Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and A Little Orchid Love.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
~John Muir

After our visit to Pana'ewa, we head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I'll admit that I was half expecting to see active lava, since we were literally standing inside of the most active volcanoes in the world.

The sign at one of the main lookout points said that the summit of Kilauea (the volcano) collapsed about 500 years ago, forming the huge volcanic depression that we were standing in. They call it Kilauea Caldera. There is an Inner Caldera (where the steam is coming from) and an Outer Caldera where we were standing.

The dried up lava was really interesting too see. I could see the patterns of its flow and then tiny wisps of greenery poking up at out of it.

Very little can actually grow in the area, only small trees and grasses due to the scalding temperatures from the magma below. It is believed that a shallow body of magma, or more likely solidified hot rock is directly underneath the lookout areas. There are large wisps of steam and sulfurous gas that rises up all around along the Crater Rim Drive.

from volcano: steam
expected to see lava
silly tourist dream

My attempt at a haiku and I even ended up rhyming. I'm not sure that's allowed in haiku. Oh well.

The steam vents blow with a pretty strong force and seem to pop up all over. I kept pointing out when I'd see more along the drive toward the museum and visitors center. The first time I called it out I sort of sung it, "Steeeam Vents," which made Stephen think I was saying his name in a disapproving way. It was actually kind of funny and sort of stuck the whole trip.

Interestingly, after I got home from Hawaii, I met some people who had just moved from Hawaii to Utah in the middle of winter. I apologized on behalf of the smoggy Salt Lake Valley at the time and they, in turn, told me about the "vog" that residents of Hawaii have to endure. Vog, meaning volcano smog. I'd say that I MUCH prefer San Francisco fog over Salt Lake smog or Hawaii vog. :)

On our way back to the ship, we made a stop at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. It was a bit more of a store with a huge greenhouse, but I didn't mind. The variety of orchids was stunning.

Just beautiful! They were giving away single orchid blooms with bobby pins attached to put in your hair. I wore one and got one for Mom, who, of course, was "home" sick. After putting the blooms in cups of water, they stayed fresh until the end of the cruise.

I think I'm going to have to baby my orchid plant, which hasn't bloomed for two years. It's still alive, but I think it needs some help. We learned that it the Cattelaya variety of orchids, it takes six and a half years for them to mature from a seed to a blooming plant. Makes me feel that I really need to take care of the ones I buy because they represent someone's hard work and patience.

The one on the left looks like it has a little face in the middle.

Next port: Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu where we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and a got a full guided tour of the island from a man named Tiny. :) Stay tuned.

(Written July 26, 2013)

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