Merry Christmas

Calbuco volcano (Chile) in festive mood

Calbuco volcano (Chile) in festive mood

The Old Volcano

Lonely stands the ancient mountain
born in flames in ages past
when fiery flows subsumed the cities
a turmoiled world of lives outcast

Remembrance fades the days of danger
Threats retreat, let peace return
Rebuilding life in virgin cities
No longer may the mountain burn

Fields of plenty for the people
which the dreaming mountain made
Silently let life grow nearer
To youthful flames farewell it bade

The jaded giant guards the city
Its furious heart now turned to stone
Red hot blood a cold remembrance
lonely stands the ancient cone

Yet on the plains the Earth re-wakens
The ground expels sulphuric steam
The promise of a slumbering craken
As in the ancient mountain’s dream

Shepherds see a glorious glowing
A great light dawns, a smoking sky
In vain do people fight the fire
Their future plans have gone awry

A mountain born, new ruler risen
Let us admire, wonder, flee
A light on those who live too closely
Signs of the times for wise men to see

The baby mountain bears its promise
Of cleansing, judgment. From this birth
new life, once more, is shaking cities
A fiery peace has come to Earth

/ Albert


To all of You from all of us at Volcanocafé –



83 thoughts on “Merry Christmas

  1. Thanks, Albert – What a treat 🙂 Happy eating too much food and drinking too much booze holiday to all!

  2. May your hearts be as full as your bellies
    May Santa fill your Christmas sock
    May your presents be all you hoped for
    Including a volcanic rock

    May your day be joyful
    As you gaze upon the sheep
    May peace be more
    Than a vision in your sleep

    May you raise your glass to toast
    For happiness and good health
    May you be blessed with family
    For they are the greatest wealth

    Merry Christmas to all my VC friends

  3. Some of you long time readers are familiar with my musings and attitude towards the species Homo Stultus.

    Please, for the sake of all things, keep a wary eye out for the misadventures of them and do not get caught up in the odd and erratic driving decisions that they make. Stay safe, please!

    And Merry Christmas to all.

    • did it really overflow? Till the top of the cratar. Much higher as seen in earlier vids with people throwing in water, gas bottles and garbage?

      • Scientists from the Afar Consortium Project observed the lava lake at Erta Ale during 21-23 November. They noted Strombolian activity from the lava lake in the southern pit crater. The lava lake had filled the pit crater and breached the W rim, spilling two lava flows into the main crater. The lava lake was encompassed by a scoria ring that was about 4 m high on the S side. By 23 November, the lake was above the scientist’s eye level when they stood W of the southern pit in the main crater.

        -report on the GVP site. I think that means flows across the caldera floor, not (yet?) down the outer flanks

  4. Stuck out and about exploring the brownian motion of last minute shoppers.

    I would love it if someone would move the math equation here for public viewing, but it’s not my art.

  5. Very intriguing poem, Albert. Thank you.

    Happy Christmas everyone.

    • I had in mind a christmas carol, using the volcano image to get away the (very nice!) family time it has become (the old volcano). Not sure how well it worked, but the volcano image seemed to fit the original story.

      • Thanks – it was the juxtaposition of incarnation in the orignal carol and volcanolgy that got me thinking. Cheers.

        • “And the Word became flesh” = “And the lava became troll” perhaps!

  6. Merry Christmas to all,

    And a Happy Hogmanay to those of us fortunate enough to come from the land of haggis, Oor Wullie and Wee Nicola

  7. Bless you Albert, what a wonderful poem! Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all!

  8. … and last night, I was attacked by a back of frozen yellow squash. It scared the bejeevous out of me. I went to the freezer to get some ice for my drink, heard a tell tale “hisss” in the dark confines of the freezer as the bag slid across the frozen yogurt, and then angrily leapt out at me.

  9. Looking at the drum plots they were preceded by a smaller quake which has a really strange shape. I think it’s a LPE but one that continued for at least 5 minutes. Experts?

  10. It’s the day after Christmas. Santa has come and gone. The gifts have been opened and the meals have been eaten. Sighs of relief have been expelled. For most of us in the U.S. the day might include football, leftovers or shopping . But millions of Americans are facing wild fires, blizzards, severe storms, tornadoes or flooding. If you are a praying person, please say a prayer for the their safety.

      • Flooding has reached the city centre, about 10km of our house. Luckily we live on a hill. Ironically, the BBC which is reporting may itself be at risk of flooding. Today’s rain wasn’t as bad we have seen before, but after a month of rain the ground is saturated and the run-off instant. Rivers rise immediately.

        • Very strange, very localised effects. After sitting in front of the computer all day looking at those horrific flood reports all round Manchester, I ventured out of the door: to find….nothing. Streets bone dry, not raining, not been raining for at least 24 hours. And I’m about as far from the city centre as Albert -closer, maybe.

          • Manchester city centre had about 20mm of rain yesterday (see Doesn’t sound much but even this much is rare there. Manchester has a dryer microclimate compared to the surrounding areas. The hills to the northwest may have had as much as 100 mm, and the run-off caused the problems. It is like a flash flood: flooding can happen in a place where it didn’t rain.

      • I’m on the Ribble at Preston, my house is ok but there’s a lot of flooding nearby and we could get flooded when the tide comes in around midnight. Also I went as close as I could get to my workplace and the water was almost up to the door, so that has probably flooded by now.

        • I would like to pass along a motto of the Florida Highway Patrol that they promulgate whenever we have heavy rains.

          “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

          In other words, if there is water across the roadway, don’t be a fool and risk getting stuck in it. It doesn’t take a whole lot of current to push a car off of the roadway if there is a cross current. The same thing applies to anyone trying to walk it. The best bet is to either be late, or not there. Better alive and late than to risk death.

          … additionally, you don’t know what is in that water. Around here, it could be a critter, but you also have the chance that it could contain chemicals or material from someones septic tank… or out-wash from an old soil pit.

          • YES !
            As an experienced white water person and river surfer, NEVER assume that shallow, flowing water is safe to enter, and NEVER assume that water with a smooth surface is safe either. In my days river surfing I have often been swept off my feet by ankle-deep water, and even standing still in flowing water knee deep can be utterly exhausting.
            If you enter such water without appropriate wet or dry suit, your survival time based on temperature alone can be counted (in winter) in minutes.

            Leave it well alone.

        • Thoughts with you. Flood damage to homes is a personal disaster. I do hope you will not suffer too badly and the rain stops very soon.

  11. “In a move that may have you reassessing the greatest gift you received this holiday season, Bjørn Geirr Harsson, formerly of the Norwegian Mapping Authority, is spearheading a Facebook campaign to convince Norway’s government to give their neighbors in Finland a mountain in honor of the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence.

    If Harsson’s campaign is successful, the border between Norway and Finland will be shifted 490 feet to the north and 650 feet to the east, which will place the peak of the 4479-foot-tall Halti mountain firmly within Finland’s borders. Though far from the tallest mountain in Norway (Galdhøpiggen reaches 8100 feet above sea level), Halti would be Finland’s highest point—an honor that currently belongs to the 4340-foot fall Hálditšohkka, one of Halti’s lower spurs.

  12. Albert! Thank you for that thoughtful poem.The winter Solstice and the festivities gives me hope every year.
    Way back, just as I do every year, people in Europe especially have brought in greenery from the woodlands and hedgerows on which they were dependent for fuel and food as a sort of religious offering to their Gods in the hope that the sun would return again. The clever plants that had adapted to even permafrost conditions, remain green all year manage to photosynthesise every day. The point on the globe where the sun never rises on the day of the winter Solstice defines the imaginary Lattitude line called the Arctic Circle. The same is true for the Antarctic except historically nobody actually lived there.
    Now here is where my rumination goes a little awry.
    Their Winter Solstice actually in June. So it is in New Zealand and Patagonia and The South Sandwich Islands.
    As ever I ramble. This rambling is aided by copious amounts of coffee ( I am on coffee #2) and a fuddled brain due to Christmas festivities, life altering situations and gifts of assorted alcohol content.
    As some of you may have observed I used the period of Advent to visit each of my family and on-line friends, or groups of friends, around the world and post a suitable song for each country in which they lived.

    This was a truly inspirational activity and actually took much of my time as I kept getting sidetracked on Google and Youtube as you do !. All was going swimmingly until I came to Rene Goad!
    He is a volcanologist and works in The South Sandwich Islands. I realised I knew absolutely nothing about these islands except roughly where they were. I then made a new year’s resolution.
    I would get my act together and write a post for VC in the new year and it will be something to do with this area, because I know nothing!! So if anyone else is planning to write about these Islands let me know before I start and I will go back to just planning which seed potatoes to buy for next year’s crop on my allotment. Yes Albert! Your poem has given me hope and inspired me into productive activity through the most gloomy part of winter other than browsing the reviews of the newest varieties of potatoes and cabbages

    Here’s a short clip I found when looking for a Christmas Song for Rene.
    To Everyone in Volcanocafe I wish you have a restful and disaster free week until I can send my new Year’s wishes……. Now to get out my wellies and try to recover the escaped goldfish from my garden pond 🙁 ( I am lucky I live on a hill so just a lake instead of a garden…Daughter & Sis -in-Law not so lucky both cut off from us by a landslide and flood water. Minimal house damage though which is a blessing. A local Hotel in my town has collapsed completely into the River. Thoughts with Nick Small who also lives in a badly affected area and those in the USA who are having severe weather also)

      • Lol no lost powers, you’re just not logged as your Dalek persona.

    • Thoughts are with you Diana, and your family and community. Blessings on you all for a better 2016 x – and I am looking forward to learning more about the Sandwich Islands!

    • So your goldfish made a run swim for it. Did you manage to catch the escapees? I expect they couldn’t believe their luck. Glad to hear that you are ok! I hear that near where I used to live in New Mexico has had half a meter of snow – and it is supposed to be semi-desert.

      • And I believe Geolurking has a point regarding homo stultus. The New Mexico blizzard emergency web page has the following as their highest ranked advice on how to survive this extremely dangerous storm

        “Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.”

        I would rather have expected advice about not traveling!

        • One of the gradkids lives in El Paso. I reminded him about just how nasty and slippery red clay mud is. Then I pointed out that snowy roads are about the same… just less noticeable until you are already in trouble. That was the attitude I carried with me in New Jersey and never ran into any problems.

  13. …and the weather alert systems are going spastic… yay…

    • … first time I have ever heard a weather guy use the Ron White emergency alert guidance. “Go find a helmet “, “Put the helmet on”. His additional justification was that no one’s gonna see you, just try it on for a while.

    • It’s not bad guidance. I even pondered going to get my bike helmet. But if it’s thst bad, it might get in the way of me diving for cover.

      I am quite impressed with the coverage from ch15 out if mobile, they have always been far superior to our local station .

    • Last night I was looking at the over all structure of this system. What was odd was that it seemed to have the rough structure of a tropical system, complete with what looked like feeder bands.

    • …and characteristic of feeder band tornadoes, maybe ef0 to ef1. This one gave the news girl all manner of trouble trying to pronounce Chumuckla Highway. “Comokily?”

      BTW, Chumuckla is a small town sort of between here and Milton, the road is one of the only ways across Escambia Bay other than US 90, I-10, or State Hwy 4 it goes from Century to Jay, then to Baker and Crestview (Millview until they moved the Okaloosa county seat up to the top of the hill… probably due to the mosquitoes).

      • And the latest from NWS, there were no tornadoes detected in Escambia County.

        However, they say they will go out and survey damage to determine if any ever occurred. Funny, their @$@#$ alarm kept going off all day scaring the wife.

  14. Freezing hurricane force winds out of SW, not a big deal normally but I was horse sitting for neighbor and was totally stumped on what to do, I hope she is back home.

    • That will teach me to read more closely. I didn’t think Indianapolis had a volcano.

    • Beautiful picture.

      A belated Merry Christmas. Now that everything here has slowed down, I’ve finally caught up on the reading. I enjoyed the previous article & the poem above.

      I hope all is well with every one. A couple of days ago my oldest son accidentally texted me we had a Tomato watch. 🙂 A lot of rain, flooding & high winds here, but now the cold weather’s coming. I’m hoping everything doesn’t become icy. Stay safe out there.

  15. And lingering around Shalimar Florida (according to the news) is a naked guy in a ski mask. One witness spotted him with just pants and a ski mask rather than fully naked. Shalimar PD is flummoxed.

    • And he will likely have his pants on tonight. Its supposed to be about 60F there this evening. (18C)

      • We’re -6Cright now and heading for -10 tonight if we lose our stratus cloud cover. No streaking tonight…
        However my mind thought of Ray Steven’s “the Streak”:

      • Well, what wingnut probably doesn’t realize is that some people take great offense to perceived perverts around here. Not two years ago, a guy in Navarre shit his 18 yr old daughter’s 30 yr old boyfriend in the groin with what I think was a .410 revolver… which would explain the birdshot. Per the news article the assailant refered to the weapon as the Judge, and that is a known model of .410 revolver.

        Having used birdshot, the assailant is almost asking for a lawsuit. Birdshot, though potentially lethal, will almost guarantee that the victim will be able to file a lawsuit later… provided that he has the cajones to do so.

          • “When police in Navarre, Florida received a call for a noise complaint, they arrived to find a bleeding man running toward them along with his girlfriend. The man’s groin was dripping blood, and he was screaming that he’d been shot”

            Another thing that occured to me on the way home, is that Ft Walton Beach (very near Shalimar), is the same place that keeps having decapitated goats being left in random locations in the city. There have been several accounts of that over the last 10 years or so. Only a few of them indicate that the goats had been molested first. Evidently, that area has an indigenous population of feral perverts.

        • Not trying to denigrate Navarre, but this is typical of things in that area, unlike Parker Florida, where even a member of the City Council was busted for trying to buy meth. (via news account on the radio). Later, Parker PD patted themselves on the back for busting a meth lab in one of their neighborhoods when investigating after a fire. According to the neighbors (when interviewed by a reporter) that house was always having front yard cookouts and were processing their illicit drugs while grilling. In other words, all the PD had to do was drive by and look, they didn’t need a fire incident.

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