isa Lake at blotched tiger salamander larvae

Many people also do not realize the geological processes that are constantly rumbling below our feet. Today we gained new insight into the thermal activity and power that exists within Yellowstone. From the West Thumb Geyser Basin to the world-famous Old Faithful, we discovered how much more exists in our world that so many know nothing about. Within 60 minutes of our arrival at the historic Old Faithful Inn, we observed the reliable Old Faithful geyser, as well as the lesser-known, but more impressive, Beehive and Grand geysers. Some of the less popular geysers like Beehive and Grand are phenomena that the millions of tourists that visit here each year typically do not see. Why is that?

 Beehive Geyser with a beautiful rainbow

Beehive Geyser with a beautiful rainbow


Grand Geyser

Grand Geyser

You may have read recently about tragedies occurring within the national parks. Today, we spoke with ranger Ali at the West Thumb geyser basin and she reminded us of how many great and wonderful experiences people have each day. The looks on children’s faces when watching a geyser explode and the adults ooooohhing and aaahhhhing as Old Faithful erupts prove that Yellowstone and all of our national parks have so much more than tragedy to offer. On the National Park System’s 100-year anniversary, it’s important to remember that these places belong to all of us. We must take advantage of the opportunities we have been given and explore them with our eyes wide open and our senses awakened. As we prepare for our final day in this amazing place, we will remind ourselves of what is truly important in life. We may be tired, but so much still awaits us. And after all, we can sleep when we’re dead.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2016 8:33 pm

    Hey, I found the blogs and photos of your guy’s trip to Yellowstone to be quite awesome! But i have a question, how has the constant volcanic activity in Yellowstone national park affected the habitats of species living in the park?

  2. Julia McNeill permalink
    June 23, 2016 2:52 pm

    Hi! Your post shows you all seeing eruptions from a fair few of Yellowstone’s diverse geysers, in terms of both age and geological features present. However, this made me wonder—why are some geysers so much more faithful (in terms of eruption predictability) than others? For example, Yellowstone’s Beehive Geyser and Riverside Geyser are both “cone geysers”, but the latter is much more predictable than the former. Considering the internal similarity of the two, why do these geysers also not have similarly timed eruptions?

  3. June 24, 2016 8:22 am

    Well said…Ranger Ali sounds like she gets it:)

  4. June 18, 2017 5:43 pm

    Looks awesome enjoy!!!

  5. Kelly permalink
    June 18, 2017 10:52 pm

    Wow….so exciting.

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