Friday, October 20, 2017

Hooray For Lava Fields!

I have been outside most of the night learning to use a new telescope that was donated to our club.  We will be loaning the scope to a high school student who will be working on a science project for the next two years.  So I just came in from outside and it is after 1 AM.  I had picked this photograph to go with another post on lava fields, but I am desperate for a post, so I can get to bed!  I do love this photograph of Amy & Liz celebrating that they are seeing lava fields, I think.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I Didn't Get to See the Submarine!

USS Bowfin is a fleet attack submarine that fought in the Pacific during WWII.  Bowfin was launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor., and when I was 6 months old!  We didn't have a lot of time to spend at the Pearl Harbor Museum so I only got to see this submarine from shore.  They do have tours of the sub but that was not to be on this trip.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

More Lava

So many different landscapes on the different islands of Hawaii.  This is an area where black lava flowed all the way to the ocean.  Next to this area is a black sand beach which is also amazing to see.

On the way to the black sand beach, we stopped to look at a lava field, and I saw this.  I was first drawn to this scene because of the light colored grasses.  Then I saw the small opening in this lava flow.  Not sure if this is a miniature lava tube that is nearly filled up.  It is interesting in any case.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


One of my first posts from Hawaii, was of a giant lava tube that you could walk through, it was so large.  This is a view of some ferns growing out of a small, fractured lava tube in a huge lava field.  The black behind the ferns is the dark interior of the lava tube.  These tubes can run for long distances, and in some places, when the tubes have cooled, the lava fractures and you can see into the tubes.  But what I love about this photograph is the sense of rebirth - that these ferns can grow on lava that to the eye looks completely inhospitable to any plants at all.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Beautiful Pacific

I know, I know...  You are most likely tired of my continuing posts from Hawaii.  You are probably thinking "when is he going to stop beating this to death?"  Good point.  After the scenery we saw there, it is hard to come home and get excited about all the familiar scenes in our neighborhood.  Anyhow, I am nearing the end.  This is a really nice view of the beach outside our hotel, and of the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  What a joy to wake up every day and see this outside the window.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Tears of the Arizona

The USS Arizona sank on December 7, 1941 and all her fuel talks were filled with oil as she went to the bottom.  Because there are still the remains of more than 1000 servicemen still within the wreck, there has been no attempt made to recover the oil.  Each day a small amount of oil leaks from the hull and can be seen as a colorful sheen on the surface of Pearl Harbor.  This is called "the tears of the Arizona."  The National Park Service systematically monitors the wreck to make sure there is no risk of larger oil spills from the ship.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Banyan Tree

This is an amazing Banyan tree in the courtyard of the Moana Surfrider hotel at Waikiki Beach.  It was planted in 1904 as a seven foot tree.  It is astounding to see in person.  We stopped here for hamburgers one night. It is not a bad location.  The beach is on the far side of the tree, and this is the perfect place to watch the sunset as you eat.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hawaiian Mountains

We were unable to schedule renting ATV's at Kualoa Ranch, where this photograph was taken.  They didn't have five of them, then they didn't have four of them.  We were driving to the north shore to the surfing beaches and saw these amazing mountains.  Turns out it was the ranch.  We stopped to photograph this scene just because of the mountains.  I have no idea about how they formed, but mountains like this with deep cuts back into the main body are something that I have only seen in Hawaii.  I will have to do some research and report back to you.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Growth

I am in love with all the lava flows we have driven through on more than one of the Hawaiian islands.  I love the feeling that you are living on the moon.  But this is a completely different landscape. I think it is so beautiful, and I love the subtlety of the colors, and the bleached trees.  There is a lava flow under all this green, and I am guessing that it happened at least hundreds of years ago,, if not thousands, but I don't know for sure.  In the top of the photograph you can see a more recent lava flow - everything is gray.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve

OK, so after all the people we are back to the landscape.  And you might get bored seeing lava flows.  They are all over the Hawaiian Islands, because volcanoes are what formed the islands in the first place.  Do you remember my photographs of the fishers - the two young men and a woman?  Well, this lava flow was on the west side of the island of Maui on the road we took to get to the fishers.  What a stunning landscape!  This lava flowed down the Haleakala volcano all the way to the sea. I am having trouble coming up with the date of this lava flow.  It is between 500 and 1000 years old, as best as I can determine.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

People Pictures

I have been posting so many landscape photographs that I realized that I need to show some people photographs.  So here are various photographs from the trip.  This is everyone eating shrimp from a food truck.  

Here we go again, more shrimp from a truck!  This time I ate shrimp and it was astounding!  Louisana style, and hot!  Yummm...

Photograph of the women on a balcony at our hotel in Honolulu.

Amy and Gus doing a selfie.  Amy is the master of the selfie!

Amy and Liz and Sarah in the swimming pool at the hotel in Kona.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Drive to the Sea

There is a winding road that makes its way down from the visitor center at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, all the way to the sea.  It is called Chain of Craters Road.  I will show more photographs along the route in another post, but today I wanted to show you what you will find at the end of the road.  What we see in this photograph are lava flows that have come down this hill.  Older flows have had new vegetation grow on them, thus the green.

This the impressive Holei Sea Arch which  was formed from sea water eroding part of the lava flow that makes up this sea coast.  The top of the arch is fenced off, but because people do stupid things, there are signs and explanations warning people not to walk out on the arch!

This gives a sense of the cliffs made from lava flows.  What an incredibly rugged coast.  You sure would not want to be shipwrecked and then wash up on this coast!  Yikes!

This is another view of the different lava flows that came down the hill, and then made their way to the sea.

I took this photograph because I loved the triangular-shaped cloud above a small rise in the lava.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


This is Pa'iloa Beach at Wai'anapanapa State Park.  Don't you love the Hawaiian names?  It is so hard to figure out how to pronounce them.  This is a view off the cliff of the lava flows that make up the coast.  You can see eroded openings underneath some of the lava.  What's really cool is that there is an ocean cave under where I am standing.

This is a view of the cave, looking back toward the entrance from the beach.  The cave is an opening hollowed out of the lava.  It was a really cool place to photograph.  You have to crouch down to make it through the small opening from the beach in the distance.

This is a view of the cave looking the other way.  A lot of people came and went in the cave, and I sat there photographing silhouettes of the visitors.  This was the most interesting silhouette - there were two young women in bathing suits, photographing each other with their cellphone cameras.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rainbow Falls

When we left the town of Volcano, on the big island, right near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we drove to the town of Hilo on the east side of the island.  There we found Rainbow Falls which is 80 feet tall and pours into a pool below.  It is surrounded by vegetation that strangely enough, is not tropical, according to Wikipedia. It is a beautiful falls, but there was no sign of any rainbows.  We were there in the afternoon, and I am thinking that you would have to be there in the morning when the sun was shining on the falls.  Man, there are photographs at every turn in this landscape.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Along the South Shore of Oahau

We spent much of one day visiting sites and beaches on the southeast coast of the island of Oahau, which is the island that Honolulu is located on.  This first photograph shows the magnificent landscape and the two kinds of coast there, as seen from Halona Cove..  In the foreground is the coastline formed by lava flows.  In the distance is a beautiful sand beach at Sandy Beach Park.  Sandy Beach Park is a well known body surfing beach because of the waves there.  The waves, however, are really tricky, and dangerous.  That beach is informally known as "Break Neck Beach" and people have been disabled and even killed there, when they were dumped on their heads on the beach, by a wave.

This is a view of an area at Halona Blowhole Lookout.  At first I thought these towers of rocks were some kind of natural erosion, but then I realized that they are cairns - stones piled like this by people.  This is an area where waves crash all the time, so  I am not sure how long the cairns last.  It is such a strange kind of landscape to see these towers on the edge of the lava.

And this is the main attraction - the blowhole.  You can watch this for a long time, waiting for the perfect wave pattern to arrive so that water and wind is forced up through the blowhole and you are rewarded with this really cool effect!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In the Mist and Fog

On the day we visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we had mist and drizzle and rain off and on all day.  We had bought some clear plastic raincoats to wear to keep us dry.   We were driving on Chain of Craters Road (more on that later) and we would stop and investigate craters and lava flows along the way.  I happened to be following Amy as she made it along this pathway to investigate a cinder cone and photograph it.  I love how she almost blends into the fog in the distance.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sugar Cane

This is the last sugar cane mill on Maui, which closed about a year ago.  Sugar cane was once the most important crop on Maui.  Polynesian settlers introduced sugar cane to Hawaii more than one thousand years ago but at the time they just chewed the stalks.  They started making sugar in 1835 when the first successful plantation was established on the island of Kauai.  I passed this plant on two occasions - coming from the airport and going to the airport four days later.  I could have spent half the day here photographing this abandoned plant!  Instead I had to grab a few shots out the window as we drove by.  There is a sugar museum across the street from this plant and I would have loved to see that as well.   You should know that when the plant was operating, smoke poured from the stacks in the picture.  And as part of the process, the sugar cane fields are burned after the harvest, and people hated the smoke from the fires that made some homes unlivable during the burning.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Photograph a Tree

We went to a beautiful beach to do some snorkeling - Amy found that it was listed as one of the best snorkeling beaches in Hawaii.  When we arrived at the beach, I immediately noticed this sun bleached silver tree at one end of the beach.  I immediately started photographing it as the light changed and I tried different compositions.  I started with wide views and then moved in closer.  Two days later we came back for more swimming and things were different, so I took even more photographs. So here are four of the variations - you can pick your favorite.  And please let me know.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Above The Beach

The ladies were downtown shopping in Honolulu, and I was on my way to hike the trail to the top of Diamondhead.  Only it was closed because they were repairing a rockfall on the trail.  Earlier I had driven by a lighthouse on a cliff, so I went to try and photograph the lighthouse.  What I discovered was that when I stood on the cliff by the lighthouse, I could see a beautiful beach about two hundred feet below.

So I saw some people walking down a trail, and I followed them down to the beach.  There were a number of people down there, some sunbathing and some getting ready to surf.

This surfer with his board stood here for perhaps 5 or 10 minutes while he carefully studied the water and the surf, before he put his board in the water and paddled out.

I walked along the beach to try and get closer to the lighthouse, but this was the best view I could get.

And this is a view of the landscape at the bottom of the hill.  I love the neutral brown colors and the faint green color in the distance.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I have written about and showed you the shrimp truck.  So this is everyone eating the shrimp from the truck.  See all those smiles?  That was some awesome Louisana style spicy shrimp!  There are a couple of picnic tables set up near the truck so people can sit and enjoy their meal.

This is everyone, getting ready to eat again!  Maybe 20 miles or so after the shrimp, we stopped at a collection of maybe 10 food trucks.  That's where I found my wonderful Kona Mocha Latte.  Here everyone is quizzing the coffee merchant before ordering their drinks.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Banzai Pipeline

There were a couple of places I definitely wanted to see while visiting Hawaii and this was one of them.  This is Ehukai Beach Park on O'ahu's North Shore, and the location of The Banzai Pipeline, one of the most famous surf reef breaks in the world.  This yellow surfboard signals that is the location of one of the lifeguard stations.

A reef break is an area in the ocean where waves start to break once they reach the shallows of a reef. Pipeline is notorious for huge waves which break in shallow water just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride.  Waves reach heights of 9 to 12 feet and above, and people come here from all over the world to surf these monsters.  This is the actual beach which is the location of the Banzai Pipeline.  Guess what?  There were no ocean swells, so the water was flat as a pancake.  The big waves usually form starting in November and on through winter.  Here is a link to a YouTube video of Banzai Pipeline and surfers:

We stopped to talk to a couple of lifeguards on the beaches, and they were so friendly and happy to explain some of the stories of this famous beach and of the history of surfing, and of the Pipeline.  This is Johnny, who has lived here all his life.  He is the son of a famous father who was a surfer and diver.  Talking to people like Johnny made the trip such a rich experience.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Food Trucks

We did a lot of eating at food trucks alongside the roads we were traveling on.  We ate some awesome food from these places!  The Shrimp Shack had some killer shrimp with a spicy sauce, and this vendor has won prizes from both the Food Network, and Best Restaurants in Hawaii.

We stumbled across a field filled with perhaps 10 trucks of vendors of different kinds of food, coffee, and clothing.

I had an amazing Iced Kona Mocha Latte that was out of this world, from this truck.  It was fun spending time talking to the owner, who was a businessman in some other state before moving to Hawaii and buying this coffee truck.

This vendor was not open, but they had a great display, with the bright yellow surfboard which matches the yellow school bus.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Starting Over

I have taken so many photographs on this trip, that there was no way I could post the photographs as fast as I took them.  So I am starting over, and posting images from the trip, starting at the beginning.  This is the Arizona Memorial, in honor of the USS Arizona which was sunk by a Japanese bomb on December 7, 1941.  The bomb set off the power magazine, and the ship exploded suddenly.  It happened so quickly and the explosion was so powerful that the ship sank suddenly, and 1,177 Officers and crewmen died.  Many are still entombed in the hull.

So these are photographs of the outside and the inside of the memorial, which was constructed so that it spanned the sunken hull, without touching it.

This wall has inscribed on it the names of all those lost in the attack.

This is one of the supports for a huge gun turret on the ship, mounted on one of the decks of the battleship.  There were four of these turrets mounted on the ship.  After the sinking, parts of the Arizona were saved to use on other ships, and the gun turret with three huge guns was removed from this mount.

There is an opening in the floor of the memorial structure spanning the ship, and it gives a view of the hull.  Depending on the sea condition, sometimes you can see the sunken hull more easily.

It was a very sober and moving experience to visit the ship and the memorial.