Thursday, October 16, 2014

Now and Then Fall Colors

Aspen trees in the Rocky Mountains as they appeared a few days ago ...

The same trees 8 years ago (2006) about 2 weeks later in the season ...

Thank you for stopping by John's Island. Thank you to all who leave me the kind and encouraging comments!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remote Valley

We recently spent a few days in a part of the USA that is largely unknown to most of her citizens. Some would call it the middle of nowhere, others a peaceful escape. Fishermen love it for the scenic beauty, and one of the best fly fishing rivers in the world ... the Madison. Named after the river, it is known as the Madison Valley. Here are a few photos to give you the flavor ...

US highway 287, looking south, traverses the remote valley ... notice the traffic, which is normal ...

The Madison Mountain Range ...

Much of the valley includes a series of "benches" ... geologists tell us they are the shores of an ancient lake ... note the benches in the shot below ... also visible in the first photo above ...

The mountain known as Sphinx ... can you see the sphinx?

Below, known as Fan Mountain, it's to the west of Lone Mountain, the home of Big Sky ski resort ...

Sunset, October 4, 2014, in the forgotten valley ...

Do you see the face of the sleeping giant in the mountain? (small rectangle) Is that another giant in the cloud above? (large rectangle) OR, have we simply had too much coffee?

And where is this?

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Steam Fog

About 9 AM on the morning of October 3rd we were enroute to Yellowstone Park and stopped by the Campfire Campground area along the Madison River just below Hegben Dam in Southwest Montana.

It was a cool, crisp morning and skies were mostly clear. We were surprised to find steam flowing up from the river. We've seen this before but not very often. The conditions have to be just right ... the water temperature has to be higher than the air temp just above to create the steam. The slight air movement was carrying the steam to nearby trees and shrubs and creating a surreal look.

We did a little research on the web and discovered that this condition is called "steam fog." USA Today featured the photo below of some guys fishing on a lake when similar conditions occurred.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Visit to Yellowstone [2014 - 4 - Great Falls]

In Yellowstone National Park, October, 2014

What you don't see in the photos below are the five or six (large) buses in the parking lot at the head of the walkways to spots to take these shots ... literally hundreds of tourists ... many appear to be international guests ...  almost all of them clutching their cameras, cell phones, iPads, tablets, etc ... taking photos of the same scene.  Perhaps the difference with our shots is that we don't try to get in the photo. : - ) We're not trying to prove we were here ... just want to remember the beauty of what we saw.  It was a beautiful afternoon and perhaps you can see where they came up with the name ... yellow stone.

The Great Falls of the Yellowstone have been an inspiration to many artists. We found a great book that features a lot of this art ... Drawn to Yellowstone by Peter H. Hassrick ...

The book covers artwork featuring many of the other scenes in YNP, as well, and we recommend it to Yellowstone fans.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Half and Half Sky

October 11, 2014

Well, maybe it's not exactly half of the sky in these photos, but you get the idea. A storm cell with heavy rain moved through the city just about sunset. The storm moved on and left mostly clear skies. This was a little bit unusual for the time of day and season for Seattle.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Linking up today with Skywatch Friday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visit to Yellowstone [2014 - 3 - Coyote]

In Yellowstone National Park, October, 2014

October 3rd ... After lunch at the Lake Hotel, we headed back toward the western entrance. Stopped briefly, just after leaving the Lake Village junction to snap the picture below looking across Yellowstone Lake to the Absaroka Range of mountains in Wyoming ... most of the snow on the Absarokas is fresh ... we had rain in the lowlands and snow in the highlands here in the Rocky Mountains around October 1 ...

From Wiki:  "The Absaroka Range cross the Montana-Wyoming border, forming the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and the western side of the Bighorn Basin."

In the photo below, on this fall afternoon, the sun is sinking a little lower in the sky and casting some long shadows in this scene as we look across the Madison River to the south. We do not know for sure, but suspect that the dome in the right portion of the photo is what's left from some volcanic activity centuries ago ...  Yellowstone is, of course, an active volcanic region. The scientists say it is not a matter of "if" but simply "when" the next eruption will occur. It may be today, tomorrow, or thousands of years from now. When you visit YNP ask the Ranger at the entrance for a Park Map. The map will show you the rim of the caldera. It's pretty amazing to consider what you're driving over as you tour the Park. 

As we drive through the Park the long shadows tell us it's a fall day ... and this one was a beauty ...

There are plenty of sights around to remind you that the fire is not far below the surface ...

Lastly, for this post, a pic of the coyote we spotted ... they are fast, determined movers ... this one moving through the tall grass ... and the capture leaves something to be desired, but at least we have the record ...

Thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Visit to Yellowstone [2014 - 2 - Bison]

In Yellowstone National Park, October, 2014

People visiting Yellowstone are often looking forward to seeing the wildlife. We have visited the Park several times since 1989. Usually we see a lot of bison, aka buffalo. In this visit in October, the bison all seemed to be away from the usual viewing areas and only a few solitary representatives remained for visitors to see. Here is one we spotted near the Hayden Valley ...

Closer look ...
Bison in Yellowstone, 2014

The Hayden Valley is a beautiful area that is frequented by wildlife but it seemed rather barren on October 3rd ...

Hayden Valley
Yellowstone National Park
Wiki says, "Hayden Valley is a large, sub-alpine valley in Yellowstone National Park straddling the Yellowstone River between Yellowstone Falls and Yellowstone Lake. The valley floor along the river is an ancient lake bed from a time when Yellowstone Lake was much larger. The valley is well known as one of the best locations to view wildlife in Yellowstone."

Read more here.

More photos from YNP tomorrow.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.