Snow sublimates rapidly in a hot, dry atmosphere ~ The Conversation

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Creeks, rivers and lakes that are fed by melting snow across the U.S. West are already running low as of mid-July 2021, much to the worry of farmers, biologists and snow hydrologists like me. This is not surprising in California, where snow levels over the previous winter were well below normal. But it is also true across Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, which in general received a normal amount of snow. You’d think if there was normal amount of snow you’d have plenty of water downstream, right?

Over a century ago, snow scientist James Church at the University of Nevada, Reno, began examining how the amount of snow on mountains related to the amount of water in riversfed by the melting snow. But as hydrologists have learned over the many decades since, the correlations between snows and river flows are not perfect. Surprisingly, there is a lot researchers don’t know about how the snowpack is connected to rivers

Of course, a dry winter will result in meager flows in spring and summer. But there are other reasons snow from the mountains won’t reach a river below. One growing area of research is exploring how droughts can lead to chronically dry soil that sucks up more water than normal. This water also refills the groundwater below. 

But another less studied way moisture can be lost is by evaporating straight into the atmosphere. Just as the amount of snow varies each year, so too does the loss of water to the air. Under the right conditions, more snow can disappear into the air than melts into rivers. But how snowfall and loss of moisture into the air itself relate to water levels in rivers and lakes is an important and not well understood part of the water cycle, particularly in drought years.

~~~ WATCH ~~~

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Losing moisture to the air

There are two ways moisture can be lost to the atmosphere before it reaches a creek or river. 

The first is through evaporation. When water absorbs enough energy from the Sun, the water molecules will change into a gas called water vapor. This floating water vapor is then stored in the air. Most of this evaporation happens from the surface of lakes, from water in the soil or as snow melts and the water flows over rocks or other surfaces.

Another way moisture can be lost to the atmosphere is one you might be less familiar with: sublimation. Sublimation is when a solid turns directly into a gas – think of dry ice. The same can happen to water when snow or ice turns directly into water vapor. When the air is colder than freezing, sublimation happens when molecules of ice and snow absorb so much energy that they skip the liquid form and jump straight to a gas.

A number of atmospheric conditions can lead to increased evaporation and sublimation and eventually, less water making it to creeks and streams. Dry air can absorb more moisture than moist air and pull more moisture from the ground into the atmosphere. High winds can also blow moisture into the air and away from the area where it initially fell. And finally, the warmer air is and more Sun that shines, the more energy is available for snow or water to change to vapor. When you get combinations of these factors – like warm, dry winds in the Rockies called Chinook winds – evaporation and sublimation can happen quite fast. On a dry, windy day, up to around two inches of snow can sublimate into the atmosphere. That translates to about one swimming pool of water for each football field-sized area of snow.

A small green metal tower and green wooden box in a snowy mountain forest.
Snow survey sites, like the one seen here in Montana, can help scientists measure snowpack, but most sublimation happens above the treeline, a zone for which there is little data. USDA NRCS Montana/WikimediaCommons

Sublimation is mysterious

It is relatively easy to measure how much water is flowing through a river or in a lake. And using satellites and snow surveys, hydrologists can get decent estimates of how much snow is on a mountain range. Measuring evaporation, and especially sublimation, is much harder to do.

Today researchers usually estimate sublimation indirectly using physics equations and wind and weather models. But there are lots of uncertainties and unknowns in these calculations. Additionally, researchers know that the most moisture loss from sublimation occurs in alpine terrain above the treeline – but snow scientists rarely measure snow depths there. This further adds to the uncertainty around sublimation because if you don’t know how much moisture a system started out with, it is hard to know how much was lost.

Finally, weather and snowpack depths vary a lot from year to year. All of this makes measuring the amount of snow that falls and then is lost to the atmosphere incredibly difficult

When scientists have been able to measure and estimate sublimation, they have measured moisture losses that range from a few percent to more than half of the total snowfall, depending on the climate and where you are. And even in one spot, sublimation can vary a lot year to year depending on snow and weather.

When moisture is lost into the atmosphere, it will fall to the surface as rain or snow eventually. But that could be on the other side of the Earth and is not helpful to drought-stricken areas.

It is hard to say how important loss of moisture to the atmosphere is to the total water cycle in any given mountain range. Automated snow monitoring systems – especially at high elevations above the treeline – can help researchers better understand what is happening to the snow and the conditions that cause losses to the atmosphere.

The amount of water in rivers – and when that water appears – influences agriculture, ecosystems and how people live. When there is a water shortage, problems occur. With climate change leading to more droughts and variable weather, filling a knowledge gap of the water cycle like the one around sublimation is important

Athletes to sleep on ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds at Olympic Games amid COVID ~ NY Post

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Lustful Olympic athletes should think twice before making the bed rock in Tokyo.

The world’s best sports competitors are set to spend their nights on cardboard beds — allegedly designed to collapse under the weight of fornicators to discourage sex amid COVID-19.

Olympic officials — who already warned 2021 Games participants to avoid two-person push-ups because of the coronavirus — have set up 18,000 of the cardboard beds in the notoriously sex-crazed athletes’ village, according to Dezeen magazine. 

“Beds to be installed in Tokyo Olympic Village will be made of cardboard, this is aimed at avoiding intimacy among athletes,” American distance runner Paul Chelimo tweeted.

“Beds will be able to withstand the weight of a single person to avoid situations beyond sports,” Chelimo cracked. “I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do.”

Journalists take photos of the cardboard beds for athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic athletes have never shied away from hanky panky, but officials have warned it could spell particular trouble this year amid the pandemic.

The 100 percent recyclable cardboard beds were designed by the Japanese company Airweave.

But officials are apparently aware it’s going to take a lot more than the makeshift berths to keep players out of the pole position.

They are distributing a cache of condoms to the athletes, as they have at every Olympic Games since 1988. This year, the condom tally is 160,000. Still, that’s a far cry from the 450,000 doled out for the last summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

This year, Olympic officials insist the rubber is for athletes to bring home to spread the message of safe sex. 

“Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with awareness by taking them back to their own countries,” the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee said in a statement to Japan Today.

Desperados Waiting For A Train

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Guy Clark singing Desperados
Jerry Jeff Walker ~ Desperados
Willie Nelson’s version

Desperados is a true American (Texas) ballad that stands up to time … there are some great stories in the lyrics. Definitely one of my all-time favorites. Guy Clark was a classic Texas singer/songwriter … rŌbert

~~~

Desperados Waiting for a Train” is a song written by Guy Clark and originally recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1973 album Viva Terlingua.  Clark said that the song is about his grandmother’s boyfriend named Jack who was a grandfather figure to him.

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“Desperados Waiting For The Train”

And I played the Red River Valley 
And he’d sit in the kitchen and cry 
Run his fingers through seventy years of livin’ 
And wonder, “Lord, has every well I’ve drilled gone dry?”
We was friends, me and this old man 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

Well, he’s a drifter and a driller of oil wells 
And an old school man of the world 
He taught me how to drive his car when he was too drunk to 
And he’d wink and give me money for the girls 
And our lives was like some old western movie 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

From the time that I could walk, he’d take me with him 
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe 
And there was old men with beer guts and dominoes 
Lying ’bout their lives while they played 
And I was just a kid, but they all called me “sidekick” 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train 
Like desperados waitin’ for a train 

And one day I looked up and he’s pushin’ eighty 
And has brown tobacco stains all down his chin 
Well, to me, he’s one of the heroes of this country 
So why’s he all dressed up like them old men 
Drinkin’ beer and playin’ Moon and Forty-two 
Just like a desperado waitin’ for a train 
Like a desperado waitin’ for a train 

And then the day before he died I went to see him 
I was grown and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen 
And sang another verse to that old song 
Come on, Jack, that son-of-a-bitch is comin’ 
We’re desperados waitin’ for a train 
Was like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train

Tom Russell ‘Honkey Jazz”

If you don’t know Russell’s music check it out .. Unusual … and his paintings …. he’s a real talented guy

rŌbert

~~~  HONKEY JAZZ  ~~~

~~~ Bukowski # 1 ~~~

~~~  BUKOWSKI # 3  ~~~

Russell painting of Leonard Cohen

Bio of Russell

2020 Tom Russell Update:

The best record of last year was the Tom Russell record.
Bernie Taupin, L.A. Times, 1/20

Tom Russell’s latest recording of original compositions, October in the Railroad Earth, is set for CD and vinyl release March 15, 2019, on Frontera Records in North America and Proper Records for the rest of the world. He describes the songs and sound as “Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash in Bakersfield.”
Bill Kirchen is featured on lead electric guitar, Eliza Gilkyson adds vocals, and the Grammy® Award-winning Texmaniacs appear on “Isadore Gonzalez,” about a Mexican cowboy who died in England during a performance of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The record contains nine other originals, including the title song from the Irish film Small Engine Repair, and a cover of the traditional “Wreck of the Old 97.”

October in the Railroad Earth follows the acclaimed 2017 Frontera/Proper album Folk Hotel and Russell’s tribute to Ian & Sylvia on True North Records, Play One More, both receiving worldwide acclaim. Between major releases in 2018, Russell recorded the Bruce Springsteen track “Across The Border” for the three-disc Appleseed Records anniversary sampler, Roots and Branches, and issued a re-recording of early classics on Frontera, Old Songs Yet To Sing.
His current book of art, The Ballad of Western
Expressionism, was published in December 2019 to
outstanding reviews. His art may be viewed at:
http://www.tomrussellart.com

One of Russell’s previous albums of new original material was the 2015 “folk opera” that Thom Jurek of allmusic.com hailed as Tom’s masterpiece, The Rose of Roscrae. Named “The top folk album of 2015” by Mojo magazine, Roscrae was also lauded as “maybe the most important Americana record of all time” by UK Folk. The album was included in top ten lists of dozens of publications, including the Los Angeles Times.

In 2007, on one of Russell’s five appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, he debuted the controversial “Who’s Gonna Build Your Wall?” which has since gone viral.

Tom Russell’s songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, k.d. lang, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin, Iris DeMent, Dave Van Ronk, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Joe Ely, Tom Paxton, Ian Tyson, and Joe Ely, among many others.
Tom Russell graduated from the University of California with a Master’s degree in Criminology and taught Sociology in Nigeria during the Biafran War.

Recent reviews include:

Mythical America explored by brilliant Americana songwriter…Russell is a riveting storyteller.
Peter Watts, UNCUT, Oct. 2017

Tom Russell’s ‘Folk Hotel’ keeps it simple, beautiful — and Hank Williams pays a visit…
Chicago Tribune, 9/6/17, Steve Knopper,

As ruggedly romantic as ever…Russell is a treasure.
Colin Irwin, Mojo, Oct. 2017

Folk Hotel continues to distinguish what makes Russell a master songwriter…fascinating details, quirky characters, and sophisticated narrative structure.
The Austin Chronicle, 9/15/17

Singer songwriter, painter, essayist – Tom Russell has recorded thirty five highly acclaimed records, & published five books – including a book on his art and a book of his songs. Tom Russell songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nanci Griffith, K.D. Lang, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ian Tyson, Iris Dement, Joe Ely, and a hundred others. Tom Russell graduated from The University of California with a Master’s Degree in Criminology. He was recently awarded the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism & has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman TV show five times.
Recent Quotes on Tom Russell: July 2016

“These songs on The Tom Russell Anthology 2: Gunpowder Sunsets leaves me in anticipation of whatever might be coming next from the best songwriter of my generation.” Mike Regenstreiff, Montreal Gazette, Sing Out (June 2016)

“Tom Russell is Johnny Cash, Jim Harrison and Charles Bukowski rolled into one. I feel a great affinity with Tom Russell’s songs, for he is writing out of the wounded heart of America.”Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Poet)
“Tom Russell is an original, a brilliant songwriter with a restless curiosity and an almost violent imagination. “Blood and Candle Smoke” is vintage Russell, and the Graham Greene connection is a ‘beaut.” Annie Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain)

“Tom Russell is the last great American voice.” Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Cross)

“How great is Tom Russell? Isn’t he the best? I’d like to quit my job and travel with him…if the money can be worked out…” David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman

The greatest living folk-country songwriter is a man named Tom Russell…John Swenson, Rolling Stone

Tom Russell is the best songwriter of the generation following Bob Dylan…The Montreal Gazette

OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES ARE REVVING UP LOCALS (IN A BAD WAY) IN COLORADO’S REMOTE MOUNTAIN TOWNS ~ The Colorado Sun

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Inundated with by go-anywhere motorized vehicles, local governments are struggling to find a balance between welcoming the spending by “motorheads” and keeping their towns from resembling sets for a Mad Max movie.

Nancy Lofholm

Jun 17, 2021

Off-highway vehicles parked outside of the Taylor Park Trading Post near the small town of Tin Cup, Colorado, in Gunnison County on June 2, 2021. The increasing popularity of these machines is creating controversy in the small mountain communities of Lake City, Silverton, Marble and Tin Cup because of noise and crowding. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

When Teri Havens bought two acres tucked in a thick stand of aspen on a hill south of Marble in 1995, it was her bit of backcountry nirvana. 

Yes, it sat along a popular jeeping trail  ̶  a county road leading to the historic Lead King Loop. But she could live with four-wheel-drive vehicles jouncing past her place on their way into the White River National Forest; the drivers shared her appreciation for the beauty up the trail at the fringe of a wilderness area.

Eight years ago, that began to change. 

Havens’ backcountry home slipped from tranquil into periodically hellish when a new breed of off-highway vehicles began blasting by in buzzing, whining, roaring caravans.

The vehicles kick dust hundreds of feet into the air. At times, they blare music and flash colored, blinking lights from antenna-like wands and high-intensity bars. Political statement flags flap from roll bars. Havens can’t recognize the drivers who are hidden behind goggles, helmets and ear protectors.

Havens and her neighbors now find human waste and toilet paper littering the edges of their property. There have been times when they have been trapped in their driveways by backcountry vehicles gridlocking the narrow road as far as they can see. In the scattering of buildings that make up Marble, they have to contend with a parking lot filled with big exhaust-belching trucks hauling trailers loaded with the newfangled vehicles.  

“They are more numerous. They are more aggressive,” Havens said. “I feel like we are on the verge of a crisis. I hate to be all doomsday about it, but it really feels that way.”

A web of laws and regulations

Marble, a historic mining town of 140 residents in the upper Crystal River Valley near Carbondale, is by no means alone in grappling with an unprecedented, pandemic-boosted surge in off-highway vehicle use. 

In 2015, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife division that oversees OHV use counted 170,000 of the vehicles registered in the state. Last year, there were 203,873. Around 46,000 of those came from out of state. 

Many rural, and often remote, Colorado towns inundated with the go-anywhere motorized vehicles are struggling to find a balance between welcoming the spending by “motorheads” and keeping their towns from resembling sets for a Mad Max movie.

About 99 percent of all OHV trails in Colorado are on public lands, but municipalities and counties have become staging areas or pass through for trail-bound OHVs. These local governments have the often-contentious choice to put out the welcome mat or the “Closed” sign for these vehicles because Colorado is among states where off-highway vehicles are banned on public roads, streets and highways  ̶  unless the local entities opt to allow them.

Putting the onus on communities has led to a mishmash of regulations that can be trickier for motorized users to navigate than the diciest backcountry trail. Towns including Craig, Meeker, Westcliffe, Silvercliff, Leadville and Parachute welcome OHVs on all streets without restrictions. Some counties, including Custer and Delta, have opened all county roads to OHVs.

Aspen and Pitkin County have nixed them on their roads. The small Western Slope farming town of Dolores has too, following charged debate that ended with 60% of residents voting no to OHVs’ noise and dust.

Other counties and towns have instituted age, speed, gear and hour restrictions. They have OK’d OHV use on some streets, but not others. They have a variety of penalties for violations.

Riders from Palisade and Grand Junction prepare their Can-Am Outlander at the Lead King trailhead in Marble. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

To snarl the regulations even further, the state, municipalities, counties and public land management agencies have cobbled together a patchwork of agreements on certain trails and access roads linked to trails in some popular OHV areas, including Marble.

Marble sits along the Lead King Loop, a 13-mile rugged road that cuts through the White River National Forest and winds along the edge of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

Access to the Lead King Loop Road ran into problems because of an oversight. For the past six years, Gunnison County had an exemption that allowed OHVs on the county-owned section of road between the town limits and a hill leading to the beginning of the U.S. Forest Service loop road.

But the county inadvertently left a gap in that exemption. It OK’d OHV travel on 0.7 miles of road, but left out another 0.8 miles needed to connect Marble town roads to the Forest Service loop road. Legally, OHV drivers had to stop short of accessing the loop.

In May, the Gunnison County Commission proposed a resolution to close the gap. That set off fireworks. Concerned citizens wanted to keep that no-OHV gap in place to limit the disruptive traffic.

The commissioners ended up allowing OHVs to use the county road until the end of the year, when the issue can be revisited.

During that time, Marble and the county agreed to foot part of the bill for a Forest Service ranger to keep an eye on the Lead King Loop. The county also assigned two deputies to patrol that remote end of the county.

In the meantime, another dispute over a Marble town parking lot has turned into one more skirmish point in the OHV battle. The town had designated the Marble Mill Site Park parking lot for OHV-hauling trucks and trailers. But that turned out to not be allowed under the park’s designation as a national historic site that milled local marble for the Lincoln Memorial.

Anti-OHVers, who viewed the parking lot use as a noisy, air polluting blemish in the heart of their town and a slap in the face of history, chalked up a win.

The U.S. Forest Service is working on new management plans that may eventually bring other relief.  Marble residents say there is some hope the agency may come up with a permitting system or establish alternating days for different users to relieve some of the pressure and conflict.

Marble residents say they don’t expect that to happen quickly because the agency is using the same land management tools put in place back when dirt bikes and electric bicycles were the problem  ̶  not lightning-fast vehicles that can make their way over any terrain and bank turns that widen trails into deep-dish roads.

“A need to make some changes” 

The San Juan Mountain town of Silverton is in the running with Marble for the touchiest OHV controversy.

After seven years of all-terrain-vehicle headaches that came with allowing the vehicles on select town streets, the Silverton Board of Trustees in May adopted an ordinance that prohibits OHVs on streets, alleyways and rights-of-way within town limits “in the best interests, welfare and safety of the residents.”

The ban was to take effect on June 19, but a citizens’ group that included many business owners, torpedoed that with a referendum that has forced a citizen vote this fall. In the meantime, OHVs can continue to rumble down certain Silverton streets.

That means more work for San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad, who is tasked with keeping order in Silverton.

For years, he has chronicled his duties in a blog printed in the Silverton Standard & Miner. OHV infractions get an inordinate amount of attention. Speeders, drinkers, noisemakers, crashers and drunks are noted. Half of all enforcement violations in the town during tourist seasons have been for OHV violations.

Conrad has occasionally let his frustration with OHVs be known in his crime chronicles: “issued 8 OHVs a verbal warning for even thinking about leaving the OHV route (Can you count to $600?

~~~ CONTINUE ~~~

BIDEN’S INTERIOR SECRETARY WANTS TO RESTORE MONUMENTS SHRUNK BY TRUMP ~ NYT

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Deb Haaland has advised the president to reinstate former boundaries at Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, and also in a marine area off New England.

Deb Haaland, the interior secretary, on a visit to Bears Ears National Monument in April.
Deb Haaland, the interior secretary, on a visit to Bears Ears National Monument in April.Credit…Pool photo by Rick Bowmer

By Coral Davenport

June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has advised President Biden to restore sweeping environmental protections to three major national monuments that had been stripped away by former President Donald J. Trump.

In a report sent to the White House earlier this month that has not been made public, Ms. Haaland recommended that Mr. Biden reinstate the original boundaries, which included millions of acres at Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two rugged and pristine expanses in Utah defined by red rock canyons, rich wildlife and archaeological treasures.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Spencer J. Cox of Utah confirmed Monday that Ms. Haaland had made the recommendations.

Mr. Trump had sharply reduced the size of both national monuments at the urging of ranchers and many Republican leaders, opening them to mining, drilling and development. At the time, it was the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history.

Mr. Trump’s 2017 decision to slash Bears Ears by nearly 85 percent alarmed paleontologists, environmentalists and Native American groups, and several filed a legal challenge that is pending in federal court. Bears Ears is rich in fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years and is an important cultural landmark for tribal nations.

Ms. Haaland has also recommended that Mr. Biden revive protections covering the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine monument, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, an expanse of sea canyons and underwater mountains off the New England coast, as reported by The Washington Post. Mr. Trump opened the monument, home to the endangered North Atlantic right whale, to commercial fishing last year.

Bears Ears and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts had both been established by President Barack Obama in 2016. Grand Staircase-Escalante was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Bears Ears, named for a pair of towering buttes, is the site of ancient Native cliff dwellings and burial grounds.
…Bears
Ears, named for a pair of towering buttes, is the site of ancient Native cliff dwellings and burial grounds.Credit…Bob Strong/Reuters

Neither the White House nor the Interior Department would comment.

The recommendation by Ms. Haaland to reinstate the protections was widely expected. On his first day in office, President Biden ordered a review of the elimination of protections for the monuments to “determine whether restoration of the monument boundaries and conditions would be appropriate.”

The recommendation by Ms. Haaland to reinstate the protections was widely expected. On his first day in office, President Biden ordered a review of the elimination of protections for the monuments to “determine whether restoration of the monument boundaries and conditions would be appropriate.”

~~~ CONTINUE ~~~

cool old buddhist song by Donovan

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain

Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name
Oh, the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moïse and Alida Viator began performing with the Eh, La Bas, a band that plays the New Orleans Creole has a great version of the song …

~~~ LISTEN ~~~

There Is a Mountain” is a song and single written and performed by British singer-songwriter Donovan,[1] released in 1967.

~~~ LISTEN ~~~

The lyrics refer to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his Essays in Zen Buddhism, one of the first books to popularize Buddhism in Europe and the US. Qingyuan writes

Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.[2]

~~~~ ~~~ ~~ ~

This is an old zen statement about the experience of enlightenment

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A rather famous Zen koan states ‘First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is’, referring to the spiritual path.  The unenlightened mind sees a mountain.  The Enlightened mind sees the mountain (and all things for that matter) as no-mountain (no-thing, devoid of a fixed self), a ripple on the ocean of sunyata that underlies Reality.  But to be able to communicate with and help living

~ ~ ~

I don’t know what everyone is so puzzled about. He’s singing about plate tectonics and erosion. It couldn’t be more obvious

~

When this song was new I was about 12 years old, and I was proud that I was able to decipher “for the snow would be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside”

~~ ~~

I would sing this song to my grandmother. Since I didn’t know the lyrics I would sing it, saying, Abuelita! instead, of saying, “Ohh juanita! I call your name”. “There are blind things, look upon my garden…”First there is mountain, than theres is no mountain, than there is”