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Observations for 2021 May 07

Saw an Aurum from over by Castle as heading down to check on Fan & Mortar. No eruption overnight, and during the short time we waited, the cycle looked dull and uneventful.

At Grand saw West Triplet erupting while tying up the bikes. It was a while after we arrived before Turban erupted, and it had all the characteristics of a Delay. The next eruption was after a short interval with no overflow, so I classified it as such. From then we got a couple more normal eruptions before the One Burst Grand eruption.

Later in the afternoon, based on the earlier observation, decided that we should wait for Aurum. The wind was getting pretty strong, so we waited at the bench at Doublet Pool. While there, about five minutes after a thumping episode, suddenly there were wet, boiling, sputtering sounds coming from somewhere down Doublet's runoff channel. This continued for about a minute, then slowly died down. I could not figure out where the sound was coming from. After more thumps, I waited a bit for a repeat, but nothing happened.

After Aurum, whent over to Beehive, where the interval was already over 24 hours. It did a few desultory splashes, but did not look eminent. The wind finally drove us away. As we left, I noticed that the sputtering in Plume's closest vent seemed stronger, with droplets as much as 30cm above the rim at times.

I would have seen the next One Burst Grand if I had remembered to bring my notebook before heading out. There was a long delay, and I thought I'd try to get a start from a distance, but somehow ended up in "slo-mo" mode and the video was useless.

So walking back past South Scalloped, it was a surprise to suddenly see Beehive's climbing water column. There was no Indicator at the start, but it did join in briefly during the eruption. With the wind, the distant view was nice, with the entire water column creating a rainbow, yellow at the top, violet at the bottom.

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Observations for 2021 May 06

Went out to Grand only to discover that the webcam observers had it wrong, and it wasn't even in overflow. So took the time to go down basin to check on Fan & Mortar. But first we had to wait for a bison to clear the bike path, and the more we tried to keep our distance, the closer it wanted to approach. Finally it went behind some trees and we could escape.

No change at Fan & Mortar, so caught the start of Riverside, and just missed Daisy. Over at Grand it was now late enough that it could possibly erupt. So Beehive's Indicator started about then. I decided to stay put. As it turned out, it was possible to get to Beehive in time. At the same time, Turban had a Delay overflow. The pool was full at 20 minutes, and stayed that way. Right after Beehive ended, it became apparent that it was going to erupt.

But first it had a couple of boops before Grand started. The eruption lasted just over 9 minutes, and through the steam, for a bit of time we thought we could see water sloshing over the vent. But it ended up being just another One Burst Eruption.

With nice weather and some free time, and little to no traffic, a quick run to Fountain Paint Pots was in order. The area around Fountain looked too dry to have erupted recently, but there were still large puddles out there. Spent a whole 45 minutes there, and no Jet eruptions during that time.

Stopped at Flood on the way back, as I'd like to get video of it, and my attempts keep failing. It started as we walked over to the overlook, and in my fumbling, I failed to get the camera properly started in time. We'd seen a number of eruptions on the drive back from Norris last week, so maybe the intervals have shortened.

The evening Grand eruption was nothing special. Saw Turban erupting from the bike racks at Castle. Waited for a short Turban interval and got to see a short One Burst Grand eruption. The only interesting things were how Grand slowed down so much around the 8-1/2 minute mark that we thought it was quitting, At the end, I thought Vent & Turban had quit, despite the One Burst Eruption only lasting only 9m37s. But the activity quickly picked back up.

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Observations for 2021 May 05

Relief that we could sleep in and not have to make the commute to Norris today.

Instead, based on extrapolating three intervals, went out to Grand around 08:00. Then we saw that better info on the last eruption time was available, and we were actually out there at the right time. West Triplet was in overflow as we walked up. It started erupting a couple of Turban eruption intervals later, well before Grand.

Grand itself had several boops before finally starting. Despite the steamy conditions, the complex was easily visible. Unlike yesterday, we only got one burst, and there was no doubt that we weren't going to get the second one.

West Triplet was still in eruption, so the start of Rift a few moments later was not a surprise.

At that point, it looked like a trip to Geyser Hill was in order. It had been about 21 hours since the previous eruption. Went out from the Lodge, and back around behind Giantess. Infant is higher than its rim, and seems not quite as murky as I remember it. Aurum had all its side sputs active, but it just didn't feel close to erupting.

By then the winds had picked up despite the partly cloudy day. It wasn't warming up. So we decided that more wind resistant clothing was needed, and headed in. The Indicator got called just as we started heading out.

During the Beehive eruption, I saw something I can't remember ever seeing or even hearing about before. At the base of the cone, there was a small sput splashing out water a few centimeters high. This continued during the eruption, quitting about the time that the Indicator ended. It is located at the far right as seen from the railing nearest to the cone.

Sput at base of Beehive's cone (highlighted)

The wind died down a bit for the eruption, so it was nice and tall, but the little sput distracted me from watching too closely.

Checked Aurum again, and it hadn't changed much. As it turned out, it finally erupted about 1/2 hour after we left.

Later went out for another Grand eruption. Only had to wait for two Turban eruption intervals. The second Turban eruption had no overflow from Grand, and the interval was short, so not sure what was going on out there.

This time we didn't get the booping, but a nice solid start. And it was two bursts even though the first was well over nine minutes. Turban quit shortly after Grand did.

Down at Fan and Mortar, it appears there could have been an eruption during our time wasted at Norris. Had to tell exactly, and will probably need to have the electronic recorder confirm or deny this.

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Observations for 2021 May 04

Awoke to find at least an inch of snow on the ground. So decided that we should wait a few hours before venturing out onto the roads. Then I noted that Grand had been seen on the webcam after midnight, and the next opportunity would be during that wait. So it was out to see what Grand could do.

By then there was at least three inches of snow and the boardwalks were slippery. I took a nice dive just beyond Rift. But we made it to the benches as the sun was coming out, and the breeze made Grand's pool visible. Only had to wait for one short Turban eruption interval, and Grand started erupting.

Around the seven minute mark, I noticed that Grand was acting like it wanted to go into Big Sawmill mode, or even quit. So not a surprise when that happened a minute later. A short pause, and we got a short second burst. So then the question became, are we going to get a really short two burst eruption? As it turned out, it was a longer pause, but we did get the third burst, the first I've seen since 2019. I was hoping, because the eruption was so short, that we'd get a four burst, but less than a minute later, Vent and Turban had quit.

During the eruption, West Triplet started to overflow slightly. By the end of Grand's eruption, it was starting to thump and burst as we left. I also took a quick photo of Sawmill, showing the rings of snow-free areas around the vents of both Sawmill and Turban.

Snow-free areas around Sawmill and Uncertain Geysers

So then it was off to Norris. The roads were still slushy in spots, but nothing to worry about, and the sun was helping to melt even that. We arrived as it was starting to cloud up, and about an hour later, the snow started. Over the next hour we got between one and two inches of the stuff. Fortunately, there was no wind, so it wasn't unpleasant being out in it, and once the snow stopped, the clouds disappeared and the sun quickly melted all that accumulation.

On the other hand New Crater/Steamboat still looked like previous days. There was one big surge around 14:00 that got recorded on video, then nothing much until about 19:00. It was then that we noticed that the water flowing down the runoff was more consistent, and a bit heavier down at the bridge. South wasn't having any large splashing, but was consistently putting out water. On the other side, North Vent was going strong, and it seemed that a lot of the activity was concerted. The flow of water was still fairly good as we left at sunset.

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Observations for 2021 May 03

Today was a slight improvement at Norris, with some notable surges in the early wait. The one at 1214 was about 1-1/2 hours after the previous one, and there were several followup surges over the next ten minutes, and another at 1240. Then nothing for almost three hours.

At 1535, the activity picked up so much that I got out the camera and started recording. Over the next eight minutes, we had multiple surges so strong that we thought it was starting on at least a couple of occasions. Then, as quickly as the activity started, it all died down and was back to the splashing around we've seen the last few days.

Four hours later, nothing much had changed as we left.

The weather was sort of an improvement. Early the breeze was toward the lower platform, but was down channel most of the day. There was only one slight sleet shower, and the wind wasn't quite as obnoxious.

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Observations for 2021 May 02

Another day at Norris. The activity was pretty much the same as the previous two days, if not a little worse. Kept expecting some sort of change as the day wore on, but nothing. It was cold (upper 30s) and windy, and we finally gave up at 17:30. Turns out we didn't miss anything.

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Observations for 2021 May 01

Arrived at Norris at sunrise. The last big of boardwalk, from the blatform junctions on down, was a bit slick, but otherwise the day seemed nicer than expected.

The New Crater/Steamboat activity seemed better than yesterday when we left. About an hour and a half after arrival, we got a camera worthy surge out of it. The only problem, other than not leading into an eruption, was that it just didn't last long. We got several more of these about an hour apart, with the last one at 11:23. Then it just reverted to the type of activity we'd seen the day before. That lasted until 18:30, when we did get another surge that ended too soon. That was followed by an hour of practically nothing from either vent.

We left at 19:30 as the weather finally got nasty. For the past couple of hours, the sky to the north and west was an ominous gray, but not getting anything wet. All afternoon it was windy. But when we left, the lightning was starting, and we were the last vehicle to leave the Norris parking lot.

The rain stopped before Madison Jct., but unfortunately, the bison are now on the move. We encountered a small herd heading south just before the Firehole picnic area, and saw another, larger heard at the Mallard Creek trailhead.

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Observations for 2021 April 30

Eleven hours at Norris, and no real change during the day. It was a nice, dry day but a bit windy. Activity was better than the earlier visit, but not by a lot. There was a continous flow of water down the runoff, and occasionally it looked like the vents wanted to do something interesting, but that activity immediately died down. I could read a book's whole chapter without the sound of the activity changing enough to get me to look up. So at this point expect to go back tomorrow, or wake up to find out the eruption took place a few hours earlier.

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Observations for 2021 April 29

The day started with having to dismount the bikes near the curve on the bikepath. It was blocked by icy snow drifts one to two feet high with narrow paths over them. Then the trail past the Round Spring group was a minefield of bison deposits.

Arrived at Grotto, and it was obvious that the Pressure Pool was full, as was Grotto Fountain. Almost immediately, Grotto started erupting. Spa was full and overflowing heavily, but I didn't see any convection or boiling in the minute or so I was there.

Went on to check out Fan & Mortar. Nothing exciting, so off to Giant. Looked like last year, with the platform dry and Bijou on strong for about half an hour.

It was time for Daisy, so went over to take a look at the Group. Splendid doesn't seem to have changed, either. The duration of the Daisy eruption, however, was only 2m54s, which is much shorter than I'd like it to be.

Finally it was time to head to Grand. Got over there and after a one Turban eruption interval, got a nice, short One Burst Grand eruption. Joked that I expected 8-3/4 minutes and got 9m06s, and no attempt to refill as far as I could tell.

What had to be the strangest part of the day occurred just after the Grand eruption. As we were leaving, we saw Bulger start. So of course we had to wait to see what would happen in Bulger's Hole. (Nothing). While standing there, I thought I heard someone singing over behind the trees at the Grand benches. I turned to look, and there were two people walking past the tree toward me approaching the Rift bridge. Behind them, on a bike was a man with a guitar slung across his front trying to pass them. He didn't make it, sliding on that slippery plastic walkway, with the guitar and him at least staying on the boardwalk. He took his time getting put back together, then proceeded to slowly ride the bike past us while being informed that he was supposed to park his bike. He got over to Spasmodic, blocked the walkway while flipping over his bike and starting to investigate the front wheel, like it was no longer straight.

Finally, Bulger ended and I went over toward Oval to get some photos of Oval. He started running toward me, asking if I had sunscreen. I told him I wouldn't provide it too him. He went back to the bike repairs. Got my pictures of Oval, and Sawmill, and left the area. From Crested, it appeared he was still working on the bike.

As for Oval, it has heated up. There is now only a band of orange and black around the high water mark. Sawmill is also showing signs of heating up down in the vent.

Oval Spring
Sawmill Geyser

If it was just Oval heating up, I'd be concerned that it means Spasmodic is asserting even more control over the Sawmill Group. But Sawmill is also showing signs of recovery, so this may be good.

By then the Beehive eruption interval was getting pretty long, so we knew we needed to head over that way. Did a quick trip around Geyser Hill to find Aurum in between eruptions. Got back to Beehive and it wasn't long before the Indicator started. The wind cooperated, pushing the spray over Plume, allowing a nice close view of the water column.

Plume itself is interesting. The water level and the splashing seems higher than what I saw after the first Giantess eruption last year. The water level was visible most of the time, and some of the droplets were going as much as 1/2 meter above the rim.

Farther down, it appears Bronze Spring has changed from what I remember. It is now a large, cool pool, much larger than the old sinter rim, with heavy overflow down a couple of channels in the still green grass. I haven't paid much attention to it, so it could have been this way for a while, but the runoff channels seem new.

Bronze Spring on Geyser Hill

Later it was time for Castle. It turned out it ended up having an interval of over 14 hours. So I saw the start from Sawmill, which seems typical for me. And because of this, I walked up onto first West Triplet in eruption, and then Grand starting as I was taking notes on West Triplet. This One Burst Grand eruption was less than nine minutes long. West Triplet quit shortly after Grand, and other than Percolator, I didn't seen any activity in the sputs at the base of the hill.

Since it was a nice day, it seemed like a good idea to check out Fan & Mortar again. First we saw an nondescript cycle lasting just under an hour. Near the end we saw a start from Riverside, and were about to leave when we noticed heavy steam from the Main Vent. Then there was splashing, so now had to stay.

Over the next hour and a half we saw Bottom Vent slowly put water down its runoff channel. But it never had an eruption, instead surging at the same time Lower Mortar surged. The splashing in Main Vent continued through a couple of long, River Vent pauses. That activity finally ended as the Fan Vents took over about an hour into the cycle. They started out slow, but with high, visible water levels. But they never looked too good. For good measure, the Frying Pan and the steamvent inside Mortars amphitheater were active too. Then the whole system just sort of died down.

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Observations for 2021 April 28

At around 5-1/2 days, I didn't expect New Crater/Steamboat to look promising, and it wasn't. Spent about 20 minutes in the area. The activity was mostly steamy North Vent, but there was some South splashing with joining in with it. There was runoff, but the South Vent splashzone was dry. At the bridge there was a trickle of water flowing out into the debris fan.

Cistern appeared to be overflowing heavily in all directions not obscured by the steam.

There wasn't as much change it damaged area as I expected. There may have been more trees behind the vents missing their tops, but that was about it. Last year there was debris all over the bridge at the bottom, and nothing like that this year. The North Vent runoff channel didn't seem changed much, either. The steaming tree trunk is still standing.

There were some large glaciers, as high as 1/2 meter, in the shaded areas between Dr. Allan's Paint Pots and the bench, and down below beyond Cistern. there it was higher than the bench, and made getting through interesting. The bottom of these ice blocks were solid, not just compressed snow.

I don't expect anything to happen there for a couple of days, so let's see how wrong I am.