30 Jul 14. In the NW corner of Yellowstone, for lack of a more descriptive identifier, is found the Gardner, or North, Entrance to the park, one of the two open year round. Here you find the park headquarters, the Albright Visitor Center, one of the most active areas for watching the elk rut in the fall, and Mammoth Hot Springs, one of my three favorite places in the park. The hot springs are not for relaxing but for viewing, and are comprised of two terraces, upper and lower. Both terraces are in a constant state of flux, and each time we have visited they have presented very different looks. The changes are subtle from year to year, but put a decade in between visits and you are amazed at the changes. My favorite spot in the area is a specific mound somewhat isolated from all the rest of the springs in the upper terrace, followed closely by the boardwalk viewing area at the far end of the lower terrace. Both offer some outstanding views, and, depending on the weather, the views can be quite spectacular. We paid two visits to the springs last trip and the first was on a day that had threatening weather for the better part of the afternoon and evening. This shot, from the boardwalk along the lower terrace, was taken just before a storm broke that looked like it was planning on drenching us but it never got around to dropping its water, at least not on us. The lighting was a photographer's delight, with the storm opening a hole allowing brilliant shafts of light to intermittently break through and light the area, then rapidly closing up and dimming things substantially. Waiting on the breakouts provided opportunities for some dramatic shots; challenging but really fun photography. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture Priority; ISO 200; 1/1250 sec @ f / 9.