A Uinta ground squirrel stands on a log beside the Two Ribbons Trail in Yellowstone National Park.
As someone who loves playing around with shapes and colors and textures, my head nearly explodes when I see a scene like this. Sadly I didn’t have a wider lens at the time but I did my best to capture how many different little scenes you could see from this one location. Two of my recent posts (the orange mineral deposits and the watery fingers) were taken from this spot but with a longer lens, plus some other pictures I may post in the future. Mammoth Hot Springs is always crowded since it is both fascinating and right next to the hotel, so as someone who is a bit crowd averse I limit my time here, but otherwise I think I could spend a week wandering around. One of my favorite hiking trails also leads up from near here.
This pair of mountain goats reminds me of a pair of Kiwis (or were they Aussies?) that I met at the lookout on the top of Mount Washburn. They were young and touring a bunch of national parks in my homeland and asked my opinions on my favorite parks. They were lovely folks and although I headed back down the trail before them, they later came running past, saying the ranger had told them there were mountain goats near the trail. I kept my walking pace and arrived a short time after them, but the goats were already all the way down the hill and moving off. I got a quick picture but a better memory, meeting nice people on the trails is one of the joys of our national parks.
The goats aren’t native to Yellowstone but they were perfectly adapted to this part of the park, I was astounded at how quickly and easily they covered the steep slopes below the trail. I was even more impressed by the time I arrived back at the car, huffing and puffing, and unconvincingly consoled myself that they’d probably be equally slow and tired if they were carrying a heavy camera and lens.