Category Archives: Places

A plethora of purple

A Bee approaches a purple bougainvillea

This week’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge is ‘Purple.’ See more responses here.

I’d like to say I have some kind of theme going here, but I don’t, outside the color.

First up is a bee approaching a very purple bougainvillea.

In the gallery, we have a Fiery Skipper butterfly feeding on a Blue Heliotrope (Heliotropium amplexicaule) flower, a purple and white spider lily, and some dark purple Helmet Urchins clinging tenaciously to a rock.

A Purple Ice Cream sign at Kapaau, Hawaii

Then there’s a sign advertising purple ice cream. Not sure what flavor that is, but I’m a bit wary.

And finally, a lush purple orchid.

A purple orchid in Hawaii

View of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa

A View of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa from Kohala Mountain Road in hawaii

There’s still a bit of snow on top of both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Every time it looks like it’s going to disappear, a new dusting bolsters the coverage.

This view is from Kohala Mountain Road. The dark strip snaking through the center of the photo is housing alongside Kawaihae Road, which goes down to the coast. These houses are part of the town of Waimea, which sits in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Kohala Mountain. This part of Waimea is known as the dryside because it receives significantly less rainfall than areas on the east side of the saddle, which is known, correctly, as the wetside.


The Kalahikiola Congregational Church in Kapaau, Hawaii
The St. Augustines Episcopal Church in Kapaau, Hawaii
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hawi, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Churches, Temples, and Spiritual Centers.’ See more responses here.

Here’s a few of the churches that can be found in this part of the island.

Kalāhikiola Congregational Church (top photo) is located east of Kapaau, where rainfall is plentiful and the foliage lush. It was built in 1855, though previous versions had existed for some years before this. The church was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2006, but rebuilt in the winter of 2009/2010.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church (second photo) was founded in 1884 in Kapaau, and expanded in 1913. It sits on a small hill by the main highway.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (third photo) was founded in Hawi in 1905, but this structure was built in 1925 and continues to be used daily to this day.

Kohala Baptist Church (bottom photo) is located on the road to Pololu at Makapala. It can’t be seen from the road, but there is a sign by the highway pointing out the way. Currently, the church is undergoing some renovations and services are held in the area below the Royal Poinciana tree on the grounds.

The Kohala Baptist Church in Kapaau, Hawaii

Another invasive species

A cell phone tower disguised as a tree in Hawaii

I went for a drive up Old Saddle Road yesterday and noticed this unusual tree. It is, of course, that now ubiquitous invasive species, the cell phone tower. At least this one had the good grace to try and blend into its surroundings, and does a decent job of it.

This ‘tree’ is located on the grounds of Camp Kilohana, the Girls Scouts Camp on the Big Island.

Posted for Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge. See more responses here.

Road closed

The spot where the 2022 Mauna Loa eruption crossed the road to the observatory
The spot where the 2022 Mauna Loa eruption crossed the road to the observatory

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Roads, Paths, and Streets.’ See more responses here.

After a recent hike off Saddle Road, I had time to take a drive up one of my favorite roads on the island, which leads to the Mauna Loa Observatory. Well, it used to; it doesn’t get there anymore. That’s because a flow from last fall’s eruption of Mauna Loa crossed the road a few miles short of its destination. I was curious to see what the scene looked like now.

The cloudy skies added some atmosphere to the drive which was, as always, a lot of fun. It’s a winding one lane road, so even though there’s little traffic, one has to pay attention. Any distraction could result in driving off the road into the inhospitable lava fields bordering it.

I confess, my secret hope was that, when I arrived at the flow, there would be a sign saying ‘Road Closed.’ Alas, that was not the case. Clearly, the Department of Transportation figured the seven foot high wall of lava conveyed the message well enough on its own. The only sign there warned against walking on the new flow. I didn’t need that warning. This is a’a lava which is really hard to walk on anyway, and in a new flow it could be quite unstable and even harbor pockets where one could fall through into still hot lava! Still, I’m sure some folks have clambered up there just because it’s there.

I took a few photos, then turned around and headed back down, not least because it was damp, windy and I was freezing, which is not why anyone comes to, or lives in, Hawaii.

The HISEAS dome on the slopes of Mauna Loa

On the drive down, I got a good view of the HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) dome. This is where teams of volunteers do research for what it would be like to be living on the Moon or Mars. I’m not sure if it’s in use since the COVID shutdown, but at least it survived the last eruption.

Clouds meet the and on the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii

Farther down, the land seemed to be steaming, but in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the weather often seems to be part of the landscape.

The Mauna Loa Observatory Road on a cloudy afternoon

And the views, which change with every twist in the road, are strange and stunning and wonderful. It may not be possible currently to reach the end of the road, but it’s still a great drive.