Reflections in Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone National Park (Mammoth Hot Springs).

This morning was overcast and gray and the sky blended with the off-white terraces at Mammoth. Blue birds flashed through the drab sky like florescent blue meteorites.

A pair of killdeer were wading through the shallow warm water of the springs, searching for and eating small bugs floating on the water’s surface. The insects floated through run-off channels, like small canoes in a shallow stream.

As one killdeer was foraging and wading among the thermophiles, another would make the distinctive and far-carrying "kill-deer" call. Killdeer are graceful plovers.

The travertine terraces in Mammoth Hot Springs host a variety of thermophilic bacteria including the fascinating Cyanobacteria which uses photosynthesis by day and fermentation by night - as part of its metabolism.

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