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June 30, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 29

Checked out Oblong, and if I hadn't known there was a report of activity the day before, I wouldn't have been able to determine that from what it looked like. Did not look like the black slime mats were torn up, and because of the wind, not possible to determine if there was any smell of cooked vegetation. The crater was back to full and overflowing.

Right after that was another undistinguished One Burst Grand eruption. The poor weather was dry enough that I did go out for the next One Burst Grand. It was nice to have a short interval although the threatened rain never came.

June 29, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 28

Yesterday just south of the entrance to the Firehole Canyon Drive I encountered two rabbits that were feeling suicidal. At least they ran out from nowhere right in front of my vehicle. I don't think I hit either one. This morning on the way to Norris there was another one at the same location, and I definitely heard a thump this time. The strange thing is that I can't remember ever seeing rabbits anywhere in the Park.

And it's a pretty miserable day when the highlight is kiling a rabbit before dawn. But other than a strong minor a few hours after we arrived, New Crater/ Steamboat looked a bit better than yesterday, but not my much. The rain started around noon, and lasted until we left around 19:00. The platforms were full by noon, but not crowded. It was pretty calm there because many of the gazers who need to socialize (sometimes at high volume) have decided to stay home this year. The most crowded place was at the bridge over the runoff channel, where the line of people and chairs along the railing(s) forced vistors to run a gauntlet to get through.

Because of the weather and lateness of our return, I didn't get a chance to confirm the report of an Oblong eruption today.

June 28, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 27

It wasn't really necessary, as all the indications were that it was too soon, but went up to Norris anyhow. The first few hours of activity by New Crater/Steamboat were so poor that we were considering leaving around noon. But as the day progressed, the activity did improve enough to suck us in until early evening. By then it was obvious that the progression had stopped, and no reason to stick around.

Did see an eruption of Vixen. One that lasted, and lasted and lasted... I gave up after 25 minutes, and it turns out the duration was closer to 45. This after having been fairly regular with about 1/2 hour intervals and durations from 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrived back in the Upper Basin to discover that Grand was having an interval well over 7h20m. So went on out, expecting to see the start while still on the bike. Instead got out there for a full Turban eruption interval.

The pool was nice and full and having waves the next time Turban started. Instead of the expected "vigorous" Turban, it actually had no bursts for several seconds before restarting. It took Grand about 75 seconds to finally start.

Grand also rewarded those who had waited all that time. The first burst lasted 9m19s, which is right on the edge of having one or two bursts. It was easy to see that the pool had water and wasn't draining, so like the other evening, we got another second burst after a long wait.

June 27, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 26

Thought I was going out for a twelve hour double interval at Grand, and it turned out instead I was showing up shortly after first overflow. That was because, following the previous evening's long interval there was another one overnight. Then we had a three Turban interval delay before the One Burst Grand eruption. The delay did insure that it was nice and warm and not steamy.

Was thinking of then heading to Artemisia, but seeing the steam cloud over the ridge just before Grand started meant there was no longer a reason to do that. But a notification that Beehive's Indicator had started was welcome. Considering that right now Beehive's intervals range from one to four days, any opportunity to see it up close will be taken. This was right after an Old Faithful eruption, so there were quite a few people there despite no one there to encourage them to stick around.

Then checked out Aurum, which it turns out had erupted during Grand's eruption, but we did get soaked by an eruption of Lion right after Beehive.

Later that afternoon, got a radio call from Lynn Stephens announcing a window for an Atomizer major eruption. Since I rarely see that geyser, and there was nothing much else to do, it was a good time to head down there. Since it was warm and Artemisia had already erupted, it was not obscured by steam.

Daisy has been having intervals under two hours, so worth checking to see if there are any other changes in the area. Was able to predict a double interval and be there for an eruption that lasted only 3m13s, which seems even shorter than previous years. Before the Daisy eruption, Splendid did nothing other than a blip over the Side Boiler just as Daisy started. Afterwards, in Splendid the Side Boiler and the Main Vent alternated having heavy boils, some almost a meter high. That seems stronger than prior years. I left after about ten minutes and they were still active.

In the afternoon Grand had another two Turban interval delay before the One Burst Grand eruption. There was a short, 19minute long West Triplet eruption at about the time of the delay. The only other thing of note was that when I arrived, Slurp was again in eruption. No overflow from it or from Crystal, but quite noisy and splashy.

Finally, just to show how dull and boring the Upper Basin has become, I went to Great Fountain for a late evening eruption. Before sunset, so the better view in the warm air was from the benches. It was a long pause, nearly nine minutes, but the first burst had some really nice tall plumes and some nice explosions at the start.

June 26, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 25

It was a dark and stormy day. Got to experience several rainstorms and a hailstorm. Because of that, didn't spend much time out and about. Did get to see couple of One Burst Grand eruptions. By evening, it was dry enough so no excuse not to head out to Grand again.

There, it was something other than of the usual one or two Turban eruptions, delay and then the One Burst Grand. Arrived to find Slurp in an eruption, without Crystal in overflow drowning it. The rest of the Sawmill Group didn't look like it was in a deep drain, so this was a little different from years past.

Got an eruption of West Triplet that didn't lead to a Rift eruption, but during that time had one of those short, vigorous Turban eruptions that act much like a delay. The following eruption was quick, with no overflow, so I was fairly confident that would get the Grand eruption next, shortly after the West Triplet eruption would be ending.

That didn't happen. Instead, got another pseudo-type delay, this time the interval was about 24 minutes. So it was wait two more Turban intervals. By this time the chances for a sunset lit eruption were over, with the sun behind a thick bank of clouds. Also by this time the wind died down completely, with what little movement there was seeming to make the steam follow me no matter where I moved.

I did finally manage to get down by the Vent sign where I could at least see Turban, when out of no where Grand had a 4 meter high burst starting the eruption. Despite the rain there, I did manage to get the start of other activity. The eruption was shrouded in its own fog most of the time. But it was a pleasant surprise when the activity quit at just over nine minutes, and we finally got a second burst instead of the usual short One Burst Grand. This time we could see the water column above the steam, and there was just enough lighting to see some detail.

June 25, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 24

Discovered the hard way that the bike trail to Fairy Falls beyond the Grand Prismatic overlook is closed because of bear activity. Gotta remember to chec the signboards at the trailheads. (In this case, the incident was two days ago, and didn't get publicity until today.) So returned and did a loop of the Lower Basin to find that pretty much everthing of interest was in the middle of its interval. Did finally stop by and see a full Flood eruption, but the attempt to video record the eruption was not successful due to operator error.

Spend a few hours at Three Sisters to learn more about how things work there. Got to see a major Mugwump eruption (one lasting 25 seconds with multiple bursts) and what was probably the last minor (one having a single large burst, lasting about 10 seconds). Three Crater also seems to have multiple modes, from a single large boop to multiple distinct bursts over a period of five or more minutes, but I haven't quite figured it all out.

Did see three more One Burst Grand Eruptions. Two of them came on delays. The last one of the day went into Big Sawmill mode for the last few minutes, with multiple false pauses.

A final indignity was to wait for a West Triplet to finish. It lasted nearly 35 minutes, but Rift didn't start and wasn't even steaming. So I left. Looking back from the walk up to Crested, I could see the steam from an eruption of Rift starting.

June 24, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 23

Rift started about the time we were tying up the bikes at Castle. Then we got a Turban delay. Grand overflowed heavily for about 20 seconds, and there were even some boops before the start. Then Turban took well over a minute to start, and Vent was 3m06s. It was the first One Burst Grand of this visit.

Afterwards, with Rift still erupting, Sput D and Percolator started up. Sput D appears to be much larger than last year's activity, and stronger. It stopped once, and so did Percolator, for about 30 seconds. That's something different that need to be confirmed. After the restart, I noticed a wet frying pan in the gravel at the site of Sputnik. It didn't last long, and I didn't stay around much longer.

After seeing a number of eruptions on the webcam, it was time to try and see Mugwump in person. So it was nice that it erupted within a couple of minutes of our arrival. The eruption lasted 25 seconds, and consisted of a number of large bursts that put out waves into the wash zone to the northwest of the vent. It was also preceeded by a burst from Three Crater, but was there so short a period of time that am not sure it was an isolated burst, or the last of a series.

Waited for another eruption, and started to piece together what to look for. After about ten minutes Three Crater started erupting. This consisted of a long series of distinct bursts about 5 to 10 seconds apart, ranging in height from a meter to maybe 2 or 3 meters high at times. There's a small spot of convection near the edge of the pool closest to the road. The activity from Three Crater made the surface of the pool rough, but it appeared that the convection died down while Three Crater was active. After Three Crater finally stopped, the activity inthat area slowly built up. Eventually there was a second area of convection well behind it in the pool. When that activity picks up, that's when it's time to start the video recording. This eruption looked like the previous, and even put a stream of water into some runoff channels.

The final eruption of Mugwump was different. It came on a shorter interval, lasted maybe ten seconds, didn't reach much height, and the water never made it into the wash zone. Others have reported only seeing these small eruptions, none of the bigger ones. So there appear to be some modes in the behavior which futher study will be needed to understand.

June 09, 2020

Sawmill Group, 2020

2020 Sawmill Group by H.Koenig

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June 08, 2020

Fountain Paint Pots, Spring 2020

2020 Spring, Fountain Paint Pots by H.Koenig

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June 07, 2020

Area Near New Crater/Steamboat, 2020 Spring

2020 Spring, New Crater/Steamboat Geyser Area by H.Koenig

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June 06, 2020

Steamboat Geyser, 2020 May 31

Steamboat Geyser, Norris Geyser Basin, 2020 May 31 by Suzanne Strasser

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June 05, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 04

Stopped at West Thumb on the way home. In terms of thermal activity, nothing to report. Lots of craters with opaque hot water at the bottom, more deep holes discharging boiling water, and nothing even splashing or sputtering or even sizzling.

What was noteworthy were the number of elk. Saw at least five or six hanging around in the thermal area and parking lot, including a mother and fawn right next to the boardwalk blocking southern access to the lakeshore, requiring a lot of backtracking. Then I heard one bugle off beyond the parking lot.

June 04, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 03

Was thinking about going out to Grand in the night, but while the moon was bright, it looked like the clouds were coming. Decided to not go out. I woke up again about the time of the eruption, and that proved correct. And the interval was closer to seven hours, which would have made for a long wait.

It was a short wait at Grand. The eruption was perhaps the best of the trip, with what little wind there was pushing the steam up the hillside, so all the vents were visible and the water column and jets were nicely backlit. In addition, there was a second burst.

I couldn't go up on the south side of Daisy as there were five bison bedded down in the area near the trail between Bank Geyser and Bonita Pool. After the Daisy eruption, I watch Splendid for a while. After about four minutes from the end of Daisy, the Side Boiler finally started small. With twenty seconds or so, the activity shifed to Main Vent and stayed there. After a few minutes there were even a few strong surges to about a meter.

The best Grand eruption of the trip had to be followed by the worst. It was still partly sunny when we got out there, but we could see the clouds building to the west and north. It got progressively cooler and windier until we could hear some thunder. By that time Beehive's Indicator started. By the time Beehive erupted, Turban had some sort of delay eruption. It was hard to tell through the steam, but it was probably a Vent Overflow delay. Turban started strong and vigorous, but lasted less than 3-1/2 minutes. Grand's pool level dropped more than normal.

By then, the rain started, and the wind really picked up. It was two Turban intervals later that Grand finally did erupt. A One Burst Grand lasting 8m53s. It was around that time that the wind died down and the rain slowed to a shower.

June 03, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 02

With Grand having an over eight hour interval overnight, there was nothing to do in the morning. So visited the Lower Basin again. A Fumarole was back to being a fumarole, and the Fountain Paint Pots had thickened up enough to make some nice mud cones. There was still a slightly bluish pool over some of the white mud area in the center.

Great Fountain overflowed sometime during the half hour we went to the Paint Pots, so there wasn't much of a wait. And the "Big Boil" lead directly into a decent eruption. I tarped my truck just in case, so there wasn't any target for a superburst.

Back in the Upper Basin we had a short wait for the next One Burst Grand Eruption. There was almost a delay, with a Turban eruption interval of 24m59s. But Grand erupted on the next Turban. During that eruption Castle started, and had another major. I haven't seen a minor this trip.

The Firehole River is still high, with water well over the step at the base of Sawmill's unused runoff channel.

The evening was pleasant, although a bit windy, and would have been a great sunset eruption of Grand. But instead we got Rift starting (with Belgian down about 1-2 cm) and a Turban Delay. Grand showed no desire to erupt until after the sun finally disappeared behind a thick cloudbank above the ridge. Then our D4 One Burst Grand eruption happened. Rift quit at about the same time as Grand, with a duration close to two hours.

During the Rift eruption Belgian had risen back to the rim, and at some point Slurp had also risen and was discharging water along with occasional spits. I'm pretty sure this was not Crystal Spring runoff, too.

June 02, 2020

Observations for 2020 June 01

Riding out in the morning I had to follow a coyote up the hill to Castle. I was headed out in the morning to enjoy what I expected would be the last quiet morning of the spring. The roads in from Montana were opening at 10:00, and figured there'd a fair amount of pent up demand to visit the park, especially today.

So first went to see an eruption of Daisy. Over by Pyramid were 8 bison bedded down. It was a nice, normal Daisy. I didn't stick around to watch Splendid as usual, because I wanted to get over to Castle to catch the next eruption after the one we saw the previous night. I saw Castle start just as I got onto the main bike trail. There was one long pause about four minutes later, and then continuous activity leading into the steam phase.

From there I saw that Rift and West Triplet were erupting. When I arrived in the area, West Triplet had quit, and Belgian looked full and normal. Bulger was having a series of minors. While waiting on Grand, did see a huge eruption of Rocket, well above the trees. Also saw Percolator for a while.

The One Burst Grand came after a Turban delay. Rift continued to erupt during the eruption. Percolator had quit, but Sput D was active. Then Bulger finally had a major eruption. It only lasted a bit over six minutes, but the Hole showed water twice-- at about three and five minutes. The first time there was even a splash or two but the water level never rose higher than about 40cm below the surface.

Went down basin to confirm that there was no reason to pay close interest to either Fan & Mortar, or to Giant. It was near time for Riverside, so we were there when we heard the call for Beehive's Indicator via the webcam. It was a nice view from across the river.

Later it was back out to Grand. Not long to wait for another One Burst Eruption. The crowd wasn't much bigger than what we'd been seeing for the past week. The mass of people I'd expected to rush in from Montana appears to not have materialized.

The webcam people are starting to annoy me as an observer actually in the basin. They seem to be unable to have one report of activity, but must have at least three for every geyser. So many that I've had my "in the basin" reports superceded. They really need to figure out how to arbitrate their little competitions for "Level 5 Geyser Guru" and make one posting.

The other problem is that some people insist on posting useless observations like Pump Geyser. The excuse cited is that "it's to show that the geyser is active." So I decided that it's not just pump, but other features like Tortoise Shell, Comet, Spasmodic and Witches Cauldron that deserve the same treatment. Better yet, those camera watchers should actually spend some time on Geyser Hill and actually watch Pump for a while to learn what it normally does and what sort of activity is worthy of being reported. (They could at the same time see about getting 100 consecutive Sponge eruptions.)

June 01, 2020

Observations for 2020 May 31

Day started out warm and breezy. Arrived to see West Triplet and Percolator erupting, but no Rift to follow. The Grand eruption about two hours later did have a second burst, and was even so short that vent & Turban didn't quit. Belgian pool was lower when I left than when I arrived, which was interesting.

Later went over to Geyser Hill and caught Beehive eruption. By then the wind had gotten stronger, and of course, as we waited, it shifted toward our position over by Plume. As it turned out, we were right on the edge of the wet zone, and that little corner remainded dry.

Over at Grand Rift was erupting. Belgian was down even more and Slurp was making noisy, sloppering noises but not putting out any water. Bulger was having a series of minors. During the One Burst Grand eruption Rift quit, and Belgian had risen back close to its rim.

Made a quick trip out to Castle to catch an early evening eruption that I saw mostly by myself. It tried to stop once around the four minute mark, but otherwise contined a nice series of mostly major eruptions. (At least what I've seen.)

As the sun set the wind died down, so the wait for the next One Burst Grand wasn't unpleasant. But first we had to have Turban delay, which made sure that it was completely dark. With the quarter moon giving just enough light to see the eruption, that delay may have made the One Burst Eruption more interesting.