The Art of Yellowstone Algae
Yellowstone National Park is a geologic wonderland and one of the most unique places on earth. More than a third of Yellowstone Park sits within the caldera of a giant, ancient and still active volcano. I admit, I was having second thoughts just before my feet touched ground in this amazing park. All around the park - steam is being released from the earth and vents shoot boiling water more than 300 feet into the sky. It was quite something to behold. But when you start to look closely at the colourful geothermal springs, you realize that the colourful algae of Yellowstone Park are actually varieties of microbes. Hot Springs originate from the same geothermally heated water as geysers do, but in this case, they do not have a constriction that builds up pressure, so they bubble or flow continuously rather than erupt. Hot springs are the most common type of hydrothermal feature in the park, and they can be found throughout the geyser basins and elsewhere.
Colourful microbes are caused by bacteria and thermophiles: heat-loving algae that contain colorful pigments. Each color of algae is specific to a particular temperature range radiating from the center of the hot spring. So, this was a photographer’s paradise for capturing some of the most unique landscapes in the world. We stayed at the Old Faithful Inn, right in Yellowstone – this is the place to be. The Old House Inn provides some charming basic rooms with two or three queen beds and a vanity sink. You don’t want to be driving 1 hour to get to the sunrise locations in the morning.
Check out the gallery on this site for more photos -