"Black Growler" whose steam kills trees, and whose roaring statles tourists, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
You are near the northern limits of the Norris Geyser Basin, facing nearly north towards the Mammoth Hot Springs, 20 miles away beyond those hills. This is one of the first important geysers seen be a tourist making the regular round. Its "blackness" consists in the color of its vent-hole--you cannot see the applicability of the term just now, for those clouds of sulphurous steam will not allow you to go near. The "growling" can sometimes be heard two or three miles from the open crater. Like many other geysers here this one has taken vacations without notice. It recently rested for several months and then began operation again, blowing off steam as noisiy as ever. At present the steam issues like this continuously, but the crater does not spout water. The generally accepted theory is that the steam you see here is caused by the percolation of surface water down through the rocks till it reaches rocks still at furious heat from volcanic fires far below. In some interval of geyser-activity those young trees apparently got a good start, but what with these sinter deposits (geyserite) from the springs covering the grounds around them, and these sulphurous steam-clouds filling the air around them, they have become discouraged and given up the ghost. The geyser-basins are unearthly regions in which to try to put forth green leaves! Outside these special fields, however, trees do grow very generally; 84% of the Park area is woodland more or less like that you see ahead beyond the gleaming field of geyserite, but there is no impressive magnificence of forest-growth. (See H. M. Chittenden's "Yellowstone national Park.") From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.