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Photographer's Note

Imagine what it would be like to live one hundred fifty years with this view. Year after year, to see the harsh but dazzling winters, the vibrant wild flowers of the spring, the summer storms and sunsets, and the bright autumn foliage. This little conifer (Douglas Fir?) seems to have moved away from the rest for an even better look.

What about the mountains themselves? These two are Mount St John and Rockchuck Peak. They tower 7,000 feet (about 2,250 meters) above the plains below, reaching a height of about 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above sea level. They are still forming, the result of a series of normal faults that started pushing them upward about nine million years ago. The Tetons are the youngest mountains in the Rockies. Still, we can not conceive of what can be witnessed in nine million years. These youngsters have certainly seen the Yellowstone Caldera erupt as a massive Supervolcano at least ten times, starting to the southwest and working its way to the northeast as the tectonic plate slowly moved the continent over the massive magma chamber. What else have they seen and what will they see over the next nine million years?

Grand Tetons National Park, WY, 4:00 pm, August 9th, 2008

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