Tag Archives: Mauna Kea

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).

Subaru Telescope visit

The Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii at sunset
The Subaru Telescope at sunset.

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Going Back….’ See more responses here.

I was thinking about posting photos going back to my first visit to Hawaii, but in looking at them, I realized that I’d never posted photos from my tour of the Subaru Telescope, which I took a few months after moving here. At the time, the Subaru Telescope was the only one on the summit of Mauna Kea that offered tours to the general public, though the tours have been shut down by the current Covid situation.

I particularly remember the fabulous views from the walkway around the exterior of the telescope. The interior of the telescope was also interesting, though in the abstract way of a giant piece of equipment. This is not a telescope where one gets to put an eye to the lens to see what’s going on, though I was charmed to learn that when Princess Sayako of Japan dedicated the telescope in 1999, she was able to do just that because a special eyepiece had been constructed for that purpose!

The Subaru Telescope is a Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope. It has a large field of view which makes it ideal for wide-field sky surveys. For more information about the Subaru Telescope, visit https://subarutelescope.org/en/. The telescope’s live camera stream captured a cool video of last month’s Perseid Meteor Shower which can be seen here.

View of Mauna Kea

A view of Mauna Kea from Kohala Mountain Road.

This view of Mauna Kea is interesting for a couple of reasons, neither of which have to do with Mauna Kea itself.

The first is that it shows the dry side of Waimea, which is to say some of the western part of the town. The dry side gets considerably less rain and more blue skies than the wet side though the separation is only a few miles.

The second point of interest is that this view looks nothing like this today. The area between the dark line of trees and the base of the clouds is where the recent brushfire went through. So it’s not currently green and pastoral. It’s more black and brown and apocalyptic.

The good news is the land will recover, assuming there are no more fires for a while.

The great outdoors

A view of Hualalai from the water
Hualalai from the water.
A sailboat enters Kawaihae Harbor
A sailboat returns to harbor.

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

In Hawaii, people spend a great deal of time outdoors. It’s common for people to have an outdoor kitchen, sometimes their only kitchen, sometimes a second one where a barbecue is the featured cooking apparatus. Carports often feature chairs and tables with cars parked elsewhere. The lanai, or deck, is as well-used as any room in the house.

Outdoor activities are popular here, too. Many involve the ocean and its inviting water: swimming, snorkeling, paddling, and of course surfing. Plenty of people go fishing and hunting, longtime sources of food for the table.

For me, experiencing the great outdoors primarily involves hiking and snorkeling. Hiking isn’t especially popular here, especially along the coast where it can get quite hot. I get strange looks when I hike the length of popular beaches togged out in hiking gear, including shoes, hat, and fanny pack loaded with water. For most, the beach is a place for stretching out and broiling in the sun, not actively working up a sweat.

The vast majority of photos on this blog are taken in the great outdoors. These photos are a small selection of things I’ve seen while out and about, from sweeping views to birds and bugs.

A view of Kohala Coast from Koai'a Tree Sanctuary
A view of the south Kohala Coast from Koai’a Tree Sanctuary
View of Mauna Kea from Pu'u Wa'awa'a bench
A view of Mauna Kea from Pu’u Wa’awa’a.

Atop Mauna Kea

Three telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea at sunset
A wind turbine with snow covered Mauna Kea in the background

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Mountain Top.’ See more responses here.

Mauna Kea is the highest mountain on earth, when measured from its base to its peak. It logs in at 33,476 feet, 13,803 of which are above sea level.

The top photo is a late afternoon view from near the summit of Mauna Kea, with the Subaru Telescope on the left and the two Keck Telescopes to the right. The top of the cloud layer lies a thousand or more feet below them, which is one of the reasons it’s such a prime site for astronomy.

The second photo is a view from Upolu, showing the summit with a lot of snow on it. While this photo was taken in February, the volcano is high enough that snow can fall at any time of year.

More black and white photos

Clouds swirl around Pu'u Ahumoa on the slopes of Mauna Kea
Surf crashes ashore at Mahukona, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Best Black & White Photos.’ See more responses here. Having posted only one black and white photo until recently, this is the second such post in a couple of weeks.

In the top photo, clouds swirl around Pu’u Ahumoa on the southwest slope of Mauna Kea. The second photo shows surf crashing against the same wharf seen in the previous post. Last, but by no means least, is a photo of a tide pool on the North Kohala coast.

A tide pool on the North Kohala coast, Hawaii