This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Night.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.
On December 21st of last year, I went down to the coast to get a clear view of the ‘Christmas Star.’ This event was the closest coming together of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in almost 800 years. This isn’t to say that the planets themselves would be closer, but from our planet, they would appear so, so close that they would seem to be a single large ‘Christmas Star.’
I got down to the coast before sunset and stayed until it got dark enough that I knew I wouldn’t get more decent photos. I knew my best shot would be with some foreground still visible. The top photo is the best I could do with my camera. The two planets can clearly be seen close together, but with a sliver of late evening sky between them.
I headed home, downloaded the photos, and went to bed not long afterwards. Why the early night? Well, the next day I planned to drive over to see the new eruption at Kilauea Volcano, in the pre-dawn darkness, which required a 1 a.m. start. (That story can be found here.)
It was as I was wrapping up taking photos of the eruption that I turned to see the eastern horizon lightening. But there were still some stars visible in the sky and the brightest light of all was the planet Venus. That’s when I took the second photo before heading back to the car to start the three hour trip back home.
The skydiving business, operating out of Upolu Airport, was busy during the holidays. A typical flight deploys a pair of tandem skydivers, where a paying customer is attached to an experienced skydiver.
I was out walking when these people jumped out of the plane. After the chutes opened they maneuvered around before landing back at the airport. The lower picture is a composite of three photos, giving an idea of how they spiraled down.
Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.
I was at the Palila Forest Discovery Trail, on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea, when I looked up and saw this Hawai’i amakihi, a native honeycreeper. When I got home, I was happy to find that one of my photos had caught the bird in mid hop, from one branch to another.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2020 Retrospective.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.
In this retrospective I’ve focused on events and photos that were uplifting for me during the difficult year that was. Most of these photos haven’t run before, but were taken at the same time as those in posts that ran in 2020. Links to the original posts are at the end of the captions.
As the sun sets on this strange, unhappy year, here’s a photo of a more tranquil sunset. The long, low island on the left is Kahoʻolawe, with Lānaʻi visible just to the right of it. The southern coast of Maui is on the right.
The coastal regions of Hawaii are dotted with tsunami warning signs. Basically, any place within reach of a tsunami gets a sign.
I came across this sign while hiking the Puna Coast Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It stood out as a dot of color in a field of lava and scrubby grasses. What I liked about the sign was its sage advice ‘In case of earthquake, immediately go to high ground or inland.’ At this spot, the high ground is inland, so that kills two birds with one stone.
On the other hand, getting to that high ground inland involves scrambling over a mile or more of rough lava. Also, if the earthquake was big enough, it might just mean that you could encounter lava from a new eruption heading down to the coast to meet you. The sign doesn’t offer any advice on what to do then!
For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.
I wasn’t paying too much attention to this vehicle as I drove behind it in Kailua Kona. It had typical school bus shape, colors, and lettering, a bit rougher looking than most perhaps, but then some are. But it finally dawned on me that the lettering wasn’t in poor shape; it was deliberate. That’s when I looked closer and saw what was in the back windows.
A converted school bus, someone’s RV or mobile home, and not that cool to be honest.