Oh, the Colors You Can See – Mineralization at Yellowstone National Park

Great Prismatic Pool

Oh, the Colors You Can See! © 2010 Bo Mackison

We arrived at Yellowstone National Park on Saturday afternoon, set up camp quickly, and went exploring.

We stopped at several geyser basins. These geyser basins just seem to call me – I just can’t resist walking on the boardwalks, gazing at the many brightly colored pools, timing the predictable (and unpredictable) gush of the geysers, watching the muddy paint pots that burp out a pop of mud in rhythmic fashion.

When we arrived at Midway Geyser Basin an hour or so before sunset, we ended up lingering there until traces of the sun had all but disappeared. The thermal features are lovely at any time of day, but at sunset, everything is bathed in warm light and the oranges and yellows deepen. I couldn’t stop looking and I took way too many photographs.

This shot is one of my favorite from that evening. The Grand Prismatic Spring, seen steaming in the background, is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone, measuring over 250 by 300 feet. It is a brilliant icy blue in the center, and then turns bluish-green on the edges. But the parts that so attracted me were the rays of oranges, yellows, and browns that radiated from the spring as runoff.

As a bonus, the reflections in the pool and runoff waters are spectacular, as seen by these reflections of white clouds and blue sky.

Ah, glorious nature. What a show she puts on!

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Glorious is right! This is a fantastic capture, Bo. I love the colors, the reflections, everything about it. It’s gorgeous.

  2. Bo Mackison says:

    It was quite the amazing sight. And I definitely wasn’t the only one around with a camera in my hand! I have about 500 more geyser and pool photos from Yellowstone. Ha! I may need a new blog for the National Parks soon! 🙂

  3. Amazing shot, Bo! Just the perfect capture of color, mood and reflection.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Quinn. It does seem very representative of the mood I felt much of the time when I was in Yellowstone.

  4. That’s incredibly beautiful Bo! What a shot! You are making the best of this trip so far!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It has been a great trip so far, but have run into some rough weather in southern Utah. Still exploring, but carefully.

  5. Nice image Bo… I love how the clouds , steam and foreground pull the viewer into the image.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Richard. I think I took fifty shots, having an idea of what I wanted to achieve, but hard to get it to come together. I’m pretty happy with this one.

  6. You and that new camera seem to be getting along well. 🙂 That sweeping fog set against that tack sharp focus of the surroundings is stunning. And that reflection! Totally gorgeous shot.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Ah, the camera. Sometimes love it, sometimes not so much. I am learning about our abilities – the camera’s and mine!

  7. I’m whistling here. This is stunning! I love this image. 🙂

  8. There aren’t enough adjectives in our language, Bo. Extraordinary shot, momentous place…must see in person!

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