Idaho

Idaho, mostly in and around the Malad River Gorge, Shoshone Falls, and Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve.

Boise

An empty airport tarmac

Looking south towards Concourse B from Concourse C at Denver International Airport.

A large, red-orange dragonfly rests on a tree branch

A red dragonfly in my folks’ front yard in Boise, Idaho.

A large, red-orange dragonfly rests on a tree branch

Animated GIF.

A large, red-orange dragonfly rests on a tree branch

A red dragonfly in my folks’ front yard in Boise, Idaho.

A black-and-white picture of a fly whose head was caught in a sliding glass door

The most gruesome death I’ve ever personally witnessed.

A manhole cover transformed into the Millennium Falcon

The force is strong in Boise, ID.

Malad River Gorge

The Malad River enters the Malad River Gorge

Animated GIF.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Looking west along the Malad River from the bridge near the eastern edge of the state park. Obviously with some heavy post-processing.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Looking west along the Malad River from the north rim of the Malad River Gorge. Near the center of the shadows at left, a small waterfall from an irrigation canal can be seen.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Looking west along the Malad River from the bridge near the eastern edge of the state park. Obviously with some heavy post-processing.

A field of desert sage and sun-blasted, yellow-brown grass

Sage growing on the plateau above the Malad River. The darker green in the distance is trees growing along an irrigation canal… The same one that can be seen in some other shots emptying into the Malad River Gorge as a waterfall.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Looking east from the south rim of the Malad River Gorge. The pedestrian bridge at the eastern end of the state park and I-84 can be seen in the distance. Just below the bridge is the small waterfall where the Malad River enters the canyon. If you look closely at the shadows on the right, you can see a small waterfall where an irrigation canal empties into the gorge.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Sage along the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge. The Malad River itself can be seen on the lower left.

Looking over the top of a dense clump of desert scrub towards a field of broken basalt mesas

Looking west from the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River Valley.

Looking over the top of a dense clump of desert scrub towards a field of broken basalt mesas

Looking west from the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River Valley.

Looking over the top of a dense clump of desert scrub towards a field of broken basalt mesas

Looking west from the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River Valley.

Looking out across a field of broken basalt mesas, and the desert grassland beyond

Looking west from the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River Valley.

A river cuts a deep, sheer canyon through the basalt underlying otherwise empty desert scrubland

Looking west from the southern rim of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River Valley. A raised irrigation canal built alongside the Malad River can be seen on the right-hand side of the frame.

A low, wide desert river valley

Looking west from the end of the Malad River Gorge towards the Snake River. (The Snake River is the line of trees near the far plateau; the river visible mid-distance is actually the Malad.)

A small stream plunges over the side of a sheer basalt cliff

A small stream empties into Woody’s Cove, just south of the Malad River Gorge.

A dense swath of sage, Russian Olives, and native trees cuts diagonally across a field of broken basalt boulders

Birch Creek in Woody’s Cove, as seen from the amphitheater wall.

A field of desert sage and sun-blasted, yellow-brown grass

Sage on the thin plateau between Woody’s Cove and the Malad River Gorge.

A small stream plunges over the side of a sheer basalt cliff

A small stream empties into Woody’s Cove, just south of the Malad River Gorge.

A small stream plunges over the side of a sheer basalt cliff

A small stream empties into Woody’s Cove, just south of the Malad River Gorge.

A dense swath of sage, Russian Olives, and native trees cuts across a field of broken basalt boulders at the bottom of a sheer canyon

Looking southwest along Birch Creek from the amphitheater wall of Woody’s Cove. The Malad River can be seen in the distance.

A dense swath of sage, Russian Olives, and native trees cuts across a field of broken basalt boulders at the bottom of a sheer canyon

Looking southwest along Birch Creek from the amphitheater wall of Woody’s Cove. The Malad River can be seen in the distance.

A dense swath of sage, Russian Olives, and native trees cuts across a field of broken basalt boulders at the bottom of a sheer canyon

Looking southwest along Birch Creek from the amphitheater wall of Woody’s Cove. The Malad River can be seen in the distance.

Shoshone Falls

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

Shoshone Falls along the Snake River. The tall red-roofed building at center-left is a small hydroelectric power plant (as is the smaller gray building adjoining it to the right).

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

The Shoshone Falls power plant. The Snake River lies in the foreground, and the northern edge of Shoshone Falls proper can be seen on the far right.

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

Shoshone Falls on Idaho’s Snake River.

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

Shoshone Falls along the Snake River. The tall red-roofed building at center-left is a small hydroelectric power plant (as is the smaller grey building adjoining it to the right).

A desert river winds through a sheer canyon of dark volcanic rock

Looking west along the Snake River from Shoshone Falls.

A black-and-white picture of a desert river winds through a sheer canyon of dark volcanic rock

Looking west along the Snake River from Shoshone Falls.

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

The Shoshone Falls power plant (at left) and the north side of Shoshone Falls (right) on the Snake River.

A sheer wall of gray volcanic rock abut the left bank of a sea green desert river

The southern rim of the canyon holding the Snake River, as seen from Shoshone Falls.

Multiple waterfalls plunge over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

Shoshone Falls on Idaho’s Snake River.

A black-and-white photo of multiple waterfalls plunging over a cliff of gray volcanic rock into a steep canyon

Shoshone Falls on Idaho’s Snake River.

Still pools of water on top of a cliff of gray volcanic rock

Pools just above Shoshone Falls. The Snake River can be seen in the background.

Shoshone Ice Caves

A bright yellow cactus flower

A prickly pear cactus flowers outside of Shoshone Ice Caves.

A bright yellow cactus flower

A prickly pear cactus flowers outside of Shoshone Ice Caves.

A bright yellow cactus flower

Animated GIF.

A U-shaped dark basalt boulder field

Looking north-northeast across a collapsed lava tube near Shoshone Ice Cave (which is itself part of a lava tube).

A U-shaped dark basalt boulder field

Looking northwest across a collapsed lava tube near Shoshone Ice Cave (which is itself part of a lava tube). The low, black mound in the distance is Black Butte, a low shield volcano that produced the lava field in this photo.

A U-shaped cavern whose floor is covered in a solid, flat layer of ice

Shoshone Ice Cave. On the floor is a thin layer of water, and then 8 – 12 feet of solid ice. The standing water is continuously pumped out of the cave, which would otherwise completely fill up with ice in a few years.

Craters of the Moon

Desert scrubland abruptly ends in a dark, jagged lava field

Looking approximately east-southeast from an overlook near the Craters of the Moon visitors center. A couple of different lava flows can be seen in the foreground; on the horizon is the Big Southern Butte, one of the largest volcanic domes on Earth. Craters of the Moon was formed by a series of smaller volcanoes and rifts however; Big Southern Butte is a completely separate feature.

Desert scrubland abruptly ends in a dark, jagged lava field

The lava flows that make up Craters of the Moon (on the left) wash up against a larger field of volcanic cinders that have been colonized by native sage. In the background are five of the cinder cones close to the national monument’s entrance. From left-to-right, these are: Big Cinder Butter, Paisely Cone, Inferno Cone, Big Craters, and the North Crater.

A black, jagged lava field, barely colonized by desert scrub

Looking west from a small ridge near the Craters of the Moon visitors center. The red pillars are probably parts of the North Crater (visible on the left side of this panorama); most of the northwest quadrant (not visible here) of this cinder cone seems to have been destroyed in the eruption that produced this lava flow.

A black, jagged lava field, barely colonized by desert scrub

Parts of the North Crater (just off the left-hand side of the frame) that were carried away in the lava flow originating in the eruption that destroyed most of the northwest quadrant of that cinder cone.

A black, jagged lava field, barely colonized by desert scrub

Looking west from a small ridge near the Craters of the Moon visitors center. The red pillars are probably parts of the North Crater (visible on the left side of this panorama); most of the northwest quadrant (not visible here) of this cinder cone seems to have been destroyed in the eruption that produced this lava flow.

A black, jagged lava field

Looking west across the lava flow from North Crater towards an older volcanic cone just outside of the Craters of the Moon national monument.

Three distinctive rock pillars rise out of a jagged lava field

Parts of the North Crater, embedded in the lava flow that destroyed much of that cinder cone. Behind (and largely obscured) by these pillars is Sunset Crater.

A field of desert scrub growing on an even plain of black volcanic cinders

The Devils Orchard in Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Dark, twisted pines growing on an even plain of black volcanic cinders

The Devils Orchard in Craters of the Moon National Monument. Big Cinder Butte can be seen in the distance.

Low, pale pink flowers cover the smooth, gentle slope composed of black volcanic cinders

Dwarf buckwheat flowers on the cinders making up what remains of Paisley Cone.

Low, pale pink flowers cover the smooth, gentle slope composed of black volcanic cinders

Looking north-northeast across the foot of Inferno Cone. Paisley Cone is right-of-center in the mid-distance; the large, rounded mountain mid-left in the distance is Timbered Dome. In the foreground, dwarf buckwheat blossoms in the cinders making up Inferno Cone.

Low, pale pink flowers cover the smooth, gentle slope composed of black volcanic cinders

Looking north-northeast across the foot of Inferno Cone. Paisley Cone is on the right in the mid-distance; the large, rounded mountain on the left in the distance is Timbered Dome. In the foreground, dwarf buckwheat blossoms in the cinders making up Inferno Cone.

Looking out across a jagged, black basalt field from the top of a volcanic cinder cone

Looking southwest from the top of Inferno Cone towards the Spatter Cones.

Looking out across a jagged, black basalt field from the top of a volcanic cinder cone

Looking south-southwest from the top of Inferno Cone. Two of the Spatter Cones can be seen on the right, and the slopes of Broken Top are towards the left.

Looking from the top of a black volcanic cinder cone towards another, older cinder cone that is now mostly covered in pine trees and desert scrub

The eastern slope of Big Craters as seen from the top of Inferno Cone.

A panorama taken from the top of a black volcanic cinder cone across an immense lava field

A panorama from the top of Inferno Cone, from north (at left) to east-southeast (at right). The round peak in the distance at left is Timbered Dome; the lonely peak in the far distance at right is the Big Southern Butte.

Looking out across the top of a scrub-covered cinder cone across a dark lava flow and to another set of low cinder cones

Looking south-southeast from Inferno Cone towards Broken Top. Half Cone can be seen at the edge of the frame on the left.

Looking out across the top of a scrub-covered cinder cone across a dark lava towards an immense lava dome

Looking east-southeast from the top of Inferno Cone towards the Big Southern Butte, one of the largest volcanic domes in the world.

Looking out across the top of a scrub-covered cinder cone across a dark lava flow and to another set of low cinder cones

Looking southeast towards Broken Top from the west side of Big Craters. One of the Spatter Cones can be seen on the far left of the frame.

A black-and-white photo looking straight down the throat of a small splatter cone

Looking into the throat of the Snow Cone. Which is full of snow… And a random plastic bag (top left quadrant of the throat).

A rugged, flat, black lava flow stretches from horizon to horizon

Looking southwest across the Crystal Fissure Flow in Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Orange, yellow, and pale blue-green lichen grow on dark basalt

Lichen grows near the throat of one of the Spatter Cones.

A small blue and white bird perches on the rim of a volcanic crater

A small blue bird (which looks like a swallow of some kind to me, but I’m not really sure) rests atop the throat of one of the Spatter Cones in Craters of the Moon National Monument.

A rugged, flat, black lava flow stretches from horizon to horizon

Looking southwest across the Crystal Fissure Flow in Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Steep splatter cones rise above a field of jagged volcanic rock

A ground-level view of the Spatter Cones of Craters of the Moon National Monument.

A scrub- and pine-covered cinder cone rises above a field of pillowy lava flows

Looking south-southwest across the Broken Top Flow towards Big Cinder Butte. Broken Top is on the right.

A field of pillowy lava flows  stretches towards the horizon

Looking north-northeast across the Serrate Flow towards Timbered Dome. In the foreground is a collapsed lava tube.

A field of pillowy lava flows  stretches towards the horizon

Looking north-northeast across the Serrate Flow towards Timbered Dome.


Nathan Acks
June 27, 2018