Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yellowstone - Part Eight - Tiny Treasures

Hidden in plain sight are tiny treasures of wildflowers, lichens, and bacterial mats.  The wildflowers were just starting to bloom and you could see splashes of colors intermixed with the sagebrush.  Most prevalent were these brilliant yellow flowers that were scattered.  I think they are called Arnica, but I'm not too happy with this identification and I don't have any field guides so its tough for me to identify. 
More common was the tiny shooting star which seemed to like the edges of the road and parking area.  Tough life to live among the cars and mobs of people. 
Shooting Star
I believe this delicate and tiny flower is a type of phlox.  It also lives near the starflower and is constant danger of being trampled. 
There was a ton of cool and beautiful lichen growing on the trees and rocks everywhere. I wish I knew what they were called, but that doesn't subtract from its beauty.

Within the various geothermal features, brilliant bacterial mats were everywhere. I tried in vain to capture their color, but I really should have bought that polarizing filter to take better pictures looking into water. It just never even remotely did justice to the colors and patterns. 

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