We arrived at West Thumb late on an August afternoon. The weather had been steadily deteriorating all day. Barbara exclaimed, “It’s snowing!” Not exactly. It was sleet but it seemed cold enough for snow—perfect weather for photographing in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park with its steaming hot springs, spouting geysers and bubbling mud pots in one of the strangest places on earth. The word that comes to my mind is spooky and the spookiness is accentuated in inclement weather.

“I’ll sit in the car, read my book and stay warm,” said Barbara. “You go take your pictures but don’t freeze out there.”

So off I went. West Thumb Geyser Basin is the smallest in Yellowstone but it contains every type of thermal feature found in the park. The basin sits on the  shore of Yellowstone Lake and some of its most unusual features are the lake shore geysers. As I was photographing Fishing Cone, I looked across the lake to watch a streak of sunlight on the mountains.

The sleet kept falling and accumulating on the lakeside boardwalk. The cold air met the heat rising from the springs and fumaroles making swirling clouds of steam that merged with the clouds above. As I said, a perfect time to photograph in Yellowstone.

To find your way to West Thumb Geyser Basin, go to the Jackson to Gardiner Road Trip Guide.