Rime ice and sun dogs create a winter scene in Yellowstone National Park’s Upper Geyser Basin in December 2015. (Neal Herbert/National Park Service)

Yellowstone National Park can seem magical in winter, especially where geysers, mud pots and fumaroles clash with the cold air.

In the Upper Geyser Basin, home of Old Faithful Geyser, Neal Herbert captured the contrast two years ago in December. Titled ‘Parhelion and rime ice,” the image captures sun dogs — parhelia — and rime ice. The rime ice forms when atmospheric moisture — plentiful in geyser basins — freezes to objects like branches and plants. The sun dogs are created by ice crystals refracting rays from the sun.

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The shortest route into the basin in winter is from West Yellowstone, Montana, where slowcoaches carry visitors for day trips or overnight stays.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at angus@wyofile.com or (307)...

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