More Kilauea Volcano

Big Island of Hawai'i
Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanos National Park, along the rim. More shots of, around, and looking down in to the Kilauea Caldera (essentially the flattened cap of hardened lava on the top of the volcano), and the Halema'uma'u Crater (the depression with the smoke coming out of it). The red flowers are Lehua blossoms on 'Ohi'a trees which are plentiful in the park.

3 July 09

Kilauea Volcano

Big Island of Hawai'i
Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanos National Park, along the rim. These shots are of and around the Kilauea Caldera (essentially the flattened cap on the top of the volcano). The smoke is coming out of the Halema'uma'u Crater.

(Were you expecting there'd be lava? That doesn't come out here; it flows underground and comes out by the ocean, as seen in this post.)

3 July 09

Fern drops

A few shots from around the grounds of the B&B in Volcano Village (on the Big Island of Hawai'i) where we spent one night of our honeymoon. (Yes, it was in a rain forest, and yes, the drops of water on the ferns were from rain.)

The last one is a candle out on the patio.

3 July 09


Here we have the reason my wife and I chose the Big Island rather than another Hawaiian location: actual flowing lava.

The lava is not to be seen from the Kilauea crater in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. It is roughly an hour's drive from there (because of the route one must take to get to that destination), down at the coast. The lava flows underground and emerges where the land meets the ocean.

At the end of route 130 people a dirt parking lot allows the public to start assembling around sunset. Then from there it's about a half-mile trek across hardened lava fields to the viewing area. Which itself is about 3/4 mile away, because the flow is (at least on the day we were there) on private property.

Mostly what one sees is the massive plumes of steam caused by the lava hitting the water. And before the sun has completely set, the orange glow of the lava on the steam is less vibrant. But after darkness is complete, the glow is impressive.

The lava is only visible in two of these (the third and fourth from the end--notice the bright yellow portions) because the burbling spurts of lava that popped up from time to time never occurred when I was shooting. Suffice it to say: These shots don't capture how phenomenal it was.

(The last shot is the spots of glowing lava coming down the hill, peeking through holes in the ground.)

[For the photo geeks:  Not having a tripod and not being able to get up to the edge of the viewing area (because of all the people lined there), most of these had to be taken by holding the camera over my head (to get over the people), with the zoom set to its maximum, employing very fast exposures, and trying to hold my arms as steady as possible. So please pardon that some of these aren't perfectly sharp.]

2 July 09