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Friday, January 23, 2015

Yellowstone Flashback - The Magic of Mudpots

The following is part of a series of posts about the trip Wayne and I took to Yellowstone National Park in 2009.

The Fountain Paint Pots area of Yellowstone is a little different than what one expects from this National Park.  Silex Spring overflows most of the year and the overflow causes a hot environment where thermophiles thrive and cyanobacteria forms mats of orange and brown.

Some microorganisms use hydrogen sulfide which rises from deep within the earth to convert the gas into sulfuric acid which breaks down rock into bubbly clay.  In the early summer they may be thin and watery from abundant rain and snow but by late summer and fall the mud is quite thick.

When we were at the mudpots it was windy and sunny so I brought my umbrella along for the walk.  The smiles on other tourists' faces when they saw my polka dots added to the fun.

Red tailed hawk

Even in an environment as hostile as this it's not just bacteria that thrives.  More wildlife in the next post!


  1. Yup, the mudpots were one of my favorite places in Yellowstone. Such fascinating stuff - things you don't see every day!

  2. Great picture of the red tail on that hawk. But none of you and the umbrella. That's a shame. I loved the mudpots. I thought they were just totally cool.

    1. Funny you said that because when I was writing up this post I was thinking the same thing, what a shame it was that Wayne didn't take a picture of me with the umbrella. Maybe because we were so busy trying to hang on to everything with the wind? Don't remember!