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September 30, 2019

Grand Complex, Upper Geyser Basin, 2019

Grand Complex, Upper Geyser Basin, 2019. Video by H.Koenig.
Sput D & Belgian Pool

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September 29, 2019

Back Basin, Norris Geyser Basin, 2019 August 27/September 01

Back Basin, Norris Geyser Basin, 2019 August 27/September 01. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 28, 2019

Porcelain Basin, Norris Geyser Basin, 2019 August 27

Porcelain Basin, Norris Geyser Basin, 2019 August 27. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 27, 2019

New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2019 August 27

New Crater Geyser, 2019 August 27. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 19, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 18

This morning there was the thickest fog I've seen in years. It was still forming as we went out before dawn for a Grand eruption. Were surprised to see a large tour on the boardwalk at Castle. Must've been a photo tour, as everyone had their camera on a tripod pointed to the east. Castle had erupted several hours earlier, so assumed they weren't there for that. Over at Grand, the steam looked like Rift was erupting, but had to get to Old Tardy to confirm.

The fog actually cooperated with the Grand eruption. It was fairly clear to the north. Although it was raining enough that umbrellas were needed, we could see the jets of water and Vent easily. The photo tour, for some reason, decided to stay shrouded in the thick fog generated by the runoff channels.

As we left the area, Bulger started erupting. About three minutes later Bulger's Hole suddenly filled with clear water that started surging and got murky. Bulger's Hole was strong and continued about a minute after Bulger ended.

After the One Burst Grand eruption, headed over to Geyser Hil just to check things out, and enjoy the thick fog. It appeared we had missed Aurum and not by much. Over at Beehive, it was totally dead. From there we heard a radio call of Lion erupting. We couldn't see or hear it until we were past Arrowhead Spring. Shortly afterward, noticed a rising steam column over the general fog to the northwest. Had to be Castle, so walked over there and again didn't see anything until up close. The view was interesting, as the sun was visible, but not bright enough for a true backlit steam column. Also noted, as we walked by, that Rift was still erupting two hours after we had seen it earlier.

The fog cleared out, so that for the next eruption, it was clear and a bit breezy. Shortly before noon arrived back out at the Grand Group to find Sput D erupting weakly, while Rift was off but steaming heavily. That ended a few minutes later, and was the last activity seen from that end of the group. Saw several eruptions of Turban, and the last two intervals were well over 24 minutes long, but not long enough to be a Delay by definition.

Grand finally erupted one second after 13:00. The wind and steam cooperated so that it was easy to see the starting events. At around the seven minute mark it looked like Grand was trying to transition into Big Sawmill mode, when instead it quit. The pause was short, and so was the second bursts. The total eruption at that point was just over 8-1/2 minutes. There have been eruptions that short, but this wasn't one of them. The water in the pool was hard to see, but it was there, and it didn't drain. The total duration was just over ten minutes, so we had greedy hopes for a fourth, but Grand didn't even try.

It also didn't try to have an afterburst, even though Vent & Turban continued. It was about 15 minutes before the first splashes were observed, and they weren't all that strong.

Went out before sunset for one final Grand eruption. About 15 minutes after we arrived, was surprised by a West Triplet start. Almost immediately Sput D joined in, and eventually Percolator filled and added to the noise. But as with the other day, all this activity acted more like an indicator, and despite the steamy low light conditions, we could see the pool filling nicely and then Vent overflowing.

Grand started almost immediately, and the burst lasted about 9-1/2 minutes. This seems to be about the upper limit for any chance of a second burst, and fortunately, we got one. When Grand ended, I noticed that West Triplet was also quiet. So it appears that things are changing in the area again.

September 18, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 17

It was a gray, cold dreary morning. Went out to Grand a bit early because the weather forecast said the rain was about to start. Instead it was blustery with only the occasional sprinkling that was just enough to need the umbrella, but it never lasted long.

Arrived to find West Triplet drained. It was even rumbling down deep a bit. The area with the sputs looked totally dead, with little steam. No change in Belgian or Crystal, but it seemed fairly obvious that there had been a Rift eruption. The longer double interval from Grand overnight tended to confirm this. I suspect it was after midnight, and lengthened the second interval.

Ended up waiting an hour through several Turban eruption intervals. Finally we got a Delay, which never looked like it wanted to erupt. The following Turban interval was promising, with Grand's pool quickly refilling. With the steam and wind, it was hard to see any waves, but when Grand had a couple of large boops similar to the other day, but not as tall, it was obvious it was going to erupt.

The first burst started to go into Big Sawmill mode, then quit with a duration of 8m45s. Have seen One Burst Grand eruptions that short in the past, but not this time. The water column easily outraced the steam column in the cold air.

Went back out in the late afternoon. Again, the forecast rain really hadn't materialized, but the wind and cold did. While waiting at Grand, the wind was usually to toward the north, but every so often the pool would become visible as the wind shifted to the south. Arrived to find West Triplet back to its normal water level, but there was no evidence of recent runoff as the channel was dry.

Shortly after arrival, West Triplet started to erupt. About 5 minutes later, Sput D joined in and both were erupting when Grand started about 16 minutes after West Triplet. This was another shorter first burst that stopped instead of going into Big Sawmill mode. And again the height of the second burst was well above the steam clouds, easily visible.

I don't know when Sput D ended, but West Triplet's last splash was seen late in the first burst. Percolator joined in during Grand's second burst, and quit shortly thereafter.

This behavior doesn't exactly fit what I was expecting. Previously, once the area recovered from Rift, the area would go into having frequent Sput D eruptions and West Triplet overflows. When West Triplet started, I was wondering if we were about to get another Rift eruption. The area is in flux, here at the end of the summer season when observers are few.

September 17, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 16

The previous night had high cloudiness, enough that I decided I'd rather get some sleep. But this night was clear. Got out to Grand in time to catch a full Turban eruption interval before the main event, and as I noted yesterday, there was an eruption of Sput D a few mnutes before Grand started. There was also a loud eruption of Old Faithful, almost as loud as the eruption of Daisy a few minutes later. The boardwalk north of Grand was starting to ice up after the One Burst Eruption.

The sky was clear and the moon was obviously less than full. As we were untying our bikes, realized that it was time for an eruption of Castle. So waited a bit in the cold, with an elk bugling somewhere for at least 1/2 hour. There were a few splashes, and I was feeling the cold and had decided to head in when the eruption started. For the first eight minutes or so there were lots of short pauses as if it was trying to stop. Then the water play became continuous. When the steam phase started, a low moonbow was visible at the top of the cone if you stood directly between the geyser and the moon.

The morning warmed up nicely, considering how cold it had been a few hours earlier. As I walked toward Crested Pool, it had one of its huge boils, easily 3-4 meters high, lasting only a few seconds. I was wondering if I should get out my camera, but it ended before I could move.

I got to the Grand Group just I received a radio call that Beehive's Indicator was showing water. I decided to stay put, and was rewarded a few minutes later with an eruption of Oblong. Apparently it has been seen via the webcam just after midnight, so this was around an eight hour interval. It was still pretty steamy, but I could see bursts in there, but none of them were particularly big. The duration seemed normal, too.

Grand was again preceeded by Sput D, and it had a fairly long burst, about 9m45s. So it was a pleasant surprise to see water in the pool. Was to the north of the geyser, where the eruption had been backlit,and it was easy to see the sun's reflection on the swelling water. Was quiet strong burst with the small breeze pushing the steam toward the west. As I was leaving the area, the breeze turned into wind.

At the five hour mark, I wasn't thinking about going out to Grand because it had started raining, with lightning and dark skies. A half hour later, the rain had stopped and there was even some sunshine between the clouds. So I headed out, since waiting in the rain is much easier than heading out in it.

The rain never returned, and it was another One Burst Grand eruption, but still nice to see. Was a bit of a surprise, as the Turban interval was exactly 20 minutes, which is short for this year. But a couple of boops got my attention just before the start.

September 16, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 15

Was mostly a day of One Burst Grand eruptions. The first one took its time, and we may have walked up on a Delay Turban interval, based on the long Turban eruption duration,

Stopped by down at Grotto to catch a start. Grotto Fountain went about 3-5 meters high, and preceeded Grotto by about two minutes, so nothing out of the ordinary there. At Giant, nothing happened much there either, other than for a moment I thought I was actually seeing a Bijou pause.

While waiting in the early afternoon, we were treated to having an eagle flying low over the river, then perching on a dead tree. After a while, it took off and slowly circled its way higher and off to the north.

The eruption itself was preceeded by an eruption of Sput D, which did not erupt during the previous Turban eruption interval. I've been seeing a number of cases like this, where Sput D acts almost like a sort of indicator or pressure guage to the system. Also, the new normal seems to be that West Triplet overflows heavily for several minutes after Grand erupts.

The last Grand eruption of the day was the had two bursts, with the second lasting well over two minutes. Fortunately, much of the eruption was through a hole in the high, thin cloudiness .

September 15, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 14

With a full moon and no clouds, it was time to catch Grand again. Only had to wait a couple of Turban intervals before Grand erupted. While waiting, could hear an elk bugling off in the distance.

We had just gotten back to the cabin, and hadn't even started to strip off the layers, when there was a call of "Beehive's Indicator" over the radio. So there no reason not to go over there for the eruption. Just barely made it, but the lighting was excellent with the moon behind the water column.

The next Grand eruption was interesting. It looked like we had arrived in the middle of a delay overflow, one of those early in the interval that lead to a Delay of more than just two Turban intervals. So it was a pleasant surprise when we heard an explosive start from Grand. Except that was it, no followup. It was perhaps the highest (two to three meters) and loudest boop I've seen. The pool then dropped, and three minutes later, Turban started. Again, this was early in the interval, so expecting to wait. So it was a bit of a surprise when the pool rose back up, and within a minute the real eruption started.

In the afternoon, it was back out for a third Grand eruption for the day. This time also it felt like we'd walked upon a Delay, but nothing happened this time. Two Turban intervals later we got the Grand eruption, so it was still a nice short interval. And we got a second burst. It was long, but not long enough to be noted. Most of that burst consisted of Big Sawmill activity, too.

Decided after that to do another bicycle visit, this time to Black Sand Basin. Well, we biked as far as Punch Bowl, and then went on foot past Black Sand Pool. It was pretty quiet, with only one large boil, and minutes between the superheated sizzles. At the basin proper, things seemed pretty normal. We arrived to an empty Cliff Geyser, which started erupting for real as we crossed the bridge over the creek. That eruption lasted long enough that we were able to walk back to the overlook there. There was also continuous play from what I believe was Handkerchief Pool, and from Spouter Geyser. On the way back we arrived at Daisy just as it was starting.

Finally went out one last time for another Grand in the dark. There were several groups of people already waiting, but fortunately, when Grand did erupt, it wasn't until well into the eruption that anyone tried to illuminate it. This was despite the fact that the moon had disappeared behind some thick clouds, and it wasn't that bright out. Of course as we were walking away, the clouds parted enough that we could get a backlit Old Tardy eruption.

September 14, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 13

With a full moon and clear skies, it was time to head out to Grand in the dark. Castle was slopping gently, and the walkway wasn't very wet, so it looked like there had been a minor eruption. At Grand, things were pretty normal. Heard an eruption of Sput D, but there was no overflow from West Triplet to accompany it. It was humid enough that everything was steaming heavily. I thought at one point Oblong was starting to erupt, but after a couple of minutes, no increase and no noise meant I was wrong.

It was only two Turban intervals before Grand started to erupt. The first burst lasted almost nine minutes, so wasn't surprised that there was a second burst, and that everything was quiet after that.

It was foggy for the next Grand eruption, which came after a couple of Turban eruptions. By that time the fog had cleared enough that it was possible to see the water column backlit.

With the day clear and warming, it was time to do something a little different. Did a bicycle ride down to Biscuit Basin. Was surprised when we arrived to find that there was actually a bike rack there. Getting across the bridge was a bit fun, because instead of a shoulder, there's a raised walkway, so a bike as to ride along the white stripe.

Did the Biscuit Basin loop, and got to see several eruptions of both Mustard Spring and Jewel Geyser. Not much else going on during the time we were there.

In the early after noon spent a couple of hours watching Turban. For the second hour, Turban and Sput D alternated, and the latter started just before the Grand eruption. This eruption had a long second burst, over two minutes long, with much of that time in Big Sawmill mode where it looks like it's stopping, only to have a jet rocket out. It's the kind of behavior the crowd loves, not knowing that it's keeping them from seeing another burst start.

There was one more eruption to attend after dark. The moon was out, but unforunately, there were clouds coming in, so that by the time Grand started, the lighting was subdued. The first eruption of Turban I saw while waiting lasted seven minutes, which was a pretty good indication that I was seeing the end of a Turban Delay. So I wasn't surprised to have Grand erupt two Turban intervals later. Again we got two bursts, the third such eruption of the day.

Also, for all four eruptions of Grand, it was followed by heavy overflow from West Triplet. It's beginning to appear that this is the normal mode, except when recovering from the weekly Rift eruption.

September 13, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 12

Because Grand had some long overnight intervals, didn't get out and about until almost noon. Arrived at the Grand Group to find Belgian and Crystal back to normal. Ended up waiting for quite a while, with occasional activity from Sput D, but not every Turban interval. Then there was a Turban Delay, and we had to wait three more Turban intervals before we finally got the eruption.

It turned out to be a nice three burst eruption. It started out nicely, with the wind pushing the steam toward the south, giving us a clear view of the eruption. The first burst ended at about eight minutes, which was so sort we were almost guaranteed a second burst. But when that one ended just a minute later, the question of getting a third became obvious. Because of the breeze, we could see the pool fill and slosh about. Based on past experience, that doesn't mean anything until the bursting started. Even then, it took several large surges to get the burst started. There was no attempt to fill following that.

The long interval and Delay ended up pushing the next eruption into the dark, which was actually good. It's full moon time, and the moon had cleared the trees by the time we got the eruption. Best of all, the crowd of a couple of dozen people behaved themselves, and no one tried to light it up. It was only one burst, but the breeze again cooperated to make the water column visible the whole time. Even the arm-carried doglet seemed to enjoy it.

September 12, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 11

Decided I'd had enought of Norris, and needed a break. The weather was supposed to be cold and wet, so I decided if I'm going to get soaked, I'd rather do it where I can easily get inside and warm up and dry out.

Based on the weather forecast and maps, I went out to Grand a bit early to get ahead of any rain. Turns out it didn't rain. Instead I arrived to see West Triplet, Sput D, and Percolator all in vigorous eruption. Sputnik was also steaming heavily, but there wasn't any visible water.

About 8 minutes later, Rift started. West Triplet continued for another twenty minutes, and when it quit, the other active features quit too. So for nearly two more hours, it was Rift sputtering away with nondescript Turban eruptions. The first Turban eruption I saw was probably a Delay Interval, as it started almost twenty minutes after I arrived. But with Rift erupting, it really didn't matter.

That situation persisted for over two hours, with occasional weak, independent activity from Sput D and Percolator. The steam from West Triplet seemed to pick up at the same time. Finally Rift quit, but it took two Turban eruptions before Grand was ready. When Turban started the second time, it took Grand nearly a minute to build up and finally start another One Burst Eruption.

I hadn't noticed anything when I left the area, but when I got out ahead of the rain for the next One Burst Grand Eruption, I noticed something I haven't seen since the early 1990s. (I'll have to consult my old notebooks to be sure.) Both Belgian Pool and Crystal Spring were down about 3-4cm. This was in response to the Rift eruption earlier. Back in the 1990s, they'd also get murky, especially Belgian. Also back then Belgian could drop as much as 15cm, completely emptying the non-vent lobe. They may have been lower earlier, before I got there.

The Grand eruption itself was pretty ordinary. It was an interval less than six hours, but erupted on a Turban Delay. If the previous Turban interval had been four seconds longer, it would have been back-to-back Delays. The rain had quit, but it was still steamy, and the prevaling wind was toward where I usually sit. Which meant that by moving north, I had a clear view of Turban and Vent. Which was good, because Turban took nearly a minute to start. Then the One Burst Eruption lasted 12m25s, so it was well short of any record.

September 11, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 10

Another day at Norris watching minor activity that led nowhere. We get strong play from the vents, and the wall of water would start to form, only to have the North Vent stop and the South take over. This would happen every hour or less for most of the day.

The runoff was turning white all day. By late afternoon this had extended all the way down to the bridge over the runoff, and even a couple of areas beyond in the outwash.

Also yesterday we noticed that during the morning rains, it appeared that the dead trees behind the vents looked more green and brown than gray. Wondered if these rains, the first strong and persistent ones in several weeks, had washed some of the silica and minerals off. But in the afternoon, when the rains had stopped, they were back to gray. Also the trees along the walkway have lost a lot of needles, so that only near the ends are there green ones. The ground is covered with a pretty thick coating of these needles. A few of the trees near the runoff are also full of pinecones, but these look old and dried out.

September 10, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 09

Another day spent at Norris. Started out overcast, and there were some showers during the morning but by afternoon in was clear but cool. At around 11:00 there was a strong minor eruption of New Crater/Steamboat that could/should have resulted in an eruption. Unlike yesterday, there was some followup activity, with weak minors every our or so until around 18:00. Then nothing as of 20:30 when we gave up and left.

September 09, 2019

Rules and Advice for Newcomers and other Geyser Groupies

Here's something I wrote in February 2002 in response to the question "what can I do that will be helpful to the group while we are [in Yellowstone]?" I was reminded of it during a recent New Crater/Steamboat wait by a gazer who wanted to quote some of my comments. Some of it has been obsoleted by events and advances since then, especially in regards to dissemination of information via GeyserTimes. Other parts are even more applicable nowdays. I'm reposting it because much of it is still relevant. At the end I will add some updates and other commentary on this, presented as I wrote it back then--

Rules and Advice for Newcomers and other Geyser Groupies

The following comments are based on a couple of decades of experience. [Now close to 40 years.] While entirely my own opinions, I know a number of long-term gazers who agree with the sentiments of many of them, if not the actual cases. I'm just not as polite as they are. And if anyone takes personal offense to these, consider that maybe it's because you know you'e been guilty of violating them at times.

  • 1) "When did Grand erupt?" is not an appropriate greeting. Use at your own risk.
  • 2) Long-term gazers are not mobile log books or recording devices. Just because the NPS services are out of your way, or closed when you get there, doesn't mean that I am responsible for keeping you informed.
  • 3) Rick Hutchinson's 3 laws--
    1. Never say never.
    2. Always say maybe
    3. Lay low for Joe.
  • 4) Asking for details on some Lower Basin sput is not appropriate 18 minutes after the previous Turban.
  • 5) Don't take it personal if people don't recognize you or your name the first few years. You try dealing with a new, different group of faces every week or two for an entire summer.
  • 6) Listen more than you talk, Learn by observing (Watching a Giant Hot Period from the Bijou Monkey Cage as it's being described on the radio by someone knowledgeable is the best way to learn what's what.) A good description can be as useful as being there. Leeking's [description of a Giant eruption in 2001], before hysteria set in, got me within view of the start for that eruption.
  • 7) If your goal is to impress gazers, you'l have more success by observing and figuring out on your own. Conversely, word that you have just been a jerk will quickly get around to all the people who matter.
  • 8) There will always be someone who has seen it before you, someone who has been there before you, someone who has put in more time than you, someone who has seen more eruptions of that geyser than you, someone who knows more about a feature than you. And that includes me, too.
  • 9) People who spend their time in the Upper Basin don't care about anything at Norris except New Crater/Steamboat.
  • 10) Going out at night is an acquired taste. Prepare for it properly, otherwise stay in the Bear Pit. [Dress properly, 'cause it's really colder than you expect.] Flashlights should only be used to illuminate the path directly in front of you. Let your eyes dark-adapt, and you might not even need the light. Expect to be on your own, as many gazers are decidedly less social at night. And be prepared to stay awake.
  • 10A) Tourists are rarely out until after the first Ol' Filthy after 09:00.
  • 11) If a long-term gazer give you some free advice, especially in an unusual situation (like what to do at the start of Giantess), consider using it, even it it seems counterintuitive. Conversely, don't assume that my behavior is best for you, and must be imitated.
  • 12) Bring a bike to the UGB if you can. All the really good stuff is at least 3/4ths of a mile away. With a bike, you can get from Ham's Store to Giant before the eruption starts. With a bike you don't feel trapped at Fan & Mortar all day.
  • 13) If you are going to use a radio, use it consistently-- if you report geyser times, report them all (within reason, nobody gives an [expletive deleted] about [Split Cone] times. Report any activity which is predictive-- F&M minor activity, Giant hot periods, Beehive Indicators, or activity that's unusual and long enough that people can see it-- Penta eruptions [, or Spa eruptions], for example. If you are the only person to see something unusual, report facts, not feelings. Help others figure out what's going on [, and what happened].
  • 13A) A lot of us leave our radios on at night. It's amazing how only the words "Giant hot period" [, or "Beehive's Indicator] can wake a person up. (It's 8.5 minutes from being sound asleep in a Lodge cabin to being fully dressed and biking past the Lower Ham's, by the way.) So try to treat the nighttime radio use better than during the day.
  • 14) Pay attention to sight lines and vantage points. People have developed their favorite places to sit for a reason, and blocking their view, or taking the spot of the "alpha monkey" will not win you any points.
  • 15) If you can't answer some visitor's question, do not, under any circumstances, point at the "expert" and direct that visitor there. Never point out NPS personnel who are off-duty and out of uniform. Don't expect a gazer who is also a person of authority with the NPS or [Xanterra] to do you any favors, just because you are interested in geysers [, or they've been friendly to you out in the basin].
  • 16) Because you appear to be knowledgeable about the area, you will be held by the NPS to a higher standard than the average touron. You won't get away with pleading ignorance. Accept it, [and act accordingly,] but don't allow them to require you to do things that aren't required by every other touron, too. If you do decide to break the rules, and get caught, don't expect much sympathy. [Don't be surprised if you become "an example", either]. And as with #8, whatever scam [or rule-breaking] you come up with, it's probably nothing new. (Case in point-- camping in the basin is prohibited-- don't expect gazers to look the other way if you do it. And if you do try it, you will probably do it all wrong, [and don't expect me to tell you how to do it right].)
  • 17) Converse to #16-- spend enough time (we're talking years to decades of summer seasons here) and behave yourself, and you just may get a few treats, [or invites] you don't even know about [, or thought could ever happen].
  • 18) The difference between good equipment and the best equipment is far greater than the dollar amount of their costs. This goes especially for things like shoes, raingear, cold weather clothes, optics and electronics. Nothing can make a trip Hell faster than having to fight with faulty equipment at the wrong time. Don't expect gazers to share their equipment either. It's not my problem that you didn't bring any raingear, or that Grand's eight Turban delay put the eruption well after sunset.
  • 19) If you see a problem, say of vandalism-- speak up. Don't wait to let one of the long-term gazers handle it. Especially don't say afterwards how glad you are that they did something, because I know I don't like doing other people's dirty work for them. And if someone does speak up, back up that person. Let the vandals know they are outnumbered.
  • 19A) Then again, don't overdo it. Pick your fights carefully. If you confront every smoker and dogwalker, you may discover that gazers will let you go it alone. As far as I'm concerned, a butt that end up in a pocket is not litter, and a canis caloricus is evolution in action.

    Here are some comments, or updates based on how things have changes in the last couple of decades.

  • 1 & 2) These would appear to no longer be a problem, since anyone should be able to consult GeyserTimes, especially early in the morning, or in the evening. Yet, on the radio, there are still people who insist asking, "When's the latest [geyser name]?" And we've still got people interrupting conversations to ask things like "when was the last Turban?"
  • 3) These still apply, Especially #3-- you can never be sure how your behavior will affect relations between gazers and the NPS, so assume the worst.
  • 5) This is even more relevant these days when people whose sole exposure to geyser activity is through social media and the webcam. We've already had too many people showing up who get the idea that being out in the basins in person willbe just like interactions they had sitting at their desks with other webcam observers.
  • 7) This is especially true for people like myself who never use social media services. This means I won't recognize your screen name or other pseudonyms, or all the activity you've contributed to various chat pages and threads, and I will be less than impressed by how many thousands of posts you've made.
  • 10) The new, bright lights have their own problems. You still aren't going to see Grand's water level, so stop blinding people. Some people like to see geysers in the dark, or by moonlight, especially in the days around the full moon. So don't take offense if asked (requested?) to turn it off.
  • 12) Unfortunately, this is the first season in years where one can get away with not using a bike in the UGB.
  • 13) Why are you reporting a geyser on the radio at a time when no one will be able to use that information? No one cares that you've just seen Tilt in the dark, or Corporal while waiting at Norris. No one is going to rush out to try and see the eruption you are reporting. No one is going to try to catch the next eruption because of your report. Use GeyserTimes for letting your few fellow enthusiasts for that sput know that you just saw.

    Also, wait until the geyser actually starts erupting before yelling it out on the radio. This applies especially to features that can have false starts, like Lion. Again, no one is going to know or care you actually waited five whole seconds to get it right.

  • 16) If you are going to break Xanterra's rules, or NPS regulations, or the law, shut up about it. Especially don't talk about it on the radios or online in social media or in your GeyserTimes posting. (If someone like me, who's never used Facebook, hears about your stupid exploits, that means you are an idiot blabbermouth, a disaster waiting to happen, and I'm gonna avoid you at all costs, and anyone with any smarts should do likewise.)

    I was expecting the situation at Norris to get out of hand by now, but it appears that the disturbance effect lasting for much of August cut back on the number of people feeling the need to sleep out in the parking lot. But now that it's fairly regular and predictable, that has changed, for the worse. This month I expect some gazers to get fined for illegal camping. I almost hope someone volunteers to be the example, and the only reason I don't want that to happen is that there's a good chance that the NPS will also decide to impose punishments on all the rest of us for this stupid behavior.

    Some new topics now--

  • 20) Names-- don't. Stop trying to come up with cutesy names for ephemeral features, or every little hole. Naming is not a competition. Names occur naturally when there's a need. And learn to use the right names for features. If you don't know, ask around for clarification, or to find out who might know.
  • 21) GeyserTimes--

    This is something we didn't have at the time of the first posting. So while it helped fix some of the issues I mentioned (like gazers being treated as mobile log books, or being greeted by "when did it erupt?", it has created a few problems of its own.

    One of the issues is that some people think entering times is a competition, and they "win" if they are first. The problem is that their initial report are the least detailed, and they end up masking reports that can contain a lot more information, things like durations, heights, other related events, or conditions and comments. It gets tiresome to see my detailed report on Grand's eruptive activity hidden behind some newcomer's report of a time, and nothing else, not even a burst count (even though they could enter "1" and be right most of the time.)

    If you are going to report times, then get it right, too. If you think that being off by a minute is "good enough", then please stop reporting times.

    Learn the difference between the start time, an "ns" time and an "ie" time. An "ns", or "near start" was initially intended for those times when you didn't see the start, but you know it was within the last 30seconds or so. "ie" means that you have no idea when it started, so you are reporting the time you first saw it.

    There's also the issue of noise. Entering information about the water level in Sawmill at a single time is worse than useless, unless what you are reporting is out of the known range of behavior. (see Point 8 above). It just clutters up the database. If you want to enter in such data, then report on the ranges and changes in activity over a period of time, and how it relates to other features.

  • 22) Being a member of a social media group does not make you a geyser gazer. It especially doesn't make you any sort of expert. No matter how much you have read there, you still haven't done any field work, and have no idea what you are talking about. All you have is enough knowledge to figureatively get yourself into trouble, but not the knowledge of how to get out of the trouble you've made.
  • 23) Think twice about posting photos. There are enough features that have become "must see" and we don't need any more areas being abused. Besides, the policy of the NPS these last few years seems to be-- if something becomes known on social media, then close it down and restrict access.
  • 24) If you bring your non-gazer friends and co-workers out into the basin, be aware that their behavior will reflect on you. Maybe stick to the Bear Pit or employee Pub where they will stay warm and can be as loud and stupid as they want. Even more important, don't send them out and not be with them and have the expectation that gazers out there will keep them informed and entertained.
  • Observations for 2019 September 08

    A day at Norris. It started out cold and damp and foggy. That persisted until 09:00, well into the morning. Then it cleared a bit, but above the fog were clouds. Those started to precipitate a couple of hours later, with each shower getting stronger and wetter. The last shower around 17:00 as still going when we finally had enough at around 18:30.

    Since we stayed all day, that means that New Crater/Steamboat didn't erupt. It did have frequent strong activity, but only once, in the early afternoon, did it look like it tried to get started. And then there was no followup activity, and a longer period of quiet.

    September 08, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 07

    Grand had some longer intervals overnight, so it was late morning before heading out. A cool morning, but with little chance of any wet coming from the sky. Got out in time to see the full Turban Delay interval of 31m15s. Grand had a nice explosive start, but the breeze cooperated so it was possible to see Turban start, too.

    It was another two burst eruption, and this time the second burst wasn't that long. But the crater showed no attempt to refill for a third eruption, and Vent and Turban actually quit afterwards.

    From there it was down basin for a look at Giant & co. Spent an hour watching Bijou splash away, with only one slowdown during that time. The platform was dry, despite yesterday's rains. I did see some splashes from Mastiff's front vent, and the back vent was sending low water horizontally about a couple of meters. Giant's water level also appeared high, so that there was some nice vertical surging on occasion. But on the whole, there was nothing much going on, despite the decrease in Grotto marathon eruptions.

    For the afternoon eruption of Grand, during the hour wait there wasn't any activity from Sput D until moments before Grand started. This one was explosive, with an initial burst rocketing up about seven or eight meters. It was just one burst, but at least Vent & Turban continued afterwards.

    September 07, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 06

    After a summer of mostly nice weather, woke up to the sound of rain on the roof, and a weather forecast of showers for at least the next five days.

    It wasn't raining much, so no excuse to not go out to Grand and get reacquainted with what it's like to see geysers in the rain. But was able to head on before the showers started, and there wasn't much wind when it was precipitating. We also got two bursts, the first ending at 7-1/2 minutes, with the second consisting of well over two minutes of Big Sawmill. The only remarkable thing about it was that Vent & Turban didn't quit.

    Before heading out for the afternoon Grand, I discovered that the ravens had attacked by bike and ripped up one of the handlebar grips. The one I'd fixed just a few weeks ago, not the one I will probably have to fix before next season. Maybe it was ravens responsible for the bike rack pileup the other morning.

    Got out there during a gap in the rain, but we never really got wet during the wait. The first Turban interval I saw was six seconds short of an official Delay, so no surprise that Grand erupted two Turban intervals later. It wasn't that cold, but really steamy, so couldn't tell if I saw the start of Turban or not. The Vent start time in relation to Grand says that I didn't.

    September 06, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 05

    The observations were a bit less today because it was time to take care of things in West Yellowstone. But just getting there was full of surprises. First it was the RV that tried to go beneath the Upper Gas Station canopy. At least the driver only knocked loose the first vent cover, and not the air conditioning unit.

    Then it was the injured bison walking down the middle of the road at the Thud Group. It was covered with pine needles, too, so I would think it had had an automotive encounter. Just west of the Madison Campground was another bison on the north side of the road. The time of day was when everyone heads in from West Yellowstone, and I was wondering why I wasn't seeing any oncoming traffic. That was because there was a 1.5 mile long backup due to people stopping to see this one, lone bison.

    Before we headed out, did go out for a One Burst Grand eruption. Nothing much to report there, other than it looks like the behavior of Sput D might be decoupling from Turban. There were a couple of times where there were two small eruptions of the sput between eruptions of Turban. Also, two Turban intervals before the Grand eruption the Turban interval was six seconds under 25 minutes. So officially it wasn't a delay, but Turban seems to have thought it was. The duration was almost 6-1/2 minutes, and Grand finally did erupt two Turban intervals later.

    We got back in time for the next Grand. This turned out to be a two burst eruption, but unfortunately, the second burst lased almost 2-1/2 minutes. Sput D was active both before and after, with heavy overflow from West Triplet after. This seems to be the latest norm. I expect there to be another Rift in a few days, too.

    With reports of a long Fountain duration, we went out there on the off chance of seeing a geyser eruption worth seeing. Instead Fountain started just before it got too dark to seen, but too light to justify the bright lights. With the huge crowd there, we left getting the duration to someone who likes watch the surf crashing against the rocks at high tide.

    And between the time we drove over the overpass and parked at the Lower Ham's store, Grand started, so instead we headed in for the night.

    September 05, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 04

    Decided to go out in the morning even though the Grand interval was well over six hours. Got to Castle where I saw Vent jetting away, so I headed back in for breakfast.

    Went out early for the next Grand eruption, and got to see that yesterday's Rift eruption didn't mean a shift back to West Triplet erupting. Instead we got an active Sput D along with frying pan activity from Sputnik and heavy steaming from back in the rocks from Sput F2. The Turban intervals were fairly long, one just 20 seconds short of a Delay. During the wait the wind picked up quite a bit. But the eruption had a second burst, so there was no reason to complain. Except maybe because the people down by Rift didn't get soaked, as was expected.

    Afterwards, because we were taking our time walking back to the bikes, we heard the "water in Beehive's Indicator" call just after crossing the bridge. I would have liked to have stayed longer at the bridge, as there were two otters in the Firehole downstream. But needed to get to Geyser Hill in case the indicator was short. As it turned out, it was a long indicator and had to wait a bit. The eruption itself, unlike Grand, got people wet down by Plume.

    The day ended with an evening wait. Turban had a Delay that never looked it Grand was going to erupt, and then took four more intervals before Grand finally showed signs of life. The pool filled early, but the runoff was at the expected time. With the pool having strong waves, Vent started overflowing and Grand followed immediately after. Turban joined in about 10 seconds later. This was another One Burst Grand, and unfortunately, the sun had already dropped below the ridgeline, so the lighting wasn't as good as it had been all wait.

    September 04, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 03

    So the second geyser of the day I see in eruption is Churn, from over by the bike rack at Castle. It was a normal eruption, lasting about a minute and about 2-3 meters high. I was over at Grand twenty minutes later when there was a second eruption, just like the first, except maybe even taller. Or it maybe the first looked shorter because I was farther away.

    The first geyser I saw erupting was Rift. It continued for several more hours, and during that time there were frequent small, short eruptions by Sput D. Sput F2 was steaming heavily, but I didn't see any indication of steam from Sputnik. There was even a short low-pool eruption of Percolator.

    Arrived at Grand Group with Turban in a delay that eventually lasted over 30 minutes. This was followed by a second Turban Delay, this one about 33 minutes long. In both cases the Turban eruption duration was long, 6-1/2 and then seven minutes. The following Turban eruptions were much shorter, with poor overflow and little sign that Grand was trying to erupt. Rift ended three Turban eruptions after that. Finally, six Turban eruptions later, we finally got our eruption, an interval of about 8h18m, which is probably the longest interval of the year.

    This activity was reminiscent of activity that's been seen before, when Rift would matter. Grand would stall out until a couple of Turban intervals after Rift had quit. I haven't seen this sort of behavior for years. It will be interesting to see in what mode the group is in tomorrow. Will West Triplet be active, or just overflowing.

    Came out again before sunset, and this time Grand was a bit more cooperative. The first Turban interval seen was another Delay, with Grand having a boop at the 35 minute mark. The lighting was from low, as the sun was near the ridge, which made it easy to see any variation in the pool. There were never any good waves, and immediately after the boop, the pool dropped and it took 4 more minutes before Turban finally erupted. This eruption lasted almost 7-1/2 minutes.

    Twenty minutes later, overflow was poor but Grand's pool was high, and rising. Turban started, and Grand kept rising, and the overflow started. Over the next two minutes, the pool kept getting higher and the waves kept getting bigger, until it was pouring water off. I expected an explosive start, but it was a normal build up of boils into bursts and then a full eruption. Vent started only 1-1/2 minutes after Grand, and the whole eruption, like the one earlier, lasted less than ten minutes.

    September 03, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 02

    Arrived at Norris even earlier than yesterday. The minor activity from New Crater/Steamboat had picked up a little, with notable activity every 20 to 30 minutes. Then starting around 10:00 they started getting big enough to get out the camera in case something happened. Then there was a huge attempted start around 11:07, followed by hours of nothing.

    At least it was another nice day, even if the wind picked up in the afternoon and the cover to my truck became a sail.

    When we left at sunset, I remarked how the activity of the last few hours looked no better than the day before. I didn't expect another attempt at erupting until around midnight, and dreaded the thought that we would end up coming back for a third day of waiting for nothing.

    September 02, 2019

    Observations for 2019 September 01

    Another of those days wasted at Norris. There was something interesting every hour or so, but it wasn't sustained, and until the last one we saw at 19:15, just before leaving, none had much of a followup.

    I also did a walk through the Back Basin and record video of how it looks in the steamy morning.

    September 01, 2019

    Observations for 2019 August 31

    Today was a day to get out and about. Went to Lone Star, where it appears we arrived just after the previous activity had completely finished. So we had a bit of a wait, but there was no hurry to be anywhere else.

    Turns out that this time there wasn't a minor eruption prior to the major eruption. Instead we got about an hour and a half of splashing which turned into sloshing which turned into what kept looking like the start of a real eruption. When it finally erupted, it was immediately apparant that we were getting the major eruption.

    On the way out, we stopped at the little thermal area just off the biketrail to see the small geyser on the hillside. After the Lone Star eruption, we continued our tour of the thermal features by heading out across the meadow toward the bridge. The area was completely dry, surprising considering how wet the weather has been this summer. But that also meant that we had absolutely no bugs bothering up.

    On the south side of the river we did encounter one area where we had to watch our step, but you got into the squish only if you weren't paying attention.

    I've never been out to that area, so was impressed by some of the spouters and sputs out there. There area also lots of deathtraps out there, features with large overhangs, or small, hot holes hidden in the grasses.

    But most impressive of all was Buried Geyser. It's way up on the hillside, with an impressive, yellowish-tan runoff channel and lots of beading in the formations around the vent. The runoff disappears into a couple of caves, only to reappear farther down.

    After we got back, it was time for a Grand eruption. Got out in time for a Turban Delay that had several minutes of Grand booping. It then took two Turban eruption intervals before we finally got a nice two burst eruption.