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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser in Winter

March 12th, 2012 · No Comments

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The American government created the world’s first national park in 1872. We call it Yellowstone.

We created it to preserve and protect its many geothermal features, particularly Old Faithful Geyser. Old Faithful erupts about every 90 minutes, shooting 4,000 to 8,000 gallons of boiling water up 100 to 180 feet for two to five minutes. While not the tallest or largest of Yellowstone’s many geysers, Old Faithful is the most popular because it is so regular and so frequent.

The historic Old Faithful Inn, where I made sure to stay at during my first visit to Yellowstone in August 2009, is right next to Old Faithful Geyser. During the winter they close the inn, because it’s too hard to heat. But Old Faithful Snow Lodge is right there and was open this winter from mid-December to March 4. Our Mountain Outin’ tour stayed two nights at this modern hotel in the wilderness.

Seeing the dramatic eruption of the Old Faithful Geyser is practically obligatory for any visit to Yellowstone. I made sure to see three eruptions during my recent winter visit.

Old Faithful Erupts on March 2 at 11:39 a.m.

Old Faithful Erupts on March 2 at 11:39 a.m.

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Blasé Bison Ignores the Spectacle

A Blasé Bison Ignores the Spectacle

Click on the picture above to enlarge

But still photos don’t do justice to the dramatic action that is the eruption of Old Faithful. That’s why I made this short film clip:

Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser

While we created this first national park because of its unique geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles, for most people nowadays Yellowstone’s big draw is the abundance of bison and other wildlife. During the second day of our winter visit to Yellowstone we saw even more bison.

Three Bison Amble Over a Rise

Three Bison Amble Over a Rise

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Behind the bison is the steam evidence of Yellowstone’s continual geothermal activity. Bison and steam together form the signature scene of Yellowstone National Park.

Still, I got my biggest kick of the day when we stopped for a short hike on the Fountain Paint Pot trail. Some snowmobilers were also visiting, leaving their snowmobiles unattended. A raven, one of the smartest birds on Earth, soon attacked. Since I had just finished Bernd Heinrich’s Mind of the Raven, I made sure to watch this intelligent bird.

A Raven Attacks a Snowmobile

A Raven Attacks a Snowmobile

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Even better, the raven was so determined to break in that it stuck around long enough for me to make this short film clip:



A Raven Tries to Break in to a Snowmobile

While I enjoyed the raven’s antics, I wonder what the owner of this snowmobile thought when he or she returned to it. My guess is that he would blame a human instead of a bird.

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