Flora, Yellowstone National Park

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  • Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttastus)
    Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttastus)
    by grandmaR
  • Color comes from hot water loving bacteria
    Color comes from hot water loving...
    by grandmaR
  • tiny white flowers and clover
    tiny white flowers and clover
    by grandmaR
  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Flowers, Trees and Colorful Bacteria

    by grandmaR Updated Jul 30, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The driver guide told us that there were three main kinds of tree (all conifers). The most common is the Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). There are also Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) but they are in the minority. The trees never rot, so they stay standing but dead until something causes them to fall down, and then they just lie there. We could see this from the plane coming in

    Other than those three trees and various grasses, there are the various paintbrush type flowers (which we either didn't see or didn't photograph), and the Yellow Monkey-Flower (Mimulus guttatus) which we did see and photograph.

    Leaving aside the question of whether bacteria are animals, plants or something else, the colors that one sees at the edges of the hot springs where they run off are caused by mats of bacteria. These bacteria can live in water that is almost boiling although the deeper water is clear.

    Tiny flowers Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttastus) Dying trees - look like fall in the spring tiny white flowers and clover Color comes from hot water loving bacteria
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Photography
    • Budget Travel

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  • kokoryko's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the Indian summer

    by kokoryko Written Dec 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beginning October, the aspen, the willows, the cottonwood trees take their golden colors, enlighten the landscapes, make them just beautiful before the days of snow. . . . . . .I “discovered” my first aspen (of my life, or I did not notice before. . . ) trees a few kilometers north of the southern entrance on the roadside. Nothing else to do than to park somewhere and have a short hike in the woods, and take photographs! The golden leaves, sometimes crimson, purple, were a wonderful discovery to me; and the smooth wind making the leaves dance on the branches, the very light music of the wind in the leaves. . . . Enjoy very simple gifts of nature, take time to look at the trees, listen to the wind. . . . . There are many aspen near the creeks, small rivers and lakes; walking under there trees is easy and only for that, it is worth to take some time on a tour in the Yellowstone. On the last picture is a (soft!) example of what I realized only later: the cars everywhere on the roadside, and people jumping out of their cars to take pictures and drive ahead.

    Even very common trees are so beautiful Yellow aspen Red leaves Aspen leaves Be warned, you will not be alone!
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Road Trip

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