Monday, August 30, 2010

On the Ascent to Mauna Kea

One day, we decided to drive a road called Saddle Road, because it cuts right between the two largest volcanoes on Hawaii, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The above shot is one that I took as we drove up the winding road that switched-back up Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea sits at about 14,000 feet above sea level, but the interesting thing is that it actually starts its ascent way below sea level, so that it's total height is about 30,000 feet - higher than Everest! Of course, no one counts what's ever below sea level, so we're left with 14,000.
This is a view of Mauna Loa from almost the top of Mauna Kea. I say "almost the top" because our poor little rental car just wouldn't go any higher than about 12,000 feet. It just stopped advancing up the road, even tho Jeff had the accelerator floored! Since we couldn't make it up to the top of Mauna Kea, we didn't even try to get to the top of Mauna Loa. We knew we'd never make it! Enjoy the beautiful sky, clouds and volcano!

In A Submarine

Here are some photos I took when we went for a ride in a submarine! The photos all have a blue cast (obviously!) which wasn't as noticeable when we were in the sub, but I managed to get some fairly decent shots to give you the effect of how cool it was down there! The above photo is of a school of bright yellow fish chasing after a larger, darker colored fish - or so it seemed! Actually, they were just playing & sort of swooping around a coral reef.
Here's a slightly closer view of the grumpy looking larger fish! He definitely doesn't look happy.

There were a couple of shipwrecks that we came across. Here's a close-up of one with one of the little yellow guys checking out some of the rigging on one of the wrecks. I like the sort of dreamy effect of this shot.

And, here's a very eerie shot of the second shipwreck, a ship informally called the Crazy Lady, due to the very drunk woman who caused her sailboat to become a shipwreck. She was rescued, so it wasn't a deadly shipwreck. Still, I couldn't resist this shot, as we moved away from this ship. Enjoy this very different look of Hawaii.....from down under.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

See the the path of the smoke in the above photo? It's the new path of the lava flow from Kilauea. It was disappointing - everyone is used to being able to see the actual lava, and Kilauea had the reputation of being the most accessible volcano, perhaps in the world. One used to be able to (relatively) walk across the lava field (cooled lava) to the red hot lava. Not any more (darn!). We walked about 3/4 of a mile to see the lava from the new place the lava flows. But, for whatever reason, we weren't allowed to get close enough to see it.
The above photo is of the old lava flow from Kilauea. You can see the darker path in the photo - that's the area that used to be covered with the red hot lava. Still, it's a cool photo showing how the island of Hawaii is continuing to grow....naturally!!
I love this photo of another volcano crater at Kilauea - the 'Iki Crater. As we walked along a path to some lava tubes, you had the lush ferns in front of you and beyond them, the smoking 'Iki Crater. With the beautiful blue sky beyond, it creates a sort of eerily pretty scene.

This is a rather up front photo of the Halema'uma'u Crater in the park. The crater was pretty evenly round - funny how symmetrical nature can be sometimes, isn't it? And, yes, the smoke issuing from the crater was sort of bluish - that's no illusion! Enjoy!

Black Sand Beaches at Panalu'u - Hawaii

While driving to Volcano National Park, we stopped at the black sand beach at Panalu'u. Actually, it's really not sand, it's just very well ground lava rock! Altho you can't really see the "sand" in these photos, it was just a beautiful place! I loved the color of the mossy rocks in the above photo. It sounds a bit odd, but they seemed really lush!
And the color green of the ground cover that grew close to the shore was so vibrant, I just had to include a photo of that!

And, finally, the color of the water here was just magnificent! I loved the sort of striped look to the waves in this shot. Plus, the waves crashing against the rocks created such a wonderful feel to the area. Enjoy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scenes Around the Hotel - Hawaii

Isn't this a great image? I just loved the multiple shadows of the palm trees echoing the actual palm tree. This is a beach that we played around at, just down the road from our hotel. The snorkeling was pretty good here, altho we didn't snorkel. We just enjoyed the warm water, sun, and the fun patterns that the palm trees formed!
This was the view from our hotel room. We looked down at a little lagoon, just outside our hotel. We played around in this little protected cove, too. It was a very pretty view and quite relaxing!

This is a view of hotel taken from a restaurant just down the street. It's kind of zen-looking, don't you think? I like the way the trees sort of frame it.

Ahhhh, the nights in Hawaii are just magic - warm, tropical breezes, palm trees and tiki torches illuminating the immediate area.
Enjoy - aloha!

Flowers and Ferns from Hawaii

Here are the first set of photos from our trip to Hawaii a week or so ago. It's taken me a while to process all the fabulous images and try to narrow them down to a good variety of what we saw. The above photo was taken at Akaka Falls on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii. I just love the way the blooms, ferns and leaves just seem to be reaching for each other. It also gives me a calm feeling, altho I can't say why.
What would Hawaii be without the beautiful hibiscus that seems to bloom everywhere? This bloom is a very high energy hot pink color, but we also saw brilliant red, yellow that seemed to just reach out and grab you, and luscious apricot colored hibiscus as well.

I'm actually not sure what the above bloom is. I know this sounds a bit odd, but the top of this bloom reminds me a lot of a pineapple. I know that pineapples grow from a similar type growth, but I don't think this is actually a pineapple bloom. Still, it reminds me of life and how it just keeps emerging and recreating itself every day.

And, I know this isn't actually a bloom, but there are fabulous ferns in so many places throughout Hawaii, I just had to include it. I really like the way the light plays on this fern, creating a mysterious feel. Kind of like Hawaii - to truly see and enjoy it, you need to explore and discover its many facets.
Enjoy - more photos to come over the coming days!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August Sunrise

What a glorious sunrise we had this morning! And, I was so glad the New Mexico sky decided to show off! We have had visitors for the weekend, and today is the day they leave, so this was a wonderful send off for them! I love the rays in the above shot - the sun is actually pretty high up into the clouds.
And, off to the north, the sunrise created some beautiful pink & purple colors to the clouds over the Sangri de Christo mountains (I think I spelled them correctly!). It's kind of funny to think of a sunrise as being pink and purple, but that's the magic of the New Mexico sky!

This was actually toward the beginning of the sunrise. It seems that there's a little bit of every color going here. Gosh, I just love sunrises here. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jeff & His Flying Machine

What a beautiful day for flying! Jeff thought so, too! He had been working on his plane, and got it put together, so he took it out on a test flight, just to make sure things were all working the way they should. He did a series of "touch and go's" where he lands and then immediately rev's the engine and takes off again. I didn't have my camera for the first take-off, but ran into the house and got it in time for the second!

I liked the above shot because it looks exactly like what it was out today - the wild blue yonder! What great clouds and sky we had today!

This was the third take-off. He actually turned a bit so that he took off directly over me. I was pretty close to the runway, but not directly on it, which I'd have to be to get this shot otherwise! I like the silhouette look of the plane against that wonderful sky.

I really like the above shot. It just speaks to me of freedom. No wonder Jeff loves to fly.

And, here he is - safe and sound on the ground! What a great morning to fly.....and to photograph it!