The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Untamed Beauty Of Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park. Where do I find the words to describe it? For nothing quite prepares you for the immensity or diversity of this place; for miles upon miles of un-spoilt beauty. Trying to describe it would be futile. It is too different from anything that I have ever seen or experienced before.
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I was fascinated by it, and yet, a part of me feared it. I feared the primeval force that had caused it. I was in awe of the super-volcano that had birthed it. Because Yellowstone was born of fire. And what do I know of fire? I who come from an island that was thrust from the watery depths of the Mediterranean. Fire is as alien to me as a thunderstorm in July.
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But in Yellowstone, fire, or its effects, are a constant presence. From within the earth, it powers the geysers and the hot springs; on the surface, the forest fires that sometimes rage here during the summer months give life to new growth – saplings rise from the ashes of dead trees. The old makes way for the new in a constant cycle of renewal and rebirth.
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In Yellowstone, nature is constantly in motion. The landscape varies from valleys to mountains; from arid geo-thermal areas, with their skeletal trees, to brooding forests of pine and aspen; from cascading waterfalls to gently flowing rivers; from lush meadows to barren mountain faces.
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Life and death are everywhere in Yellowstone; in the constant struggle to survive; in the repetitious wheel of the seasons. We went to Yellowstone in search of the wild-life and, except for some small herds of elk and moose, came back none the wiser. No  grizzlies or black bears hurtled out of the trees to disturb our strolls. But we did get to see the eternal symbol of the west. Five times we spied a lone bison. Never in a herd; never with a companion, as lonesome as the winter wind.
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At the edge of a lake or in the shadow of a clump of trees, it grazed on the grass, its seemingly gentle demeanor belying its strength and bulk. Before white men came from across the ocean, he was. That he has survived, despite the decimation of so many of his breed, is a poignant reminder of the enduring legacy of Yellowstone.
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I have tried to describe Yellowstone to you in as concise a manner as possible. But I have failed, for no words can quite convey the true nature of this strange and fascinating landscape. The only way to truly experience Yellowstone is to go there and see it for yourselves. 
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15 comments:

  1. Great photos. I have never been to Yellowstone and I probably will never be able to go there so I appreciate your sharing the photos with us.

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  2. This post was a beautiful vicarious journey, Loree. Gorgeously-written and, honestly, what magnificent photos. You are so in touch with landscape, not just descriptions but forces. If you were a goddess, it would have to be of something dynamic and perceiving.

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  3. Oh, I so don't agree with you! I felt that you captured the essence of this magic place so beautifully that I was completely transported. Absolutey. And yes, your lush photos certainly helped but even if they were not here I would have travelled on your words wings alone.

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  4. I have never been to Yellowstone, but have always wanted to go, and your post makes me wish I were there right now! Thank you for the beautiful photographs and descriptions. I am especially moved by that lone bison. xo Gigi

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  5. there are really beautiful photographs, loree. i think it's hard for people to get their heads around the beauty - and geology of this place. the idea of yellowstone as an enormous active volcanic crater is both fascinating and terrifying! how wonderful that you were able to visit on your u.s. trip.

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  6. I don't think you failed in your words, Loree; it has a different affect on me as I read your words. There is a deep admiration, the majestic impression of Yellow Stones, and the feeling of being small in such a grand scheme of things.

    Gorgeous photos!

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  7. I cannot imagine seeing a bison! The entire drive through northern Maine and New Brunswick, Canada I was peering right and left to spot a moose. But, I never saw one...I was sad and relieved at the same time. Your photos are wonderful. This is a spot we have never been but are so intrigued to go. So glad you all have a wonderful time on your trip.

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  8. We have visited the Yellowstone Park in 1971 ! It hasn't changed. Probably there are now installations for tourists, at that time there was just one toilet, nothing else ! When I saw all this beauty my mouth just stood open !

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  9. Loree - such a beautiful post. I have never been to Yellowstone...my hubby was there as a boy. Strange to think you came from Malta to see this beautiful place. The buffalo do still live here and there but nothing like they were when the Indians lived in the land...They do stand as a sign of what mankind did to this beautiful country of ours. When will we learn that we don't own anything in this life and God meant it all to be shared. There really is enough for everyone. The Indians knew the value of the buffalo and they killed just enough to get them through the winter and nothing was wasted...how much we could learn from them. Thank you dear one for taking me to Yellowstone today - hope you have a blessed week-end. God Bless!

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  10. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this. I have always wanted to go and have never been!
    Definitely on my list of places. Somehow when I travel in the states, it's usually to see friends or family and unfortunately no one lives near Yellowstone!

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  11. So beautiful. I also find it hard to describe places. Guess that's what photos are for, but somehow there's always more than one is able to photograph, scents, sounds, the air, the mood... being there in person is always a bit different :-)

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  12. Loree..thank you so much for this post. I have never been to Yellowstone Park..in fact I have not been to many of the highlights in the USA. I loved your photos..and am now intrigued..thank you! xx

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  13. Fantastic photos of Yellowstone! It is such an amazing place and you captured it so beautifully.

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  14. Beautiful, wonderful images from Yellowstone! We've been there twice in the last few years but both times have had to contend with wildfires, so our photos were not so great. I hope we can get back there some time other than late summer/autumn and hopefully see the place without smoke - except for what is there naturally! ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my blog.

    ~Lindy

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  15. I must, must, must visit Yellowstone the next time I visited the USA. This looks spectacular!

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