Yellowstone is a place of change, and this view highlights a place where change is constant and evident, the travertine terraces. The terraces are formed when water rises through limestone carrying high amounts of dissolved calcium carbonate. At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and the calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white rock of the terraces.
In the foreground of this view, you can also see the parade grounds for historic Fort Yellowstone. It was the focal point of daily life at the fort. Each day began early with a bugler sounding Reveille. Gradually, the fort came to life and another bugle call brought horse-mounted soldiers trotting onto the field for the flag-raising. Assignments were announced, and the troops headed out to patrol the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces or other nearby attractions. Those remaining behind assumed the never-ending task of caring for the post's horses. At dusk, the bugler called all troopers back to the field for the lowering of the flag, and the day was concluded with a cannon firing from the top of Capitol Hill. Taps was played as lights winked out and quiet settled over the fort.