Yellowstone’s Thermal Pools in All Its Vibrancy


Mention Yellowstone National Park and many other wildlife things come to mind except the abstract. Dave Reichert however saw exactly that when he turned his attention toward the thermal pits that are so common to the area. Yellowstone’s park’s geothermal pools just took him totally by surprise.

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“In many of Yellowstone’s thermal features, the combination and intensity of colors is completely unexpected,” Reichert said about his recent encounter with the thermal pits. “I realized that I was looking at something that more closely resembled abstract expressionist painting than colonies of microorganisms on a stream bed.”

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Reichert knew there certainly would be many surprises awaiting him once he visited Yellowstone National Park. When he recently went there with his daughter, he was expecting to see some the park’s famous wolves along with a few of its other features. What he encountered instead was something far more fantastic than just a pack of hungry mammals.

yellowstone thermal pool

Yellowstone National Park is home to more than half of the world’s geysers, and not only has quantity but diversity as well. Name it, from hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles (steam vents) and geysers, according to the National Park Service. Reichert chose a location with a good view that crisscrossed the thermal basins. “Early morning was the best time, before the walkways became busy, while the sun was still low and textures were emphasized and glare off the surface of the water was minimized,” said Reichart.

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“It was so much more than I expected. We saw bison, elk, deer, pronghorns, mountain goats, moose, black bears, grizzlies, coyotes, foxes — up close and personal — and a fleeting glimpse of two wolves a few hundred yards away.”


While the animal life was definitely much to rave about, the landscape offered more than its share of astounding features. “Colorful’ as an adjective falls short when I try to describe the thermal pools and springs at Yellowstone. I’ve used the word ‘lurid’ before,” he said.

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See Reichert’s amazing shots of Yellowstone National Park here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.