Welcome to my (Claire Stout) blog about my summer internship in Yellowstone National Park. I am brought here by the Student Conservation Association and given a scholarship by Americorps for my college tuition. I am interning under the head ranger at the Tower Ranger Station. This blog contains stories of my adventures and what it is like to live here in the park. There are also photos that contain me, the people I work with, and interesting things I encounter. Feel free to leave a comment and enjoy!

Yellowstone Album 3

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ah! The fresh smell of Calcite Springs

One thing that makes Yellowstone different from other parks, (and the main reason why it was created as the first national park), is because of its geological thermal features. Trappers and explorers who were among the first to view the Yellowstone area told stories of boiling hot water spurting out of the ground hundreds of feet in the air, hot pools of blue and orange water, and boiling mud. Many of these people were ridiculed for the supposed lies they told because no one believed the stories they told were true. It took two government funded expeditions to confirm the existence of geysers, mud pots, and hot springs.
There aren't many thermal features near where I'm living. However, there is one: Calcite Springs. If there is one thing one should know about thermal features is that they reek of rotten-egg smell. Sulfur, I think. Although calcite springs is about 2 miles away from Tower Ranger Station (Where I live), we are lucky enough to experience the pungent smell of the springs sometimes in the morning. Last night I had left my window open. This morning I woke to that smell.
Despite the discomfort to my nasal cavity, I am having lots of fun and learning many new things. Just yesterday, I learned how to replace a strut on a car. John M., one of the LE rangers here, let me help him with his car that he was fixing himself.
I'm also learning the names of as many plants, (and their properties) as I can as well. So far the wild flowers I know and recognize are Arrow-Leafed Balsam root, Larkspur, Flocks, Bluets, and Sticky Geranium. I also learned that even though flocks kind of looks like wild strawberry blossoms....the hard way. That poor strawberry flower didn't even have time to ripen before I accidentally stepped on it.

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