Visitors to Yellowstone National Park have always been fascinated by the large populations of big animals; the wildflowers, trees and geysers. What was most fascinating to me however was the rainbow of colors produced by water, minerals and microorganisms. Microorganisms comprise the most significant biomass in the park.
|The stunning blues are due to selective reflection |
of blue light by water. West Thumb Geyser Basin,
Yellowstone lake beyond.
|The stunning whites are Sinter a porous silica mineral. |
Cathedral Geyser Cone.
|Sinter can kill surrounding vegetation|
|Red/orange hues can be due to |
Iron minerals or Cyanobacteria
The name implies blue organisms..but during the summer their color is masked by Carotenoids, orange pigments to protect them from the sun. Cyanobacteria are Thermophiles, heat lovers.
|The Prismatic Spring even has colored steam|
|This is not a microorganism!|
|In cooler streams, algae can flourish.|
Cyanobacteria orange, algae, green.
Porcelain Geyser Basin.
|See the algae?|
|Porcelain Geyser Basin|
|The Emerald Pool is not green due to algae. |
Sulfur deposits combine with the blue hue of the water.
|Elk are not algae either.|
|Sulfolobus bacteria live in the Sulfur Caldron.|
|Dragon Spring. Dragons live here.|
|Mule Deer are not bacteria.|
|Nature even paints the grass in Yellowstone.|
|And hides Coyotes in it.|
|No post on Yellowstone would be complete without it!|
|Light fades on the Firehole River.|
|Sun sets on Yellowstone Lake|