Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Observatories on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii.

Dylan managed to convince a visitor that the observatories on the distant mountain were porta-potties.  I think the scientists running the $2 Billion dollar space marvels would be horrified at such a claim. 

On top of the world. 
Some people claim that Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, if you measure from the sea floor at -19,000 and add the 14,000 above sea level = 33,000. Probably not a scientific approach. 

 The landscape is surreal, red cinder dotted with gigantic  observatories contrasting against a  perfect blue sky wrapped in crisp white clouds. The atmosphere is perfect for star gazing.  Hilo town even has yellow lights to avoid lighting the sky. 
Hostile but incredibly beautiful

 Mauna Kea is one of the only places in the world where you can drive from sea level to 14,000 ft in about 2 hours, so altitude sickness is a high possibility. http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/visiting-the-summit.html
Hello? is someone out there?

This fascinating link will tell you about each observatory as you hover your mouse over it. http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/

Top of Maui Volcano in the distance,
it appears to float in the clouds.

Looking onto Mauna Loa shield volcano. Mauna Loa is almost the same height as Mauna Kea, almost 14000 feet above sea level or for those who use the metric system, 4000 meters.  The air is thin at this altitude.  We move about slowly trying not to expend much energy.

On top of the world.

Its cold at 14000 feet. Also quiet, very quiet. 

Spotlighting the Big Island, Hawaii

Green Sea Turtle's enjoy the company of these small fish who clean the turtles by nibbling the algae off the shells.
Pele the volcano goddess.
Rugged cliffs of South Point, the most Southerly part of the USA and Hawaii

Late afternoon fishing, Richardson Beach, Hilo
Lava rocks

4 Mile Beach Hilo Hawaii

The mighty Pacific Ocean as seen from 4000 foot above sea level. 

Surfers paradise Hawaii

Japanese garden in Hilo Hawaii

Roots of the Indian Almond tree

Banyan Drive Hilo Hawaii

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Orchid Island, Hawaii

The Orchid Society plans to beautify Hilo even more, and have planted 500 orchids at the Rainforest Zoo.
Orchids growing up a palm tree in Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

Orchid on a Banyan Tree on Banyan Drive

Exotic orchids grow freely up banyan trees, coconut trees and in most gardens.
Only 3 species of orchid are indigenous to Hawaii, the rest are transplants of more recent history. Hawaii's damp climate and rain forests are a haven for orchids.

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens
Our eldest daughter took most of these photo's in Akatsuka Orchid Gardens near Volcano Park.