Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mammoth Hot Springs

In yet another area of the park now. The Mammoth hot springs are really cool and like no other area of the park. Great travertine terraces of whites, oranges & browns - the colours depend on the temperatures of the water. When the springs dry up in an area they turn white and eventually grey - if there's water flowing then you'll get the pretty colours - caused by bateria that thrives in hot water.

Have based ourselves here for the last 3 days. Yesterday I got up at the crack of sparrows for a 'photo safari' basically a 5 hour guided tour of this part of the park by a photographer guide - pointing out good photo opps and tips and tricks on composition and lighting etc - good stuff but sadly she had her work cut out as the weather turned horrible after the first half hour or so. Still it was nice to be driven to enjoy the views and lots of interesting info about the park and it's history. We've also been to the evening 'campfire' programmes' - hour long talks given by the rangers - again SO interesting - so we are just full to bursting point with stuff we've learnt about the park!

Did another hike out today - a distinct lack of wildlife sightings on our hikes so far (but maybe we're being too effective with the noise levels!). We did drive out this afternoon and saw our first Pronghorn Antelope then went looking for wolves. Didn't see any BUT we did see 2 black bears close to the road - initially just feeding together but after a while they started play-fighting with each other. We watched for about 1/2 hour - they never really wandered out of sight it was amazing.

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