Daddy's Christmas Angel

Monday, February 17, 2014

Painting the National Parks - Mudpots at Yellowstone

"Mudpots by the Sea" Original Pastel ©Mary Montague Sikes
When we visited Yellowstone National Park, and I first saw the mudpots, I was astounded. I had no idea that such gorgeous phenomena existed in nature. The first mudpots we visited were located on a lake edge. As I took photographs, I felt as if I were taking the picture of a painting. It was so beautiful. In my excitement, I did not take note of the actual location of this scene.

At the time, I was so captivated by the beauty of the setting that I also gave little thought to the definition of mudpots. When I looked it up on Wikipedia, I found that they are actually "acidic hot springs."  Microorganisms are using the hydrogen sulfide from deep in the earth as a source of energy. The microorganisms convert the gas into sulfuric acid which in turn converts the rock into clay.

Although the mudpots are awesome in their beauty, they are also dangerous because of the heat coming up from deep in the earth. Tourists are cautioned to take care around them because of this deadly danger.

"Mudpots by the Sea" in the third in my series of paintings from the National Parks.


4 comments:

Julie Flanders said...

I've never heard of mudpots. Amazing. Gorgeous painting as always!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, that one is stunning!!! It has such a realistic quality to it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That painting is beautiful. I was fascinated with the mudpots when we visited Yellowstone. My favorite was the Mammoth Paint Pots. (I think that's what they were called.)

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Julie. I hadn't heard of them until we went to Yellowstone.

Alex, thank you. I made a card from the photo years ago. Now the painting fits perfectly into the series I'm creating.

Diane, thank you. I loved all the mudpots. Yes, some are called paint pots.