turtles... and more
right, it's been a hectic few weeks since i last posted, but my network connection has been so spotty that i've been relegated to updating from the coffee shop down the road. not a very good excuse, i know, but it'll have to do. due to the number of pictures i've posted on these recent entries, i've decided to reduce the number of entries on this main page to three. if you want to look at previous entries, check out the archives listed at the very bottom.
after looking for work for over six months on the mainland i've had nine interviews in the past week and a half. that and a part time job at a local school have taken up a lot of my time, but i did have the chance to take mum to punalu'u before she left. i've spent much time on beaches in my life…. i've walked on sandy and rocky beaches from baja california, mexico to vancouver, british columbia on the north american coast; a beautiful sandy beach with lots of cool shells near bahia, ecuador; a boardwalk on coney island, new york on the atlantic coast; several beaches and shorelines on the yucatan peninsula in mexico; beaches with european flare in the costa del sol and barcelona in spain. with all these beaches under my belt, i had never walked on a black sand beach… until punalu'u. it was gorgeous, and i hope to go back one of these days. the beach at punalu'u is one of the places where the hawaiian green sea turtles come to eat algae and bask on the beach, and there were at least six turtles in the surf while i was there. the experience was incomparable, spiritual, amazing to say the least. and yes, that is really a turtle head poking out of the water to take a breath. some day i dream of having underwater gear so i can get a decent photo of the turtles in their environment. for the time being, i'll have to settle for the sad pictures i can take myself and the amazing postcards everywhere.
on the way back from punalu'u we drove through the hawaii volcanoes national park and saw loads of lava (the cold kind). there are two types of lava: a'a which is rough and cools quickly, and pahoehoe which is smooth and folded and cools slowly. i never thought that the two types of lava would be so intermingled, but they are. the flows you can see throughout the park are impressive. i've visited several lava flows in the cascades and eastern oregon, but i can't ever recall seeing the pahoehoe that exists here. i tried to take several pictures to illustrate the different kinds of lava, but i don't know that i've done them justice. however, since i won't be going back up to the park for a long while they'll have to do. one thing that i love seeing is the remnants of trees in the lava—i don't know why it's so impressive, but i find it intriguing that the lava actually cools before the tree is completely destroyed leaving a mould of the tree. the lava forest in oregon is neat, but i'd never seen a lava tree quite as cool as this one. i guess the best way to cool lava is to put water on it, and kilauea does that in a very effective way by sending it's lava straight into the pacific ocean. if you're willing to take a long walk, you can approach the site where the lava enters the sea, but as you can probably imagine from my previous entry my knee wasn't really up for a long trek over rough trails. i'm forever grateful for a decent zoom lens on my little digital camera and a beautiful sunny day.
i have several more pictures, but barring severe rambling i've run out of words. i'll try to think of more things to say in the next entry, but for now i'll just let the pictures do the talking.
this is the halema'uma'u crater in the kilauea caldera. it's bigger than it looks here with steam and yellow sulfur-stained walls.
here the two main types of lava, pahoehoe and a'a, are visible. pahoehoe is smoother and lighter than the a'a. it's amazing to see the outer side of the volcano with this huge flow that came over the edge.
there are steam vents along road throughout the park. this one is fenced off near a parking area so people can approach it and look inside. it's hot!
and now back to hilo to look at coconut island in the bay. they've closed access to the island for the next seven months or so to do improvements. once it's open again, i'll go out there to get some more pictures of the bay.