Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Natural Wonders of the Big Island of Hawaii

This is a rare lenticular cloud. It swirls around like a cyclone. When I took a sightseeing plane from Maui over the Big Island of Hawaii, we encountered this cloud and even our pilot was in awe, which reinforced that it was a special sight.
This is the coastline of the Big Island. You can visualize how centuries ago the lava flow met the ocean and formed the cliffs and coves that provide such delightful scenery.
On a helicopter flight taken when my mother and I were staying on the Big Island, we passed by close to the steam coming from the crater of an active volcano on Hawaii.
Here is a close look down to the edge of the crater. Obviously the only way to see such sights is from a helicopter. They are not cheap, but the sight is well worth the cost.
Lava flowing! Looking down on the lava fields provided multiple sights of flowing lava. In many cases the grey crust covered the lava, but in some places the molten hot lava underneath had broken through the hardened, crusty surface to expose the flowing, hot lava.
Here is a closer photo of the rim of the volcano. To me, it looks more like the moon than the earth.
We are back on the ground. After the adrenaline rush of the helicopter ride, we were ready for the serenity of the Hawaiian coast. The neighboring island of Maui is barely visible in the distance. The Hawaiian Islands were formed with the oldest islands to the northwest and the newest islands to the southeast. That would make the Big Island of Hawaii as the newest of the Hawaiian Islands, and, indeed it is still being formed by a volcano and has a lot of terrain that is still just lava fields.
Here is one more scene from the helicopter. The helicopter pilot flew up into a series of canyons where we could see the lush vegetation, sometimes with waterfalls cascading down the canyon walls.

7 comments:

brattcat said...

That first shot is extraordinary. Hawaii feels so different from any other state in the union. It is like a wild thing, barefoot and mischievous and beautiful and proud.

JM said...

Gorgeous aerial views! I'm still in awe at that cloud, have never seen anything of the kind. Amazing!

Memphis MOJO said...

What a beautiful area of the world, and great job capturing the images.

Joanne said...

Wonderful! What an amazing cloud... extraordinary looking formation. Hawaii must be great place to visit:))

glenda said...

That was such a great trip and we really had some beautiful scenery and some adventures as well. The helicopter pilots are so full of interesting information and i recall he even spotted a mother whale and her calf making their way along the coast. Very exciting!

Jim Klenke said...

beautiful images.

Kaori said...

Gorgeous photos of Hawaiian nature...or in this case, Pele! She must of been in a mood again :D

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