Category Archives: Weather

Going to see the fireworks

The lava cone and lake at Kilauea Volcano in late 2021
The lava cone and lake at Kilauea Volcano in late 2021
The lava cone and lake at Kilauea Volcano in late 2021

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes Day in Britain and to celebrate I finally got to see some fireworks, albeit of a very different kind and in the wee hours of the morning instead of the traditional Bonfire Night.
I got up just after 1 a.m., left the house around 2 a.m. and drove over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I mostly had a beautiful starlit night for the drive except for about 15 minutes over the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa when I was driving through cloud and not entirely sure whether there was any other traffic despite barreling along at 60 mph.

I made good time, arriving at the park around 4:30 a.m. and the viewing point about 15 minutes later. There were around 20 people already there, but a prime viewing spot was open so I set up my tripod and camera and began taking photos.

The viewing area was a place I’d stopped by during the previous eruption in December 2020. That spot only allowed a view of the glow of the eruption, which was lower in the crater. This time the eruption was higher up and the trail had been extended so that a good view could be had of both the eruption site and the crater floor the lava was flowing onto.

The eruption began on September 29, 2021 through a series of vents, but by October 4 this had settled down to two vents and by October 6 to the single vent in the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater seen in these photos.

The eruption has added about 184 feet of lava to the previous lava lake level and though it appears to have slowed a tad lately, it still put on a good show with a good deal of spattering and some smaller fountains of lava. The active vent has formed its own cone with lava spilling into the lake through a gap in the cone. Recently, a bridge formed over that cone so that the lava spills out though a short tunnel as can be seen in these photos.

I stuck around until the sun rose high enough to illuminate the slopes of Mauna Loa and then headed back to the car. After a spot of hiking, the return drive and some shopping in Waimea. I got home around 2:30 p.m.. A long day, but well worth it in my book.

Hapuna sunset

Sunset at Hapuna, Hawaii

After a late day at work, I was driving down a hill on the way home when I saw the sun setting behind a line of palm trees. There was nowhere to pull over, so I rolled the window down, angled the car across the center line, got this photo, and then got back on track. I hasten to add that this didn’t occur on the main highway, but on the way down to it, with no other traffic in sight. I’m not that irresponsible. I think.

One of our rotors is missing

A wind turbine at Hawi Wind Farm has its rotor removed for maintenance

Yesterday, I stopped by Hawi Wind Farm on my way back from a walk because I’d seen this scene on the drive down. The rotor is, of course, not missing. It’s lying flat at the base of the turbine. And it wasn’t just one rotor in this position. A second turbine also had the rotor removed.

Ironically, it was a sunny day with virtually no wind but, because it was Sunday, no one was working. They’ll probably be back when the 40 mph winds and lashing rain kick in again, just to make the work challenging!

Posted in response to Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge. See more responses here.

Trees and cloud

Trees and clouds on the slopes of Mauna Kea, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Eerie.’ See more responses here.

I couldn’t think of too many eerie things amongst my photos. This image of trees on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea, shrouded in cloud, is as close as it gets. This is a fairly common occurrence as clouds tend to build up during the day and often reach this area in the afternoons.

Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Sky’ (See more responses here), and to the current Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Weather’ (See more responses here).