27 Jul 17 I've written a couple of times discussing the effects of the large snowfall during this past winter. Directly to the west of the Firehole River and south of the Firehole Lake Drive can be found Firehole Lake. That is to say sometimes. You won't find it on the map of Yellowstone the park rangers give you upon entering and you may not find it at all as there is no road sign saying Firehole Lake as there is for both the river and the drive. In fact, even if you know where it is, you may not see it at all! That's because it may not be there when you visit irrespective of the time of year. The lake is dependent on snow/rain fall, and when there isn't enough there isn't a lake. In 5 visits we've seen it 3 times; 2013 yes, 2014 yes, 2015 no, 2016 no, and 2017 yes and over flowing! There is a picnic area on the map where the lake can be found when present. For our 2013 -2016 visits the picnic area was open and accessible with a nice lake in front of it for 2013 & 2014, just a dry lake bed in 2015& 2016, and totally inaccessible and under water in 2017. It was simply amazing to see the difference this year compared with the previous four. In the image for today the "normal" edge of the lake is behind the tree that is lying horizontal with grass on each side and the orange stump immediately in front. The water behind that fallen tree is usually the shoreline of the lake. At the right hand edge about 1/3 the way down you can make out a picnic table that is standing in about 18 - 20 inches of water. In the past that picnic table was roughly 50 feet from the lake edge when the lake was present. It was like this in many areas through the park and made for some really impressive sights. I'll share more in the future including a pano of the entire lake area as we saw it that week.
Other than a tiny amount of micro contrast enhancement, this is straight from the camera. Nikon D500; 18 - 200; Aperture priority; ISO 200; 1/320 sec @ f /10 with a -2/3 stop exposure compensation.