If it's warm you want from these Hawaiian pics, let's try the volcano today! It's a good thing I didn't see this before I wrote my Mystic series or I'd have serious problems imagining my much more picturesque version.
We spent hours listening to the scientific explanations of these holes and crevasses, but I'm not about to attempt them here. Just remember what I said in an earlier post about the vegetation here needing to be really tough to grow in volcanic soil. This is the still active volcano on the south end of the Big Island. Night time helicopter rides will show the fiery lava moving into the ocean, and even during daytime, the steam and gases rising through the cracked lava crusts show the direction of the flow. It was a bit of work getting down in this hole but that's me hidden in the shadows!
Sherrie asked for flower pictures but my husband is a rock and tree man. There may be a flowering tree in here somewhere... But I ran across this picture first. Hawaii has some truly spectacular waterfalls. This one is on what was originally a private sugarcane plantation, I believe, on the north end of the Big Island. The owners are now converting it to a spectacular botanical garden, complete with their own private rain forest. The windward side of the island is very very wet! That's me in my rain gear in the rain forest. Aren't I photogenic? And yes, that's a giant philododendron behind me.
Sherrie asked about pineapple plantations, but I can't provide any pics, sorry. We did stop at Dole hoping to taste their pineapple sorbet, but we hit it on a day when it was pouring rain and every tour bus on Oahu pulled in with the same thought. But as a gardener and a pineapple lover, I knew they grew on low plants. I had not realized, however, that they routinely whacked the tops and replanted after harvesting the fruit. Labor intensive but good recycling!
The photo is the area around a coffee plantation we stopped at. (aren't those mountains stupendous?) I'm not much of a coffee drinker, so I can't comment on the flavor difference between the much touted Kona coffee and regular old grind at the grocery store, other than the price was eye-popping even without the middle man! But on a wet, dreary day, I appreciated the sample coffee pots accompanied by lovely cream and raw sugar which certainly improved the flavor for this tea drinker. And I'm all too willing to support family farms, so we gave lots of coffee gifts.
Unlike Sherrie, I like photos of nifty things I've heard about but have never seen. (I've seen myself so I never bother taking pictures of me!)
This photo is from the same state park as the tikis. Since some unspeakable person copped the brochure, I can't say if this is an original outrigger, restored or a replica. But this is the kind of boat that would have met the first sailors from Europe.
Watching people taking these boats into the waves fascinated me. I can't imagine the strength and skill it must take, but they broke right through some really rough waters outside our hotel window, moving like fish. Or whales. We saw those, too! I do love the ocean.
And Sherrie asked about the tiki wood that lasted so long---I do not declare myself an expert on Hawaiian vegetation, and my memory is exceedingly bad, but I believe the naturalist said that Hawaii contains some of the most unique vegetation in the world. The islands are so far distant from any other land that it could not be populated easily. And the volcanic rock didn't encourage anything but the hardiest of plants, so those that did grow, mutated into strains different from elsewhere. Koa wood is one of those unique plants. There are others, and how they play into the volcanic structure is another lovely tale, but the pictures aren't as pretty.
Sherrie has guilted me into posting more often and requested more photos. My husband is our photo taker and he has a rather eccentric system of taking pictures of rocks and waves and trees--but not people. Probably because we dodge him because he makes us pose so long.
But he managed to catch our son taking a closer look at the tikis in the village of the native chiefs. I apologize, but I haven't quite got the knack of spelling Hawaiian names correctly, but this is a state park, and anyone visiting the Big Island really needs to spend some time here to get a feel for the native populations (as opposed to the tourist versions).
I would have appreciated the park a great deal more had someone (and I'm not naming names but there were only three of us traveling together...) not hidden the brochure explaining what everything is until we got back to the car. Head swatting ensued.