Monday, October 29, 2012

More steam

James' geyser-fu wasn't working as well as last time we visited Yellowstone, so we experienced more steaming and sputtering than hot water shoting into the air.

Norris Basin, Yellowstone
Midway basin
Midway basin
Until, that is, James saw everything erupt when he went off on his own to pick up the car. While we waited for him, Pa and I consoled ourselves with this little geyser that erupted every 15 mins or so.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Steaming landscapes

Norris Masin, Yellowstone
Norris Basin, Yellowstone
Norris Masin, Yellowstone
[Not quite so peaceful Yellowstone...]


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunny spider

[Zuisenji, Kamakura]


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peaceful Pools

Norris Masin, Yellowstone
Upper Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin
Grand Prismatic Spring
Upper Geyser Basin
Moring Glory pool
Biscuit basin
[All in Yellowstone, of course]


Monday, October 22, 2012


Roughly speaking, Japan has just 2 seasons. They are called too-hot and too-cold. This is a bit of an approximation. At this time of year, and also between May and June, there are alternating days of too-hot and too-cold, and sometimes it is even possible to be both too-hot and too-cold during the same day.

The poor insects are, however, definitely too-cold and are blundering around. Don't know how this katydid arrived on the flowers, but it was none too steady on its pins.


Matilda, the giant mantis [I guess a Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis)] who has been hanging out on our wisteria for the last few weeks, is showing signs of wear and tear from her predatory lifestyle. She has one antenna shorter than the other. But that's not bad at all - missing limbs are not uncommon at this time of year.
preying mantis - kamakiri
It is very nice to get out the DSLR again after all that point and shooting in America.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunrise in Yellowstone

I imagined that there might be a nice photo to be taken across the pools at sunrise on the top of the terraces at Mammoth. Weirdly no one else had the same idea. But that was good, as other photographers often spoil the ambiance.

Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.
Then James played one of his tricks. He said it was all over, and it was time to go back. A few seconds later the sky turned orange. Fortunately we were able to run back, but unfortunately (no doubt due to his mean trickery) James took the best shot. I have a similar one, but I like the way he got the clouds refelected in the smaller pools.
Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.
On the way down to Mammoth we saw all the other photographers. They were lined up on a boardwalk with their tripods, long lenses aimed towards this waterfall (not this view - this is taken from the top).
Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.

Two days later we explored the lower terraces. I thought they might look good with early morning sunlight on them. These two below are, however, pre-sunrise.
Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.

Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.
James and Pa started to get twitchy (they need to read more blogs about how patience is key to photography) but eventually the sun rose to light up the otherworldly landscape.
Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.
Sunrise at Mammoth Terraces, Yellowstone.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Yellowstone - the land where the buffalo are bison, the moose are elk, and the elk are deer.

Oh look - there's one!


And another gentleman...
Bison, Yellowstone

What's this one is thinking?... "where's my grass?"
Bison, Yellowstone

A lady buffalo and a hill
Bison, Yellowstone

Dusty buffalos
Bison, Yellowstone

Angry bison - the Occupy Yellowstone Highways movement
Bison, Yellowstone

It was nose to tail buffalo in some places
Bison, Yellowstone
It is now obvious that I should finish this post with buffalo on a plate but I haven't uploaded the photo to flickr yet... so perhaps I'll update this post later...
....Bison sliders at Mammoth. Health warning: only for sharing.
Bison Sliders
Mammoth sliders would have been even more exciting?


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thermopolis -> Cooke City

The mornin' starts with more of the very best nuthin' nuthin' nuthin'. Oh there's a truck!


Someone called Buffalo Bill Cody founded the metropolis of Cody, but these days more than bison are to be found - the cake, coffee and sandwiches were all delicious.
Cody, Wyoming

Cody has a large expensive museum complex all about Buffalo-san. Instead we strolled around the Old Trail Town which is an elegant street of old historically significant buildings moved log-by-log from various places.
Cody Old trail town - cart
Cody Old trail town - store
Cody Old trail town - schoolroom
Cody Old trail town - bar
Butch Cassidy and pals (I thought they were fictional!)
Cody Old trail town
Graves of hoodlums, doogooders and victims
Cody Old trail town - graves
Another street view

Then we took the scenic route. Labelled as pericoloso et dangereuse (Oh, wait, that's the Verdon gorge) Chief Josephs' Highway was actually a wide clear road. Smoke from the fires caused the views to become monochrome.
View from Chief Joseph Highway
Later on a pointy peak appeared
Bear tooth peak, Cooke City
If the name of this cafe in Cooke City is anything to go by, the peak must be called "beartooth".
Beartooth Cafe, Cooke City
Cooke City is at the edge of Yellowstone and the evening stop was Mammoth, well inside the park... but there there are so many Yellowstone photos to work through that this post must stop here at afternoon tea root beer (amazingly, Americans still can't make tea).


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

to Thermopolis

Petroglyphs scribed upon the rocks by primitive cultures may still be found in many parts of the US. We spotted these in Fort Collins, last civilisation before the wild west.

let's fraternity

Over the years we have criss-crossed most of Wyoming, and now I'm pretty sure that there is nuthin' there at all. Let's Zen paradise!
Wyoming bridge and nuthin'

Because of the nuthin', the people who are travelling through it, take EVERYTHING with them.


After Zen, kitsch is the best, and less-than-National Parks are a great place to find it. Except by some very particular definition, the little puddle at the end of the arrow painted on the rock is surely not the world's largest mineral hot spring. Nevertheless, Thermopolis is a nice location for an evening walk.
hot spring this way

At the end of the day James prays, white knuckled, for the American nation.
James and flag
...or perhaps he was just waiting for some scrumptious pizza.


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