Sunday, March 18, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
The little cinamon and black Chestnut Munia plucks small seeds off the grass...
Saturday, March 10, 2018
|Black Triggerfish and Yellow Tang|
Friday, March 09, 2018
Of course, Hawaii was created by a magma hot spot in the middle of the Pacific Plate, and as the plate slowly moves over millions of years, the magma rises to make and island, then the plate moves northwest and a new island forms. The island of Hawaii has active volcanoes and the National Volcano Park does a great job of explaining the process. When we were here 20 years ago, we drove down to watch the lava pour into the ocean at sunset, but that flow has stopped for a while.
Hawaii actually has 5 volcanoes, 3 of which are active. You can see lava flows from 200 years ago when driving to the airport at Kona on the west coast. We were at about 4,000 feet elevation when we went to the park, and the summits are much higher.
Pahoehoe is the lava that flows smoothly and makes ropy formations.
A'a is lava that makes sharp rocky formations. The black beaches are lava that exploded into small sand sized pieces when entering the ocean. There are even green beaches, where the lava formed olivine, a green stone.
When the first humans arrived, there was little variety in plants and animals. Huge tree ferns were everywhere.
Pigs brought by people and released, love to eat the fiddleheads in the tree ferns, knocking then completely over to reach them. Thus the ferns became harder to find. The Park Service built a big fence around the park boundaries and killed the pigs, so these ferns and many other native plants and animals are thriving now. We heard native birds in the trees, but I only saw one red one distinctly.
The native ohi'a tree is the first to grow in a lava field, and has several adaptations to help it survive in such an inhospitable place.
The highlight of this trip was seeing a flock of about 15 Nene geese grazing on a golf course! They are endangered as are many of the native species.
In 2008, Kilauea developed a lava lake in the bottom of the crater. The level rises and falls a mile away from the observation area. At night, the lava glows in the bottom of the crater, and the park stays open for viewing it. Really exciting! Our guide says that sometimes you see the goddess Pele in photos of the steam rising from the crate. Take a look -- do you see anything?
Wednesday, March 07, 2018
|White-tailed Tropic Bird|