Sunlight bathed the landscape today. The thick clouds have departed, for now, leaving the bright blue open sky! I felt to go north today, to the western half of Island Park. Particularly along the Yale-Kilgore road which runs parallel to the southern edge of the Centennial Mountain Range (the northern boundary of Island Park). I really do love my weekends off work and the evenings throughout the week when I can get to the trees! This weekend has provided ample time to visit major players in east Idaho.
Island park is set in the not-so-ancient extinct caldera that Yellowstone hotspot once occupied. Because of plate/hotspot movement, the region of Island park is largely void of volcanic activity. The last eruption of mention was tens of thousand of years ago and featured a small lava flow which represented the final leg of the grand super-volcano as its influence shifted to the northeast. Today, Island Park is overflowing with life, both wild and domestic. The surrounding hills and mountains create the large rim surrounding the depression where the last major eruption of Yellowstone occurred. Within this rim lay Harriman State park with its many trails following the Henry's fork of the Snake River or branching off towards higher elevation. Countless dirt roads and trails snake through the basin and along the rim with some connecting with roads outside Island Park such as the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway which features the majestic Upper and Lower Mesa Falls (prominent components of Henry's Fork). Today I chose to focus on the areas surrounding the Island Park Reservoir to the west of the main north-south highway through the region. I am looking for inspiration for my next major painting project in the works themed "The Woodlands" (more on this later!). What a great place to study Idaho's trees!
The majority of today's pictures were taken along the road, with emphasis placed on the trees and mountains I hope to use as references in my future project. I hope you enjoy!