Temple Grounds, Fire in the water, brilliant creatures

Keauhou bay HI KS2018

June 4th Craig and I went to Hawaii to meet up with his Mom Jude and Sis Lisa. I immediately thought “Birds” and “Volcanos”. After we got our tickets, Kilauea started its new march for the sea… with dramatic, destructive and transformative activity. We saw some beautiful wildlife, some native such as the vulnerable Nene goose, the endangered Green Turtle and much introduced wildlife like wild goats and pigs, the Mongoose and many birds.

Green Turtle KS2018

Mongoose KS2018

Northern Cardinal(F) at Bay 69 Waialea

African crowned cranes at Waikoloa Hilton KS2018

Red-crested Cardinal (tanager) Waikoloa KS2018

Spotted Dove  KS2018

Japanese white-eye? KS2018

Java Sparrows KS2018

I hoped to see some of it up close if possible. When we got there, landing on the far Kona side of the island, we saw little impact from the eruption, except some slightly voggy days.

From a high cliff over Hilo, we did see billowing steam and smoke clouds forming over the area that the Lava was pouring into the sea, and a smoke cloud forming over the Lava flows. 

Steam/Smoke/Laze from lava entering the sea KS2018

Green Anole Hilo Hi KS2018

Green Anole with pink dewlap  KS2018
While driving back on the Saddle road over Mauna Kea from Hilo we could see the fires reflecting red off of the smoke and clouds in the distance. At one point, we could detect a distinctive burning mineral smell…
Evening view from Mauna Kea  KS2018

 By the time we looked into Helicopter trips over the lava flows, visibility was pretty thick.  This didn't stop us from more adventure, Including night diving with Giant Mantas in Keauhou bay south of Kona. (We went with Sea Paradise and had a great time) We saw 2-3 juvenile Mantas feeding in our area, it was from as close as inches away... even though they were youngsters, they were still 8 feet across! I got to look right down the throat of one and it was thrilling! There were also many blue Ulua (Travalle) fish in the water feeding on the plankton attracted to the lights.

Keauhou bay HI KS2018

Keauhou bay HI KS2018
The best snorkeling we experienced was in Honaunau Bay, also known as "Two Steps" or "The City of Refuge". The reefs were still in pretty great shape, and there were a large variety of fish and other denizens to swim with. Across the bay to the south is located Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

 This was my favorite Hawaiian Cultural Experience.

Hale o Keawe, the Royal Mausoleum and Ki'i representing Hawaiian gods. KS2018

Royal Anchialine fish ponds KS2018

Red Crested Cardinal (tanager) KS2018

Saffron Finch (tanager) KS2018

As the time went on though, more and more Vog blocked the views of Mauna Kea (Second highest mountain in the world- measured from the sea floor where it starts) and its topping of 13 astronomical observation Telescopes.

Mauna Kea from Waikoloa KS2018

By the time we were getting ready to fly home, the Vog had really moved in and breathing got more difficult.  Such a great trip though!


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