Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Big Island of Hawaii #1 - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

In late May while it was still spring in Southcentral Alaska, I flew to Hawaii for the first time. I've been focusing on northern wilderness and alpine landscapes for most of my photography career while living in Alaska for the past 3 years. 

The tropical environment of Hawaii with its wild volcanic landscape gave me a new appreciation of nature. The Big Island (Hawaii) offers almost every form of nature; from the dynamic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the snow-capped Mauna Kea, the tropic rainforests, countless waterfalls, the black sands beach, to the island’s own unique wildlife. There were just too many things to see and experience during the 2 weeks I visited.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was one highlight of the trip of which there were many. The park includes two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea which has been erupting since 1983. Acres after acres of lava flow, craters, and lava tubes make this National Park a must see. The volcanic eruptions are not as active as in years past, but Halema'uma'u Crater at the summit of KÄ«lauea still sends out red hot magma. The plume glow illuminates the night after sunset and yet the stars above were still unbelievably bright in the clear night sky.

Here are the old lava flows which engulfed subdivisions of Kalapana. This kind of lava field goes on for miles and miles offering amazing a glimpse of nature's abstract art. (Sorry to those who lost homes).

New life grows in the cracks of the old lava flow.

The trail ended at the black sand beach.

This story will continue in the next blog: Big Island of Hawaii #2 - Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles at Punaluu Black Sand Beach