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Observations for 09 August 2014

Earlier in the evening, for the Beehive eruption, the sky was clear. By the time it was time to go out for the middle of the night Grand, there was a high, thin layer of clouds. The moon was still quite visible and bright, but it wasn’t casting shadows and the lighting was indistinct. But it was good enough to clearly see the two burst Grand we were treated to after less than an hour of waiting.

The morning was foggy. There was a dense bank at the north end of the basin, starting around Grotto or so, while the area around Grand and Geyser Hill was fairly clear. The sky was completely clear of clouds, but they did start forming as we waited for Grand. It was a short wait, and Grand was nicely backlit by the rising sun.

Afterwards, there wasn’t much to do, so I was persuaded to go to Artemisia for a while. Had been there for a while when a figure appeared. The illegal camper was shaking out his wet tent and rearranging his pack. He made no attempt to hide what he was or what he was doing. Then again, why should he? Nothing would have happened if we had tried to report him, so why bother?

After a couple of hours of nothing happening, I finally went in. Artemisia did erupt after another hour.

The afternoon Grand was a pleasant wait. After the week of steady to intermittent rain (usually at the wrong time), it was nice to experience what seemed more like a typical August afternoon. Waited through a short Rift eruption, one that lasted about 25 minutes. Then we had the call for Beehive's Indicator. When Grand erupted, there was a low rainbow at the base of the water columns. Of course a cloud appeared during the eruption to block that out.

It was a bit of a surprise when the first burst ended. At first it behaved like the usual slowdown, where Grand looks more like a really big Tardy erupting. But it was so early in the eruption that we knew there had to be a second. What was a surprise was that the second was short, and instead of draining, Grand’s pool slowly refilled. At times it looked like it might drop again, but by then the sun was back out, and we got a wonderful third burst.

It was dark and the nearly full moon was high for the next Grand eruption. It was warm, with people wandering all over the place, or so it seemed. But during the entire two burst eruption, no one tried to illuminate the water column, which I didn’t expect. After the rains of the previous week, it was a nice ending for the trip.