Day started out poorly with rain and a call that Fan & Mortar were erupting.
The rain quit within an hour, but that meant the wind was picking up. And ended up being worse that the last few days. At times, on the bike trail, it was like going uphill even when it was actually downhill.
Got out to Giant just as a Feather-only hot period started. So it looked like there was no reason to be out in the basin for several hours. A good time to fix breakfast and get some other defered tasks done. I planned to get back in about 5 hours or so, based on previous hot period intervals.
As it turned out, that was a bit optimistic. Someone saw another weak hot period about 3-1/2 hours later. (And not only never made a radio announcement, but logged it in a way as to obscure that fact.)
So instead of heading back to the platform, went to Grand instead. RIght after sitting down in the usual area, I saw a badger approaching the boardwalk from the west. It got nearer, then suddenly changed direction and headed south, toward Bulger. Eventually it crossed the boardwalks near Bulger, where there weren't people, and headed off into the trees behind Rift. That was the first badger I've ever seen there.
Also while waiting for Grand, someone lost a dollar bill to the wind and it ended up in the runoff channel. It went unclaimed when it was finally rescued during the eruption.
The One Burst Grand eruption lasted 13m14s, following false pause at around the 11 minute mark. Afterwards, I finally got to see Old Tardy in eruption. It looks like it's trying to make a new runoff east of the walkway, killing some grass. Probably the buildup from the slime due to Crystal being in near constant overflow allows this.
Back at Giant where we spend three hours in the wind, with Bijou stopping from 45 to 65 seconds every 11 to 13 minutes. It really did seem like it was waiting for the next Grotto eruption.
Finally about 6 hours after the previous Grotto, we got a pause that lasted longer. Almost immediately water was visible in Mastiff. Feather came on about 3 minutes into the pause, which was much quicker that all the weak hot periods I've seen the past few days. A minute and a half later, Mastiff started to overflow, and Cave began erupting.
This was a strong hot period, one in which Giant could've erupted. Feather never quit. Mastiff was boiling up to 1.5 meters at times. The water level in Giant was high, and there were several surges higher than the cone, pouring out water. But when that surging continued without an eruption, it became obvious that we weren't going to get an eruption. Feather itself finally died out about 16 minutes after it started.
After that, it was time for Grand again. It was a long interval, finally erupting in the dark. This was due to a Turban interval where Grand booped about a meter high and delayed the eruption for two Turban intervals.
Just before the Grand boop, I looked down basin and saw a huge amount of steam at Oblong. This increased and the we saw water surging. With the wind and cold, it was hard to tell if that was really the start, but in any case, I did manage to see several large surges, and the whole eruption lasted several minutes. Earlier this summer there have been eruptions of Oblong after Giant, so this was acting like the strong hot period we'd seen 3-1/2 hours earlier was an eruption. Or else Oblong wants to become Giant's indicator.
There's a cold storm coming in during the night, so made no plans to go out and try to catch the next hot period. Expect that will probably be the one that leads to an eruption. On the other hand, earlier this season it's been about 16 to 20 hours between strong ones, so maybe will get to see Giant in the rain tomorrow mid-day.