Airy Reflections at the Great Fountain of Yellowstone. It was a still, cool night with temperatures the lowest in the entire US after a very hot day. The mercury was hovering at 34 degrees. Fortunately, the air was still and sullen. The reflections were impressive but the airglow in the sky was literally insane. The airglow was the best I have ever seen. It happened one other night on this trip in a place called Toroweap or Tuweap. The airglow there was strong but here at Yellowstone, it was almost impossible to describe. The Tuweap image needs some work but it will be a spectacular image when finished in my opinion.

The bleachers that are seen in the distance give a great view of the fountain at sundown, when occasionally it coincides with an eruption it can be a glorious view.

This late evening/early morning shot turned out really well, I think. It would have been awesome to catch an eruption in the image as they can be up to 200 feet tall. The reflections were blown out so it is enhanced and shifted right.

After this shot, I went to a flat area without trees or geysers to take some more shots of just the Milky Way. I took several panoramas of just the Milky Way because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the camera. The airglow was off the charts. As I was finishing up the last image, I was sitting in Jimmy with the camera/tripod just outside the door.

I had heard some earlier thumps. Now thumps and gurgles at night are nothing new in Yellowstone. I hear them constantly while filming. Splashes and seemingly close pops can mimic bears or other critters so it’s enough to keep one on edge in the dark. Now, however, the thumps were growing in sound and volume. I thought something was wrong with Jimmy.

As the last panorama (42 images) finished up I got out of Jimmy and turned on my headlamp and was shocked.

I was surrounded. Surrounded by a herd of bison. 100s of them were around Jimmy in all directions, some as close as 15-20 feet. They had come in the dark to drink from the river I was parked near. Since they seemed to be paying no attention to me I grabbed my gear, threw it in Jimmy and wove my way to safety,

I should have taken video on the way out. After having done $1,000+ worth of damage to Jimmy going to Top of The World, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and escaped before Jimmy could be headbutted into oblivion.

42 images f1.6, ISO 8000, 50mm

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