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USA 2018 (10), Mud pots and fumaroles. Our next stop for a walk in Yellowstone National Park, this Monday, 19th February, was at the Lower Geyser Basin. P1290834001

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Dead lodge pole pines, with petrified bases. They have absorbed the prevailing silica material through their roots, and ‘frozen’.

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More evidence that bison like warm water

P1290839001Here we learned more from Drew about hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots, having already learned about geysers, such as Old Faithful. We saw for ourselves how vegetation and even small birds could thrive in well below freezing ambient temperatures. At 7.30 this morning, it had been minus 2º Fahrenheit, which sounds even colder in Celsius – minus 19º.  Photos can show the water vapour/steam – but not the rotten eggs smell of hydrogen sulphide, H2S, (“very poisonous, corrosive, and flammable” – Wikipedia) which invaded the nostrils from time to time, and had done the previous day also.P1290840001P1290849001P1290852001P1290857001P1290864P1290861001

 

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Red-breasted nuthatch, at the edge of the field of mud pots.

P1290879001P1290880001Regaining our yellow snowcoaches, we found one of those dark red Bombadiers, the precursors of the modern vehicles we were travelling in. P1290885001Onwards and northwards.

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Snowmobiles approaching, and in the distance, the northern edge of the most recent (640,000 years ago) Lava Creek caldera

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This is my very favourite bison portrait

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Not a human footprint in sight

After a short while we reached our next warming hut, Madison Information Station I think, where we took lunch (in the company of a load of snowmobilists) – and were visited by a coyote.

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P1290920001  I saw no-one give him/her anything to eat!