Colors of Yellowstone

One thing which is probably even more remarkable in Yellowstone than all its bisons and sneaky bears, is color. Or better — colors. Because Yellowstone is one huge color-nuthouse. It is this place on Earth where the craziest, most rebellious and violent colors are deported to for public safety. Though not in order to subdue and isolate the rebels, once in Yellowstone, but to mix them in the most insane and surreal palette our little planet ever knew.

Colors of Yellowstone

There are places in Yellowstone where you won’t believe that the colors you see are real. But they are real and you’re not hallucinating. This color extravaganza has a couple of reasons, first and foremost the arsenic eating, thermophile algae, which are forming huge multicolor colonies in hot springs.

As these unique as well as fragile colonies are being built over vast amounts of time, they are protected, and maybe even more secure than the visitors. Just try to step or touch or throw anything into one of these magnificent colonies, and the chance is big that you’ll be kicked out of Yellowstone by one of the armed rangers, looking really close after these treasures of color.

Colors of Yellowstone

But as always, there is a catch. The colder the weather, the more steam is being produced by the hot springs and thermal areas, which dims the colors. The more steam, the less colors.

As our trip to Yellowstone has been 100% impromptu, and we weren’t enlightened of this fact, we found ourselves in Yellowstone in mid October, which by all means is a bad time to visit this place. It’s getting cold in Yellowstone, it’s quasi impossible to camp outside, the roads are beginning to get closed, and what’s even more important in the context, the hot springs and thermal areas start producing vast amounts of steam.

Colors of Yellowstone

For example, I literally wasn’t able to see one of the most beautiful places in Yellowstone, the famous and the biggest in US Grand Prismatic Spring: walking down the small planked bridge along the Grand Prismatic Spring, I could barely see the bridge itself, sometimes loosing every sense of direction in the thick, opaque steam. Another major player is obviously the Sun, as the Sun is responsible for that stirring blue of the pristine water in the springs, and on the other hand, you won’t see that much of the algae colors on a grey cloudy day.

Hence, visiting Yellowstone, take the good weather with you. As well as bear spray.

Aleksandr Skorobogatov: press and reviews on the books

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