These beautiful Caldera, Lake and Mountainous areas are exactly what I expected and nothing of what I expected. The Tetons are bold, young, beautiful and still growing (only 10,000 years old). They are covered in glaciers and surrounded by glacier created flats, rivers and lakes; created by the last three ice ages. Yellowstone is stationed on a vastly large caldera filled with lakes, rivers, water falls, geysers, hot springs, pools and other volcanic features. Both are home to many endangered and dangerous creatures. More on these two wonderful places in following blogs—much more.
This blog is for my love of the wild flowers, grasses and trees. Eighty percent of the trees covering this area are called Lodge Pole Pine. There are no hard woods except the occasional white barked Aspen; very occasional. These pines produce a cone whose seeds are glued in and will not product until burned, so the forest fires are their only hope for reproduction. When we came over the mountain pass in early June with my granddaughter (from south Louisiana) she sat up, looking out the windshield and said, “Oh my God, I have never seen so many trees on one place in all my life!”. It is awe inspiring (to use an much over used word, but true).
I have lived most of my life within a few miles for the Natchez Trace. It is a National Scenic Trail managed by the U.S. National Park Service. It runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. I mention this because the Park Service cuts the grass along the route and in some of the meadows. I am pleased to say that is not the cast here in these two National Parks (I am sure in the great wisdom of our park service there is a good reason for cutting this grass). However, I am here to tell you, grass left alone is beyond beautiful. It grows to two, plus feet tall and produces bowing grain heads. It is hard to look at the areas above ground level as we drive around because these parks are filled with these magnificent trees, grasses and an abundance of wild flowers. Some of these actually grow within a few feet of these marvelous and often passionate hot springs. I am sure they all have beautiful names and I can correctly or incorrectly identify them, but I am going to allow the pictures themselves to do all the talking from here on.