Fearless Geyser and other Gushers

Fearless Geyser sign

These funky retro signs were used to identify geysers at Yellowstone National Park.

Some of the geyser names that we saw at Yellowstone National Park struck me as a bit odd. I guess I just associate strong names with rocks and anything geology related. Rocks are interesting, but they’re not cute and cuddly. So the name Fearless Geyser definitely fits; it has a ferocious-sounding name that goes well with the idea of boiling-hot water erupting out of the Earth.

As we walked around the Norris Geyser Basin, I decided to photograph the signs to help identify what geysers I was taking pictures of. Sooner or later they all kind of look the same (especially if you wait nearly a year to start inventorying your images of them). I thought the signs were kind of cute, too. I try to take pictures of the kinds of things that most other people ignore. But I also think that sometimes it’s those behind-the-scenes kind of pictures that give you the most vivid impression of actually being there.

As far as the names for the geysers and other water features, Fearless Geyser and Black Growler Steam Vent both sound pretty impressive. And some of these geysers and springs do make noises; either a bubbling or hissing or growling sound. Green Dragon Spring doesn’t sound as fearful to me; it conjures up images of a lazy dragon sleeping on the lawn. But the name Porkchop Geyser made me laugh.

pathway in Yellowstone National Park

A view from the pathway around the Norris Geyser Basin.

When we got to the Norris Geyser Basin parking lot, the geyser area was hidden behind trees. In fact, it looked like many other parks I’ve gone to. Well, I suppose parking lots do all look the same, to some extent. It was fairly cold that day, probably in the fifties.

We started our tour of Norris Geyser Basin with the Back Basin area. Steamboat Geyser was the first one we came to. The geysers are ringed with a wooden boardwalk so that you don’t actually walk on the ground, which is scalding hot in places. Despite the posted warnings about the dangers of hot springs, we did see a few footprints in the dirt. I had no intention of melting my shoes, so I stayed comfortably on the boardwalk. It’s actually quite nice, and you can lean on the railing or even take a seat at some places.

We walked around the path awhile longer and then it started to rain a little, so we headed back to the main path and took shelter in the Norris Museum and looked at some of the exhibits. Although it never actually downpoured, it was cold enough to be uncomfortable.

On the way back to the parking lot I took some pictures just for the atmosphere. I like the way the path curves off to the right. Doesn’t it make you wonder what’s around that corner?

In this image, I took the raw photo and did some manipulation with the Topaz Adjust plug-in for Photoshop. I downloaded the trial some time ago and really liked it, but I just got around to purchasing it and I’m having a lot of fun working with my images. However, I still have Photoshop CS, which is four versions behind the latest software, so some of the newer plug-ins don’t work for me. I finally decided to spring for Photoshop CS5 Extended, and I’m waiting for it to arrive. I expect to be spending a lot of quality time with my computer.

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