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Yale 62

One Photographer’s View pg. 2
a series of photographs and comments on them by Gary Richardson

Devil’s Thumb & Palette Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park, 2013

Devil’s Thumb is an older cone-shaped travertine deposition formed where water persistently emerged at a single point rather than along a crack in the terrace. As long as water flows up this point of weakness in the terrace, the cone continues to grow, but if the water finds a more convenient underground channel or if the orifice of the spring is sealed over, the cone becomes dormant.

Runoff over steep banks typically result in formation of many small scalloped deposits. Where the runoff slopes are gentle or where irregularities in the slope allow small pools to form, travertine precipitates around the edges of the slowly rising pools to produce larger scallop-shaped deposits called terracettes.

Travertine is a unique type of limestone that develops around mineral spring deposits like Yellowstone National Park’s Palette Springs.

Reflection in a Scholar’s Garden
Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland, OR, 2005.

Throughout the day, as I circuited Lan Su several times, the light would change providing subtle amendments to the vistas before me. Late in the afternoon, as the sun edged lower, I noticed what appeared as mysterious oriental glyph reflecting off the surface of the pond.

Reflection 1

Reflection 2

Later, studying the images, I realized that the sun was shining through the Chinese latticework of the bridge over the pond.

“Reflections…” encompasses multilayered reflections and refraction — the blue sky coloring the pebble-lined pond bottom, the overhanging tree, the lily pads and sun glyphs on the surface.


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