Very hot mud, very cool grasses

After leaving The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone on Saturday, we headed toward our next campground which would be Fishing Bridge. On the way we stopped at the "mud volcano".


From the name, I expected to see lots of bubbling hot mud. It was no surprise that this is exactly what we saw. What was a surprise though was what else was there.


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The western part of Yellowstone contains all of the geysers, hot springs, thermal pools, and other areas of hydrothermal activity. The mud volcano may not be the most well-known attraction in Yellowstone, but it has some really great attributes.


Yes, there are several steaming, frothing pools full of nearly-boiling water and mud:




Fumaroles are not overly impressive, but they're the hottest hydrothermal features in the park:


There is some color here - it's not all just grey:




Such an inhospitable environment, what could possibly be growing here besides the bacterial and algaes?


Grasses, that's what!

Okay, some are rushes:


There may be some sedges in there too, but it's not like you can walk right up to them to check. So for the sake of simplicity, let's just call them all "grasses":


Not just a few brave plants either, eking out an existence where nothing else will grow. Lots of different ones, all combining to create such a beautiful scene:




I'd be quite proud if my garden contained such an attractive mix of grasses -- which may be my favorite garden plants. (Although I'm not sure I'd want a mud volcano as a water feature.)




How can you not love this? (If you're not clicking these to see them larger, you're missing out!)




So although we stopped here to see the hot mud, I left with memories of this as one of the best grassy "gardens" I had ever seen.


I suspect that the impact of these plants is really lessened at other times of the year, as late summer/early fall is the most ornamental season for most grasses. Has anybody seen this at other times of the year?

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danger garden  – (September 3, 2013 at 12:14 AM)  

Indeed, the grasses certainly steal the show! Enjoying your vacation very much...keep those photos coming! (Please)

scottweberpdx  – (September 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM)  

Those grasses are stunning...love how they form a tapestry of color...and I too want a meadow/prairie around my house someday :-)

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