A month after tropical storm Iselle slammed into the Puna coast on the Big Island of Hawaii, people here are still dealing with the aftermath. There was so much damage, many people still consider it Hurricane Iselle, and don't refer to it as Tropical Storm Iselle.
On August 7, Iselle made her grand entrance. First the electricity went out in the early evening, which meant no lights, tv, hot food or showers, internet, and the fridge would start to get warm. (We don't own a power generator.) Also we lost phone service at the same time. As the evening progressed, the wind howled and we would hear branches from the trees surrounding our house, breaking off.
That night in bed, we held our breath when we would hear a cracking noise, than hear something fall to the ground with a thud. Every held breath was a prayer that nothing would land on our roof or damage our house. The next morning, this is what we saw. About 2 dozen trees -- some quite large -- uprooted, broken, fallen on other trees or lying on the ground. Smaller branches and leaves were on the roof, decks, driveway, and everywhere else.
Our power and phone utilities were not restored until 90 hours later! We spent 5 days living like we were camping out. I don't want to ever go through this experience again, but it did fill me with so much gratitude as things could have been a lot worse.
Now all I need to do is to set up a paypal donation link so we can raise money for a chainsaw!
Today I awoke to see snow on Mauna Kea again. Not as much as a few days ago when this beautiful photo was taken though. I just had to share this stunning photograph by Sarah Anderson who lives in Honoka'a, here on the Big Island of Hawaii.
I love how this photograph of snow on the mountain peaks of Mauna Kea in the background of a peaceful country road scene could be almost anywhere. Photos like this show how wonderful and diverse the climate is on the Big Island.
Living on the Big Island of Hawaii, I have been waiting all winter to see snow on the top peaks of Mauna Kea. This morning it finally happened! And it was a lot of snow, the most I have ever seen, between 1-2 feet according to the forecasters.They also said that temperatures at the summit are expected to remain near freezing, so the beautiful snow capped mountains could last for more than a week.
At 13,678' elevation, Mauna Kea is a magestic mountain that is usually shrouded in clouds, but every once in a while everyone is treated to a clear view of the mountain top with its commanding silhouette.
The Hawaiians named this large mountain Mauna Kea which translates to White Mountain. Absolute Perfection.
This photo is from yesterday, from our local KHON2 television news.
New York, Paris, London, Hilo. Driving around Hilo I have been seeing this on black and white bumper stickers on cars everywhere. What does it mean? I think it can be interpreted in several ways.
Population? New York and London have over 8 million people living there, and Paris over 12 million. Hilo has 43,263 according to the last US 2010 census.
Fame? Pretty much everyone has heard o the cities of New York, Paris and London, but mention Hilo and many people are puzzled. (We are located on the east side of Hawaii Island, affectionately known as the Big Island.)
Famous landmarks? New York has the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Paris is identifed with the Eiffel Tower, and London has Buckingham Palace. Hilo has the Palace Theatre. (opened in 1925)
New York, Paris, and London are know as exciting cities that never sleep and are open 24 hours a day. In Hilo the only place open 24 hours is the local Ken's House of Pancakes.
So what does "New York, Paris, London, Hilo" mean to you? I think Hilo is a state of mind.
I was startled by our dogs frantic barking. I ran to the window and saw a baby black pig almost in our garage! At first I was afraid that a huge angy mama pig would show up and beat up our dogs. However, this little piggy wasn't the least bit afraid of our dogs, even though she was half the size of them.
She had two white colored feet, and the tip of her tail was white, which she waved in friendly surrender.
She responds to our calls and human pig grunts, and really wags her tail happily like a dog while making the cutest grunting sounds.
Okay, she must be someone's pet. She looks like a pot bellied pig. She stayed for about 15 minutes than trotted back down our driveway. We live in a Hawaiian rainforest and there was a light rainy drizzle which created lots of tiny sparkles on her dark colored coat.
The next day we found a note on our gate: Lost pot belly pig, saw her by your driveway (with a phone number). I have called several times but the phone number is never in service. In my gut, I feel that being a pig she is naturally smart, and was never lost. She chose to cruize the neighborhood and then went home because she knew the way back. If not, she would have stayed here where we would have kept her and loved her!
Today the forest is filled with the sound of many different birds happily announcing the arrival of summer. The Hawaiian rainforest which we call home, is bursting with colorful life. Green hapu'u ferns and brightly colored orchids are everywhere we look.
These purple beauties are called Miltonia orchids. This orchid plant is over 10 years old. You can see how the new pseudobulbs grow right over the old ones. These flower blooms will last for several weeks.
The 2011 Ka'u Coffee Festival was a huge success, with thousands of local people and tourist, literally buzzing around from the all-you-can-drink free samples of genuine Ka'u coffee! Besides drinking gourmet internationally recognized Ka'u coffee, there was top notch free entertainment all day, and lots of booths filled with delicious food or interesting arts and crafts.
Our Big Island Handmade tent was a popular stop for people. With inviting smiles from Tanya of Manila Extract, Raven from Molecular Muse, and myself representing Double Brush, fair goers came in to look at and purchase Tanya's stunning Ka'u coffee burlap handbags and pillows. Raven's beautiful sterling sliver jewelry pendants and charms with the visual molecular symbol representing caffeine, were also popular gifts. People enjoyed smelling our Ka'u Coffee soy candles & Hawaiian fragrance soy candles, and sampling our solid perfumes.
Our tent was honored to have Young Miss Ka'u Coffee and her friends stop by.
Many different hula groups from keiki (children) to kapuna (seniors) performed all day to the delight of everyone.
Near the end of the day, Cyril Pahinui graced the stage with his musical talent. It was a wonderful ending to a great day. Dear reader, I hope you are able to make it to the Ka'u Coffee Festival next year, we will definitely be there!
Mahalo to Tanya for providing the terrific photos!
Happy Mother's Day! This gorgeous display of whitle orchids with deep velvety purple throats bloomed just in time for Mother's Day. Living in Hawaii on the Big Island, which is aptly named the Orchid Isle, has been a brown thumb gardener's dream. The differnt orchids I planted on Ohia trees around our house have grown and bloomed on pure neglect!
Mother Nature gives our orchids all the rain, sunshine, and nutrients these orchid plants need. These delicate looking but hardy flowers should bloom for another few weeks.
We are so excited to be a part of this year's Ka'u Coffee Festival on May 14, 2011 at the Pahala Community Center in Ka'u on the Big Island of Hawaii.
This unique Hawaii coffee festival will feature a Ka'u Coffee tasting presentation, a Ka'u Coffee recipe contest, farm tours, music, hula and many booths offering local food, coffee and crafts.
Double Brush will be part of a Etsy collective called "Big Island Handmade". We will be bringing tons of our special Ka'u coffee soy candle votives, Hawaiian soy candles, and Hawaiian scented solid perfumes. We will be sharing a tent with Tanya of Manila Extract who is featuring her finely crafted handbags made from original Ka'u coffee burlap bags, and Raven of Molecular Muse who makes the most extraordinary silver jewelry that represents our favorite things such as coffee, down to the visual molecular make up!
For more information visit the official Kau Coffee Festival site.
Hope to see you there!
The American Cancer Society's West Hawaii inaugural event, the Hawaii Cattle Baron's Ball was a huge hit! This fun and entertaining event held at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows on April 16th, raised almost $52,000 for cancer patients and their families that live on the West side of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Everyone came dressed in their cowboy and cowgirl finest, and some even brought their beautiful horses! There was stellar entertainment including an auction, awesome food, music, and dancing. You can see over 400 photographs of the event at JocksHotShots.com Photos were not enabled to be shared or I would have posted some here.
The Hawaii Cattle Baron's Ball was made possible because of the work and effort of many people including Ken and Mary Colucci who really got the ball rolling -- no pun intended;) They were the ones that called us (Double Brush) and asked if we would be interested in providing Hawaii candle favors for the event.
From what started out as our Hawaii designed candles that we have in stock, quickly turned into custom candle favors once beautiful artwork from Jennifer Buddenhagen was obtained. We suggested doing our natural soy wax candles in red, white and blue colors to represent America, with coordinating Hawaiian fragrances of Tuberose, Plumeria and Hawaii Ocean to represent Hawaii.The artwork was wrapped around each square candle, placed in a crisp poly bag and tied with twine that looked like miniature rope to tie into the cowboy theme.
Recently, Maile Carvalho who is the Community manager of Income Development sent me an email which read in part:
The candles were a big hit just as we predicted. This is a quote from a couple from Illinois that joined us: "The details that are incorporated for a first time event are phenominal, like these different colored candles. You folks have set the bar and we look forward to being invited to more CBBH Events"
This is what 200 custom candle party favors look like! This photo was taken in our art studio before the candles were delivered.
We already have designs in mind for the candle favors at next year's Hawaii Cattle Baron's Ball! Hope to see you there.
So many people's lives have been touched by cancer. More money for research is always needed, but money to help cancer patients and their families are also needed. The American Cancer Society is addressing this issue by raising funds with their first Hawaii Cattle Baron's Ball on April 16, 2011 at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows.
Wear your paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) best, to enjoy ono grinds (delicious food), drinks, gaming, an auction, and a luminaria ceromony beginning at 5:30 pm.
"Come in boots, jeans, a cowboy hat and have a great time," said Colucci. "This is a dedicated party with a purpose, where guests can dress in their Western best to celebrate the Big Island's paniolo heritage and to help fight back against a disease that has taken too many lives."
Tickets are $150, with $65 of that price being tax deductible, Colucci said. Tables of eight or 10 people can also be reserved. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Joy Peters at 895-1805.
Read more about the American Cancer Society's Inaugural Hawaii Cattle Baron's Ball in West Hawaii Today.
Double Brush will also be donating a candle set for the auction, and donating half of the retail price for Hawaiian candle favors. Each participant will be able to take home one of our special Hawaiian soy candle as a keepsake of this special occasion.
We live in the middle of a native Hawaiian rainforest on the Big Island of Hawaii. There are literally hundreds of Ohia trees surrounding our home. Most afternoons we hike around our house with our dogs. I always thought that the trees with lots of moss growing near their base looked like they were legs wearing knitted leg warmers, the kind that humans wear, hence my made up word of log warmer.
What do you think? Please leave a comment.
I found this beautiful hand knitted leg warmer on Etsy made by Ananwang. She also knits arm warmers and sweaters.
Just wanted to share what is currently blooming in our yard. This beautiful purple cattaleya orchid plant that I planted years ago on a native Ohia tree, has 9 perfect flowers blossoms on it! It is right outside of our living room window so we can enjoy looking at these gorgeous blooms every day. Each flower measures about 4 to 5 inches across.
For more photos of our different orchids grown on trees, and directions on how you can grow it too even if you don't live in Hawaii, see our past post How to Grow Orchids on Trees in Hawaii.
Growing beautiful orchids on trees is an easy and rewarding thing to do. Of course it really helps if you live in a famous orchid growing region (east side of the Big Island of Hawaii) where the temperature and humidity are so perfect that your orchids can grow on pure neglect! But please read on as I will also include a link to growing orchids on trees for people who live in other states.
For the past 13 years I have been growing all kinds of orchids on the native Hawaiian Ohia trees which surround our home. (Read how we saved hundreds of Ohia trees on our Big Island rainforest property.)
First carefully take your orchid plant out of its container or pot. Gently loosen the roots and shake off most of the potting soil. Next, look at the tree you have in mind for where you want to place your orchid plant. Try to position the plant where you will be able to see and enjoy it in bloom. The orchid flower blooms will last for weeks! It's nice if you have a crook where the branch comes out of the tree trunk so the orchid plant can nestle in it. If not, you can tie it directly to the side of the trunk securing the orchid plant to the tree with string. Make sure the string is tied snugly around the the plant and secured to the tree so it is not loose and could move in a breeze or fall, but not so tight that the string cuts into the plant. It is better to use natural string or twine so it bio-degrades naturally after some time. You can also add spaghum moss or a piece of hapuu fern bark if you live in a dry area. I did this at first but it rained so much here that it rotted the orchid plant roots and also attracted lots of ants that made a nest in it.
Observe where the direct sunlight hits your tree during the day. Do not place orchid plants in places with lots of full sun unless it is the type of orchid that likes a lot of sunlight. Some of my plants shriveled up and died with the leaves burning and turning black. Most orchid plants do best in areas with filtered sun light or partial shade.
It is important in the beginning to spray your orchids with water (using a water misting bottle) completely everyday so it does not dry out, unless it is raining every day.
Every few months you can spray an orchid fertilizer over the whole orchid plant, according to the manufacturer's directions.
I have over a dozen different varieties of orchids in different sizes, colors, and fragrances, that bloom at different times throughout the year. Cattaleyas, oncidiums, eppidendrums, miltonia, dendrobium, dendrobium nobile, and some others that I forgot the name for.
The top photograph is of a cattaleya orchid plant, and the bottom photograph is of a "chocolate" orchid or brown oncidium orchids, both of these plants are a few years old and have been doing well in our yard.
Most orchids are epiphytic. Epiphytes which literally means "upon the leaf" are sometimes commonly known as "air plants". This means that they grow on trees or other plants and get their moisture from the air. Nutrients are obtained from rain carrying decaying matter over the roots.
It is summer, that time of year when the mountain apple trees in Hawaii are laden with sweet juicy fruit. We were looking forward to more Hawaiian mountain apples from our mountain apple tree in the back yard, but feral pigs have attacked the low branches that were heavy with fruit, and actually broke two of the branches off! I wouldn't have minded so much but they only ate the ripe fruit and so all of the other unripe fruit will go to waste. I have blogged before about wild boars on the Big Island and how to attract or repel them. It pretty much comes down to this, if you have something good to eat on your property and it is not fenced in, you are fare game for pigs to invite themselves to a feast.
Luckily, we still had enough of a Hawaiian mountain apple crop to share with our friends, neighbors, and the people who work at our local post office and library. One postal clerk told me someone else had brought them pickled mountain apples. I have never tried that before but she said it was sort of like pickled mango which I love.
Exactly what are Hawaii mountain apples? Mountain apples (Myrtaceae) or Ohi'a 'ai (pronounced oh-he ah eye) in Hawaiian, are delicious apple crossed with pear shaped fruits with a thin waxy like skin. The skin is easily nicked (even from your finger nail so you have to be careful picking them) and comes in a variety of reddish, pinkish, and white hues in a solid color or mixture of these colors. The flesh is white and crunchy but not exactly like an apple or even a pear. It seems crisp but there is more juice in the flesh and has a mild sweet flavor. (If you can describe the mountain apple's fruit flavor in a better way, please share it with us in a comment.) You eat it as is with the skin on, but throw out (or plant) the marble sized seed in the center. It tastes best fresh picked or chilled.
Mountain apples from Hawaii grow on medium to large trees which can grow to over 60 feet in some places. I am pretty sure that they can be found on all of the main Hawaiian Islands. Mountain Apples commonly grow wild in the mountains (which I suppose is how they got their name) at the mid-elevation range rainforests, and make a nice refreshing treat for fortunate hikers.
Ohi'a 'ai was one of the fruits brought to the Hawaiian islands from the original Polynesian voyagers in their trek across the Pacific in canoes. The mountain apple fruit was nourishing, the tree's wood useful for building things, and the bark possessed medicinal qualities. The ingenious and industrious Hawaiian people also made a dye from the Ohi'a 'ai fruit to decorate their tapa bark cloth.
For more photographs of mountain apple fruits and mountain apple trees in Hawaii, visit Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project (HEAR.org)--Invasive species information for Hawaii and the Pacific.
We recently saw the new Indiana Jones movie--Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I was particularly excited to see the new Indiana Jones movie because they filmed on the Big Island last year. See our related posts, Indiana Jones filming a few miles away from our Hawaii home, and Indiana Jones movie begins filming on the Big Island.
Originally the movie location scouts were looking for a waterfall and a jungle road that could pass for a South American Peruvian rainforest. The waterfall scene was scratched at the last minute due to the threat of Hurricane Flossie approaching, but the long and exciting jungle road chase scene was shot entirely on the Puna coast (on private property) not far from where we live.
I was thrilled watching the Puna jungle chase scene because I knew the exact location where they had filmed the movie scene! It was near a secret fishing spot that a friend had shared with us and made us promise not to tell anyone. (It was a long hike to get there.) Do not despair though, later in the post I will give you directions to see similar scenery along the gorgeous and rugged Puna coastline--and you can see it all from the comfort of your car.
Another friend told me that they also did the hike to just outside of the privately owned Shipman estate property gate when the Indiana Jones movie had recently finished filming. There was a guard at the gate, and she saw remnants of the filming such as a sign saying, "Filming Crew", movie camera dolly tracks on the ground, a spray painted area on the ground she thinks was for a helicopter landing pad, some newly cleared areas of brush, and boundary marking pins; but no Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Shia LaBeouf, or Karen Allen. Besides not seeing any movie stars, she also did not see any film crew. The place was sadly deserted of people except for the guard.
To view the breathtakingly beautiful rocky coastline of Puna, turn off of the main Highway 11 onto the Keaau-Pahoa Highway 130. Drive all the way down to Kalapana then turn onto Highway 137 which is a beautiful scenic drive up the coast. You will past Kaimu Park, Kahena Beach, MacKenzie State park, Isaac Hale Beach Park, and Ahalanui Country park where you can relax in a natural pool of warm volcanically heated water. The highway turns left onto Highway 132 (Kapoho Road) which leads back to Highway 130 which you started on. You can also drive in the reverse order as it makes a nice loop. Give yourself a few hours to do this drive, as you will probably want to stop and take photographs and maybe have a picnic lunch and swim at Ahalanui park.
Read more details about the new Indiana Jones movie here:
Hawaii's Big Island Stars in New Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Motion Picture and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Wikipedia page. This is the best link for everything and anything to do with this movie.
This is our Hawaii blog post in celebration of Earth Day.
Our company Double Brush is located at our artistic art studio home in the middle of a natural Ohia rainforest on the Big Island of Hawaii. When we had the opportunity to build our home in 1994, we carefully planned how to situate our driveway and house, in order to save the most amount of trees. For months my husband and I cut down Ohia trees with a hand saw and chain saw and carried them off to the side to decompose and return back to the earth. This way the bull dozer service we hired only had to doze our driveway and house pad as we only wanted to clear what was absolutely necessary.
After our house was built, we landscaped around our house utilizing the natural landscape and topography. We cleared by hand the invasive bushes and weeds so the native Hapu'u ferns and Ohia trees could have more room to stretch out and grow. The trees on our property are home to hundreds of birds including the native Hawaiian Hawk (I'o) and native Hawaiian owl (Pueo).
We live in the district of Puna in East Hawaii Island, and many of the land parcels out here are 1-3 acres. Many, many people (especially developers and speculators), in the last few years will buy a piece of property and completely bull doze the land flat as a pancake, so it is void of any of the natural endemic trees, plants and terrain. This is called "clear cutting" which some believe is a cost effective way to prepare for construction. Clear cutting is dangerous as it can also have another negative impact of altering water drainage patterns.
I wouldn't have a problem with this if trees were not so damn important. I feel if you don't like the forest, don't move to the forest just to cut it down. There are many unforested areas that people can move to. If everyone who had the choice to destroy all of the trees on their property did, our area would turn into a dry, hot, arid desert and then people would get worried but by then it would be too late, it takes a long time to grow a mature forest.
It is our native forest that attracts clouds and moisture to the area, and brings the rains that nourishes the native plant and animal wild life, waters our farmer's crops that produce our food, helps maintain our climate, and replenishes our water shed. Living in nature and with nature also communes with your soul by giving you a deeper connection to and respect for the earth.
The ancient Hawaiian people of Puna understood the relationship of the Ohia tree forest and rain when they named an area "Wao Kele o Puna" or the rain belt of Puna.
We have been offline since Friday due to some severe weather on the Big Island, Hawaii. Hilo experienced some major flooding in areas that previously were not known to have flood conditions, and in places that always floods such as the Bayfront road in Hilo. Roads and schools were closed and many outdoor events were canceled.
We are used to rain on the East side of Hawaii island, with the city of Hilo receiving a annual rainfall of 126 inches. In Keaau where we live, the rainfall total is 120-200 inches per year!
Rain is one thing put constant pouring buckets of rain is another. It was storming so hard at our home in Puna with loud cracks of thunder, that we unplugged the computer and moved it to another room--since we lost our computer to a lightning strike a few years ago.
Luckily we had lots of food and the power didn't go off although we did have a couple of "brown outs". If you live on the Big Island, a brown out is when the electric lights in your home go dim for a second than come back on. For that moment you hold your breath and hope it won't turn into a "black out" meaning no power at all.
The east side of the Big Island has been one big soggy mess with Waiakea Uka (upper mountain area of Hilo) receiving over 20" of rain on Saturday. It feels like we must have received that much also.
Visit my friend Richard Ha's blog for a first hand account of the Hilo Flood 2008 with lots of photographs like the one above.
The world fell in love with Hobbits after J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the prequel "The Hobbit." The fame of Hobbits or Halflings was also greatly enhanced after the Lord of the Rings movies came out a few years ago.
For people who love all things Hobbit and have a fantasy of staying in a Hobbit dwelling or Hobbit House, well now they can. And to top it all off, it is located on the Big Island of Hawaii on a secluded hill top overlooking the ocean with unobstructed views--a fantasy house in a fantasy location!
The Hobbit house in Hawaii has been a very famous house for many years because of its distinctive features and visible location. Darlene and Bill Whaling started building their dream home in 1981. Through the years they have lovingly custom built their home with lots of wood for a warm old fashioned feeling, and added surprising touches of whimsy such as stained glass artwork and carved wooden relief details.
I always wanted to do a blog post about the Hobbit House, and was happy to find out that it is now a famous Hawaii Bed and Breakfast that was featured on HGTV Offbeat America as Hawaii's fairytale home. This handcrafted unique home doesn't seem to have a straight line in sight. From the rounded edges of its roof line, to the round window frames and crooked natural tree trunk supports--this is what a hobbit house to fit humans should look like!
Also like the Hobbits of middle earth who live in the shire, the Hobbit house is a green earth friendly house. They generate all of their own electricity through solar and wind power, use energy efficient lighting, low flow toilets, recyle, grow a Hobbit garden, compost and more.
Nearby is a enchanted forest of tall Eucalyptus and Norfolk Pine trees--I wonder if Elves live there?
Rates are for 2-3 nights and $150 -$200 per night depending. Visit their site Hawaii Honeymoon Bed and Breakfast, Hawaii Hobbit House, Big Island, Hawaii for more information and to make reservations.
From yesterday's television newscasts in Hawaii, with headlines such as "Lava Inches Towards Big Island Homes", you would think that many people were in danger. However, the Kilauea lava flow is once again heading towards the Royal Gardens subdivision in Puna, a place Pele (Hawaiian Fire Goddess) destroyed starting with lava flows in 1983. Now all that remains are mostly a handful of dilapidated houses.
Only two bachelors live in Royal Gardens, one of them is Jack Thompson who runs a bed and breakfast from his Royal Gardens home called the Lava House. Most visitors come by helicopter for a visit, but rarely does anyone stay overnight.
Jack planned on staying there even with a mandatory evacuation planned for today, but I saw on the tv news that he peacefully left on his own accord. The Hawaii Civil Defense will be monitoring the situation as the lava flow has slowed to about a quarter mile outside of the subdivision.
Last week was the 25th Year Anniversary of the Kilauea Lava Flow. Read about how one native Hawaiian man named Uncle Robert, saved his Kalapana home that stood in the path of a moving lava flow.
***JULY 8, 2008 UPDATE***
HILO » Lava fountains up to 30 feet high burst out about four miles above a self-described hermit's homestead in Royal Gardens on Sunday night and continued through yesterday.
A brush fire started by a long, thin finger of lava set the wet, rotting wood of Dean Schneider's house smoldering.
Jack Thompson, Schneider's only neighbor in the otherwise deserted 3-square-mile subdivision, put out the fire.
Read the complete article "Spurting lava stirs drama for hermit" from the Star Bulletin.
If you live on the Big Island, you have a relationship with Madame Pele (the Hawaiian Fire goddess who lives in Kilauea Crater) whether you like it or not. Some people have made peace with it, others are terrified, and the majority seem to be ambivalent about it. We live next door to Madame Pele and so try not to do anything to offend her.
This past Thursday, January 3rd marked the 25th Anniversary of the eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Scientists on Hawaii Island (Big Island) say that it is the longest Kilauea rift zone eruption in at least the last 800 years.
50,000 gallons of molten lava gush from cracks on the volcano's flank every minute--enough to fill Diamond Head crater to a depth of one foot every day. All of this lava has created 212 acres of new coastline making the Big Island that much bigger!
Besides Pele creating land, she can also be a destructive presence burning native forests and destroying whole subdivisions of homes. That is what happened in 1990 to the area known as Kalapana and a subdivision named Royal Gardens. My Hawaiian friends told me that Pele took back her aina (land) because she didn't like what the people were doing there on her land. There was lots of drug activity, lawlessness, and the people who lived there were selfish with natural resources that were supposed to be for everyone.
I don't know if that it true because I did not know anyone personally that lived there during that time. All except for Uncle Robert. Uncle Robert as he is known to local people around here, is an indigenous Hawaiian man of great faith--the Catholic faith. (In Hawaii it is not unusual to believe in Hawaiian beliefs and have a other religious faith also.)
Uncle Robert's house was spared from a lava flow headed directly towards his house and property in Kalapana near the beach. As the lava flow was approaching, he prayed and left everything in the hands of God as he placed his rosary onto his property's rock wall--then drove away with his family. When he came back later, the lava flow had diverted just enough to spare his property as it flowed past towards the ocean. I have been to his home and met him years ago. You can see a 10 foot? wall of lava that runs along one side of his property line!
The bible talks about having enough faith to move mountains, but to move a lava flow?! Now that is what I call faith.
Back then at Uncle Robert's house, people were laughing at my husband and I because our mouths were open as we walked besides this towering wall of lava rock, puzzled by what we were looking at. It was then that Uncle Robert told us the story about his home and faith.
Aloha Everyone! I'm back!!
I have not been online much due to the awful thunderstorms on the Big Island we are experiencing.
The weather has been really terrible all week for all the islands in Hawaii with flooding, downed power lines, no electricity service, etc. The storm system is slowly moving away but it is still wet and rainy on the Big Island.
Last night the thunder was so loud and so close that I saw the walls and windows of our house shake! My husband saw a large lightning bolt strike the ground near our house. We heard a loud crack and this morning found two large Ohia tree trunks and branches that had cracked off from the tree top. They were both about 35 feet long and grazed our telephone line so that it was lying on the ground.
Since our phone still worked, my husband was able to secure the line back where it belonged. (I did call the phone company first just to make sure it was safe.)
It was also super windy and we have Ohia tree branches all over the driveway and everywhere. While in Keaau last week around 2:30 in the afternoon there was a black out for a couple hours due to the windy conditions. Many businesses closed down and everyone got to go home a little early. I was extra careful driving through intersections with no traffic lights.
Earlier in the week we were also experiencing vog (which I will post more about later).
Note: I wrote the above a few days ago, and was not able to finish because I heard thunder and quickly unplugged my computer and moved it to the other room again for the umpteenth time! Read my post, "Did you know you could lose your computer from lightning?" and you will understand why I do this.
It has been raining hard all day and night here, but thankfully no lightning for now.
Did you know you could lose your computer from lightning? I did not know it was possible till it happened to me 3 years ago. It was during a terrible storm with lots of wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Suddenly, bolt of lightning came through the phone line and zapped my computer--which thankfully I was not using at the time. We saw a bright light, heard the crackle zap and sizzle sound, and then smelled an electrical burning scent coming from the computer. (We had a surge protector which was suppose to protect our computer but it didn't work--it was the cheap kind.)
When we tried to turn on the computer it would not turn on. I took it to a computer place and they said it was fried due to a high electrical surge, such as due to lightning and would cost a lot to repair, they recommended we buy a new computer. I needed to get this written repair quote for our home insurance which in the end they only gave us $300.00 for because the computer was 5 years old.
Since then, my neighbors up the street lost their computer due to a lightning strike, our other friend in Leilani Estates got their computer fried from lightning, and another friend told me of 3 other people she knew on the Big Island that lost their computers due to lightning storms also.
So now at the first hint of thunder and lightning, we unplug the computer and the DSL unit and physically move it to another room away from the telephone!
The past 4 days has been raining hard with thunder and lightning so I have not been online much which is the reason that I did not post as regularly.
When I first started blogging, I read a blog article about blogging that said no one wants to hear your excuses about why you have not been blogging, so I thought if I turned it into an informative post first, my readers would be understanding.
So, have you ever had this happen to you (losing your computer due to lightning), or heard of it happening to someone else?
The Big Island of Hawaii has every climate condition in the world as classified by the Koppen classification system of climates. The five main climate classifications are: tropical rainforest, arid and semi-arid, temperate zone, periglacial, and snow.
Actually, Hawaii is considered to have only four out of the five climate classifications because although there is seasonal snow on the mountain peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, the Koppen system places the mountain peaks in the periglacial zone.
The reasons for the diversity in climate on Hawaii Island is its enormous size coupled with the heating and cooling of the land up and down the mountain. This creates mini-climates that multiply the climate diversity.
The mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa provide an immense diversity of topography, temperature, and vegetation. The tradewinds predominantly come from the northeast and hit these two large volcanoes which produce even more unique climates.
Where else but the Big Island of Hawaii can you wade under a tropical waterfall, drive up a volcano and play in the snow, drive through a lava desert, and sunbathe on a sandy beach--ALL in one day?
Living in Hawaii, the fiftieth state of the United States, we also grew up hearing that the rainiest city in the US is Seattle Washington. However, even in you were only counting the continental US or mainland states, Seattle still ranks behind a lot of other cities in terms of annual rainfall totals. Chicago, Houston, New York City, Miami and other cities receive more rain than Seattle's 37 inches.
The reason Seattle got the reputation as the rainiest capital is:
...because while it indeed rains a lot here, it doesn't rain very heavily. It could rain all day here, and we'll pick up maybe 0.10" of rain. Meanwhile, a 20 minute thunderstorm in Miami could drop 0.75" of rain.
And now we come back to Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island. According to RSS Weather, where you can look up and search any USA weather by city, state, or zip code, Hilo receives over 126 inches of rain per year!
Where we live in Keaau on the Big Island of Hawaii we receive even more rain than Hilo--much, much more. 120-200 inches of annual rainfall!!
How rainy is it where you live?
Can you name the 5 volcanoes that form the Big Island of Hawaii? If you said Kilauea volcano, Mauna Kea volcano, Mauna Loa volcano, Kohala volcano and Hualalai volcano--give yourself a pat on the back.
The island of Hawaii is built from five separate shield volcanoes that erupted almost sequentially with one overlapping the other. The following Hawaii volcanoes are from the youngest--very active, to the oldest--extinct.
Kilauea is the world's most active volcano and located in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It has been erupting since 1983, and has made new land and destroyed old land at the same time.
Mauna Loa meaning Long Mountain in Hawaiian, is the largest volcano on earth! It is an active volcano with its last eruption occurring in 1984.
Hualalai is a dormant volcano with its highest peak at 8,271 feet above sea level. The last eruption was in 1801 but Hualalai is considered a potentially dangerous volcano that is likely to erupt again sometime in the next 100 years.
Mauna Kea the Hawaiian name meaning White Mountain because of its snow capped peaks during the winter, is the highest mountain in the world when measured from its ocean base to summit, and stands 13,796 feet above sea level and rises 33,000 feet from the ocean floor. It is a dormant volcano.
Kohala is an extinct volcano, thank goodness!
There is a sixth volcano nearby that is named Loihi. It is located fifteen miles off the southeast coast of the Big Island 3,000 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean. Someday, thousands of years from now, Loihi will emerge to form a new island.
We live on the Big Island in the Puna district and have recently observed the glow at night from the newest Kilauea lava flow.
This post is part of Blog Action Day--October 15, where bloggers around the world will unite by posting something about the environment on this day. If you are taking part in this project, please share your post by leaving it in a comment.
For people in Hawaii--locals and tourist alike--it is a rare treat to see turtles in the ocean or on the beach resting in their natural environment. It is especially awesome if the only place you had seen a turtle before is in an aquarium.
The "honu", Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle, is not called green because of the color of their shell or outer appearance, but for the color of their flesh which is green from eating seaweed. The honu is an endangered animal but has made a remarkable come back and you can see them often in certain areas of Hawaii's ocean and beaches.
There is another rarer turtle whose numbers have not rebounded and is nearly extinct, it is the Hawaiian Hawksbill Sea Turtle, named for its sharp beak-like mouth. Hunted and exploited for their beautiful shell which often was referred to as "tortoise shell", the population is alarmingly estimated at less than 30 nesting turtles. They are the most endangered turtles in the Pacific Ocean.
Watch a video of exclusive rare footage of Hawksbill baby turtles emerging from their mother's nest.
Both the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle and Hawksbill Sea Turtle are protected by the Endangered Species Act. It is against the law to touch, harass, or harm the turtles in any way, and the penalties include jail time or large fines.
If you see a turtle while swimming or snorkeling in the water, give it 10 to 15 feet of space and enough room to surface and breathe. If you see a turtle resting on the beach, stay a respectful distance away to admire it or take photographs. This resting honu photograph is courtesy of Go Visit Hawaii.
The best place to see Honu green sea turtles is at Punalu'u Beach Park. At night however, you can sometimes see Hawksbill turtles laboring across the dark sand to lay their eggs in holes above the tide line.
Other good places to see Hawaiian turtles are:
Kaloko-Honokahau National Historic Park in North Kona
Kahalu'u Beach Park, about 6 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Ali'i Drive
Honaunau Bay near the City of Refuge
Read our other post Hawaiian Ocean Life and Coral Reef Etiquette with links to a underwater video of sea turtles and fish that inhabit the fragile reef environment and how we can protect it, and also a link to download a free Hawaiian Reef Fish ID Chart.
For generations the large rectangular 2 1/2-ton monolithic lava rock known as the Naha Stone lay forgotten and covered with weeds in a backyard in Hilo, Hawaii. Over half a century ago there was a revival in ancient Hawaiian relics; the Naha stone was found and given a new resting place in front of the Hilo Library on the Big Island of Hawaii, where it remains till today. The Pinao stone, the smaller stone standing upright next to it, once guarded an ancient Hawaiian Heiau or temple.
The Hawaiian prophecy or legend of the Naha Stone stated that the person who moved the Naha stone with his bare hands would unite and be ruler of all the Hawaiian Islands. One man did accomplish this feat, and his name was King Kamehameha the Great.
And even as he spake these words, they who stood by were stricken with fear, for his face flushed red as with blood, and fire appeared to flash from his eyes, so that the fear spread even among the high chiefs who gazed upon him.
Then Kamehameha prepared himself for the ordeal, examining his hands and the stone that he might see how best to accomplish his purpose. And Kalaniwahine, taking hold of his hands, spake encouraging words unto him and said unto him:
"If indeed the Naha Stone shall be this day moved by thee, then shall the whole group of islands, from Hawaii to Kauai be moved, but if indeed it shall be moved and turned from its resting place, then shall all dissensions be removed, and thou and thy people and thy prophetess shall live and shall dwell henceforth in peace forever. For this is the prophecy of the Naha Stone, O Prince, so get thee to thy great task."
And now, as the people and all assembled, watched Kamehameha closely, he placed his hands under the stone and began to move them so that he might better take hold. Which being done, he cried these words:
"Naha Stone art thou:
And by Naha Prince only may thy, sacredness be broken.
Now behold, I am Kamehameha, a Niu-pio
A spreading mist of the forest."
Then gripped he the stone and leaned over it, and as he leaned, great strength came into him and he struggled yet more fiercely, so that the blood burst from his eyes and from the tips of his fingers, and the earth trembled with the might of his struggling, so that they who stood by believed that an earthquake came to his assistance.
THE STONE IS TURNED
And he put forth all his strength. and, behold, the stone did move under his arms, and he raised it on its side and with supernatural strength did over turn it, so that all who stood by were amazed and dumb with awe.
HAWAII NATURE NOTES, THE PUBLICATION OF THE NATURALIST DIVISION, HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND THE HAWAII NATURAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION VOL. IV FEBRUARY 1952 No. 3
Learn more about Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great (c. 1758 – 1819)
You can stand in awe in front of the actual Naha Stone for yourself. Be respectful of this revered pohaku (Hawaiian word for rock or stone) and what it means to the Hawaiian people by not sitting or standing on it. If you have small children, do not let them climb on it or play on it. Many times you can still find fresh offerings of lei and smaller rocks wrapped in ti leaf which are called ho'okupu (gift or offering) decorating the Naha Stone.
The Hilo Public Library is located at 300 Waianuenue Avenue between Ululani and Kapiolani Street. There is no parking allowed in front of the library, but you can park in their free parking lot located on the side of the library building. Click here for map directions.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please spread the word about our Hawaii Blog. Mahalo (thank you)!
Photograph courtesy of And Hawaii.
Did you know wild pigs get stoned in Hawaii?--and I don't mean that people throw rocks at them--wild pigs or feral pigs have been known to eat marijuana growing on the land. Maggie Kline from the east side of the Big Island in the rural subdivision of Fern Forest said the wild boars have devoured her medical marijuana, or as the Hawaiians call it "pakalolo" meaning crazy weed. She blames the increased influx of wild swine to the elderly neighbor couple that have been regularly feeding 100 or so of these wild feral pigs.
Retired and in his eighties, Sueo and Sharene Matsumoto live on their 12 acre lot densely forested with native Ohia trees. They first started to feed pigs when a few baby pigs they had seen with their sow mother showed up without her--their mother had been shot and killed, Sueo heard the shots.
Mr. Matsumoto said that humans are the most advanced creatures on earth, so they have a duty to care for animals. He puts his money where his mouth is and spends $600.00 a month for bags of pig food for these feral pigs, a cross between the domesticated Polynesian pig and the mean looking black, tusked, lean wild Eurasian boar.
A pig feud has erupted between the Matsumoto family and the majority of their surrounding neighbors.
The growing number of pigs are wandering into other neighbor yards and property and causing all kinds of havoc. From tearing up gardens, chewing on water pipes, making pig wallows, and leaving their poop all over--the neighbors have had enough.
The state and county have looked into the problem: the State Health Department said no health hazards were found in the Matsumoto's home they inspected, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said the state does not recommend feeding wild animals but has no authority on private land, and the Hawaii County Planning Department said no zoning laws are being broken as the wild pigs are not confined or being eaten so the property does not qualify as a pig farm.
What the county has done is approve $250,000.00 for the U.S. Department of Agriculture agents to trap and shoot wild boars on private property at the request of the owner. This is not an eradication program but a program to control wild pigs in residential areas.
Read Pig Feud on the Big Island for more details.
What is missing from the above argument is that the wild pigs are destroying the native Hawaiian forest and leading Hawaii's native bird population into extinction.
Pristine Hawaiian rain forests had little in the way of sites for Culex mosquitoes to breed. Culex is a tropical mosquito and evolved with mankind as a “cup” breeder, that is, it needs still, warm, nutrient-rich, small “cups” or puddles to breed in. The pristine forests in Hawai‘i had very few of these. Culex can't breed in running streams or ponds or any clean clear water. Pigs create lots of breeding sites in creating their wallows and especially when they hollow or “trough” hapu‘u, which fill with rain water, thus creating hundreds of breeding sites per acre. Pig fecal matter fouls the wallows, creating perfect Culex breeding sites. These many breeding sites have allowed these mosquitoes to adapt to higher and higher elevations, carrying the malaria and pox with them. Also, when the pigs dig for worms and roots, they cause erosion where rainfall is heavy, causing the siltation of streams and eventually siltation of the reefs. So, not only are they destroying the forest but also stream ecosystems and Hawai‘i’s reef ecosystems. Hawai‘i’s natural environment would be healthier without feral pigs.
From Rare Hawaii
Read our related post Wild Pigs on the Big Island for information on what attracts or repel wild pigs to your property.
Whether you live on the Big Island of Hawaii or are just visiting, drop by one of the many outdoor farmers' markets or open markets as they are also known. It is a great way to buy delicious fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the island, and a chance to mingle with the local folks.
You can find fresh island grown produce such as bananas, papayas, avocados, green beans, and tomatoes that you may already be familiar with, but also cherimoya, rambutan and jaboticaba fruits. Exotic vegetables may include warabi (edible fern shoots with fiddleheads) and bitter melon.
Tropical flowers are always in abundant supply: anthuriums, orchids, heliconias, gingers, protea, and sometimes even roses in season.
Besides fresh food and flowers, some open markets have people selling take out bento lunches, tamales, sushi, and other homemade snacks. You can also find many handmade gifts of jellies, jams, baked goods, and all sorts of crafts and clothing. Some booths or tables sell imported things, but many others sell things actually made by the person manning the booth, so it gives you the chance to meet and talk to the artist or craftsperson.
This Big Island Farmers' Market Directory Guide
begins in Hilo and travel north till it makes a circle island tour.
Hilo Farmers Market
Corner of Kamehameha Avenue & Mamo Street, Downtown Hilo
Wednesday & Saturday, 7:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Phone: (808) 933-1000
Kino'ole Farmers Market
1990 Kino'ole St., Hilo
Saturday to Monday--through December 31, 2007
Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands Farmers Market
Puainako & Ohuohu Streets, by Walmart in Hilo
Daily, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Rainbow Falls Market Place
Across from Rainbow Falls, north of Hilo, HI
Monday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Verifone Building, 9652 Kaumalii Hwy, Laupahoehoe
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Honoka'a Farmers Market
Near Honoka'a Trading Company
Old Botelho Bldg., Honoka'a
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
I Ka Pono Farmers Market
Parker School, at I Ka Pono Community Garden, Waimea
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Hawaiian Homestead Farmers Market
Kuhio Hale Building, 64-759 Kahilu Road, Waimea
Saturday, 7:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
"Under the Banyans" Farmers Market
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Waikoloa Farmers Market
Waikoloa Community Church
Saturday, 7:15 a.m.
Ali'i Garden Market Place
Ali'i Drive, 2 miles south of Kailua Pier, Kona
Wednesday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Kailua Village Farmer's Market
Across from Hale Halawai, Kailua-Kona
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Kona Farmers Market
Old Industrial Park, Kaiwi Square, Kona
Saturday & Sunday, 8:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Keauhou Farmers Market
Keauhou Shopping Center, Keauhou
Saturday, 8 a.m.-12:00 noon
Kealakekua Flea Market
Haleki'i Street, Kealakekua
Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Kona Pacific Farmers' Coop
82-5810 Napoopoo Rd., Captain Cook
New Open Farmers Market
By the Pink Donkey sign, Captain Cook
South Kona Fruit Stand
Near the old Higashi Store, 84-4770 Mamalahoa, Captain Cook
Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Ocean View Farmers Market
Pohue Plaza, Ocean View Center, Ocean View
Saturday, 7 a.m.-12:00 noon
O'Suzanna's Farmers Market
Highway 11 at Road to the Sea, Ocean View
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Ka'u Farmers Market
Naalehu Theater, Ka'u
Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Na'alehu Farmers Market
Ace Hardware Lawn, Naalehu
Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Volcano Farmers Market
Cooper Center, 1000 Wright Road, Volcano
Sunday, 6:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Fern Forest Town Market
2nd Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
12 Mile marker on Highway 11, Mountain View
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Kea'au Village Farmers Market
Daily, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
We are located in Kea'au but do not sell at the farmers market.
Visit us online at Big Island Hawaiian Gifts, Flowers, Leis, Candles, and Soap.
Maku'u Farmers Market
Highway 130, Pahoa
Wednesday to Sunday--through Dec. 31, 2007
8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Phone: (808) 955-1441
Pahoa Farmers Market
Luquin's/Akebono Theatre Parking Lot, Pahoa
Sunday, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Phone: (808) 965-9292
Caretakers of Our Land Farmers Market
Sacred Heart Church, Pahoa
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
This list is current to the best of our knowledge. If you have additional information to add, delete, or change a listing, please let us know via a comment. Mahalo!
*Updated on September 30, 2007
On your next Hawaii vacation to the Big Island, plan on relaxing in a natural pool of warm volcanically heated water at Ahalanui Pond, also known as the hot pond in Kapoho. Located along the Puna coast, this inviting geothermal pool where the temperature tends to hover around 90 degrees, is a mixture of hot water from thermal springs and cold ocean water. Ground water is heated as it moves through magma hot rocks on its way to the ocean and then mixes with the cold water of the sea and forms a naturally heated hot tub. Give thanks to Madame Pele (Hawaiian Fire Goddess) for showing her soft side with this wonderful healing spot.
The pool's water may look dirty to you at first, but it is considered a clear brackish water. A small inlet separates the pool from the ocean. We go there when people come to visit us from off island. Last time we swam there, my girlfriend was freaked out when a little fish brushed up against her leg!
The natural Ahalanui Pond is partially man made for the beach goers convenience. A cement walkway surrounds the calm water pool and there are steps and ladders leading to the water. The elderly and children can also enjoy this pool. A lifeguard is on duty during the day.
Ahalanui Park is located in Kapoho where it is always sunny and hot. Tall coconut trees surround the pool and there is a wonderful view of the Pacific ocean. The cool and gentle ocean breezes caress your face as you float on the water releasing any stress you may have had.
Ahalanui Pond located in Ahalanui Park is free and open to the public. The park has restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and free parking. A word to the wise, park on the ocean side (where the park entrance is located) of the street. Do not park across the street because cars frequently get "ripped off" or broken into when they park there.
To get to Ahalanui Park, take Highway 130 south from Pahoa town. When it dead ends at Highway 137, turn right. The Park is located on the left, just past Mile Marker #10.
Last night my husband turned off all of the lights in the house and took me upstairs with the flashlight. He then turned off the flashlight once we got to the bedroom, and it got pitch dark. We live in the middle of a Hawaiian rainforest and there are no street lights or big city light pollution so it gets very dark--unless the moon is out. He then directed my gaze out of the window and told me to let my eyes adjust to the dark then tell him what I saw.
What I saw was a pinkish, yellowish, orange spot glowing off in the distance between the outline of the ohia trees. It was the glow from the newest lava flow at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, courtesy of Madame Pele, the Hawaiian Fire Goddess who makes her home in the Kilauea Volcano.
Residents of the Puna district on the Big Island are watching this new flow cautiously. Right now it is a slow moving a'a flow traveling over previous lava flows and poses no threat to human activity. It could continue like this, stop flowing altogether, or turn into something much more dangerous to the surrounding communities.
If a lava tube starts to form, a fast moving pahoehoe flow would result meaning the lava could remain hotter and travel faster in the tube and further away from the eruption site.
We respect Madame Pele and realize that we are just caretakers of this aina, the Hawaiian word for land, but we still hope and pray that she remains a good neighbor and stays on her side of the property line--namely in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
People in Hawaii were treated to a spectacular lunar eclipse last night. It was an impressive evening show that started about 10:51 p.m. and lasted for a few hours.
From our Puna front yard on the Big Island, Hawaii, we had prime seats to this natural phenomenon of the full moon disappearing into the shadow of the earth. The weather was perfect with a clear cloudless night sky, cool night air, no rain, and tons of bright stars (we saw several shooting stars).
We turned off all the lights in the house and went outside. We wanted to experience the full natural effect of the Hawaiian lunar eclipse with no light radiating from the house. We also live in a rural area so there is no light pollution from any town or city.
It was really really dark, but it made the moon look that much more beautiful. As the shadow of the earth slowly passed over the luminous moon, it turned a shimmery copper color. The photo is not from last night, it is a photo off the web from NASA, but this is pretty much what we saw.
Don't feel left out if you missed this truly marvelous lunar eclipse seen from Hawaii. The next one is scheduled to make an appearance in Hawaii in December 2010, so make plans to be here!
Read more about Hawaii has front row seats to lunar eclipse.
After spending all day and all night yesterday in anticipation of Hurricane Flossie coming to the Big Island, she thankfully decided not to pay us a visit!
We spent yesterday bracing for the worst as we kept up with Hurricane Flossie weather updates on the television local news. The stations were breaking into scheduled programing on the hour to give updates to the public. From an expected path getting closer to the South Point of the Big Island, the worst was to arrive at 12:00 noon yesterday, then it was pushed back to 3:00 then 7-8 p.m. It was stalled off the Big Island and trying to reform its "eye" but eventually it was downgraded from a category 3, to a 2 than a 1, and finally a tropical storm.
My husband joked that the updates were as bad a waiting for the results of election returns to come in. Yesterday it was the suspenseful waiting and anticipation that exhausted us.
The National Weather Service cancelled the tropical storm warning and a flood watch for the Big Island at 5 a.m. today.
We want to send out a sincere heartfelt "mahalo" to everyone who was concerned and sent good thoughts and prayers for everyone here in Hawaii -- the combined forces of good was enough to dissolve Flossie away. Thank you.
You can read more about Hurricane Flossie Fades Away.
As if spending a "wild monday" preparing for Hurricane Flossie (category 3 storm) bearing down on the Big Island wasn't enough, Mother Nature made it even crazier by shaking up east Hawaii with a earthquake trembler this evening!
Yesterday my husband went to Pahoa Town to fill up extra 5 gallon containers of drinking water, fill up the car with gas, fill our other propane tank (for hot showers and baths!), and dumped the garbage at the dump. There were already lines and crowds everywhere but people weren't in a frenzy. He did have a delay on the highway though because a car was on fire on the side of the road, and the police, ambulance (although he didn't see anyone in the car), and fire engine came to put it out.
What a difference a day makes! Woke up early today to take our dog to the vet in the morning, and while he was there having a biopsy done, I had to do all the errands that every other frenzied person in Hilo also had to do today. Namely grocery shopping at KTA ( a total mad house but I heard that Walmart was worst), going to the bank (long lines), returning books to the library, picking up take out dinner at the mall (I know I would be too tired to cook dinner), stopping at the post office to mail out orders, picking up our pet to take home -- and all of this meant two round trips to town in one day. (1 hour each round trip) Even though today was hectic, tomorrow all the public, private, and charter schools will be closed, along with the beaches, libraries, and probably other businesses -- so things needed to be done today.
A strange thing happened after I visited the bank and was backing out of the parking stall. A fire engine blared its horn at me to move so he could come into the bank's parking lot. At the back of the lot was a vehicle on fire! What does it mean when my husband and I both see the same bizarre sight within a day of each other, and never having ever seen something like that in our lives before?
After I get home, I start doing more chores then sit down at the computer to check my email. I am tired, stressed, sweaty from the humidity, hungry for dinner and then a unseen force hits me, I mean literally hits me. The house is shaking and the patio door is rattling, my bird is freaking out and I stand up and freeze. It is an earthquake and it is a big one, at least a 5.0 My husband was upstairs and he said the floor felt like it was swaying. The quake lasted at least 10 seconds long.
It was a 5.4 magnitude at 7:38 p.m. and centered somewhere 6 miles below sea level near Kalapana, about 25 miles south of Hilo. Luckily there has been no initial reports of serious damage.
It is 3:00 a.m. tuesday morning right now, and I am blogging! It has been raining heavily and steadily outside for hours. I want to post my blog post now because who knows what Flossie will do to us later in the day. The Big Island is expecting heavy rain, strong winds, high surf, flash floods -- hopefully we will not lose electrical power, phone service, or our DSL service so I can't get online, aughhhh! Please send good thoughts our way or pray for us and the safety of our Hawaiian Islands. Mahalo for your care.
You can keep track of the storm with the National weather Service Forecast Office.
The fourth and final? "Indiana Jones" movie wraps up today with its Big Island Hawaii shooting schedule. I was excited when I found out that they were filming in Keaau, the area where we live. I fantasized about at least getting a glimpse of something somewhere. However, they were filming on private property owned by the Shipman Estate under heavy guard and secrecy. So close and yet so far away...
The location scouts for the movie were told to look for a "big scary waterfall and great jungle roads" -- we have a lot of those on the east side of the Big Island! Still, the scouts checked out 14 or 15 other countries and states first before finding a few locations on Hawaii Island that could not be matched anywhere else. The Big Island will stand in for a South American rainforest in the movie.
Besides the big name stars like Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt, and Shia LeBeouf, the other big star will be the Big Island. For people who have never been here, they will be amazed.
The yet untitled movie is scheduled to be released next year in May.
For more information read our related post Indiana Jones begins filming on the Big Island.
Our local Hawaii television news did a story on Kilauea Volcano today with some absolutely breathtaking video by air of the new eruption site. It is the first time lava has been seen flowing eastward of Pu'u 'O'o Crater in the last 15 years. The last eruption in this area was in 1990 and ended up destroying much of the town of Kalapana. Many people's homes were burned and their property covered under several feet of lava. (So technically you still own your property if you can find it, but you can't live there anymore or sell it -- as if there would be any buyers). Experts are monitoring the new lava flow and do not believe that this flow will take the same path.
This new eruption site at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is inaccessible by land, but you can reserve a helicopter tour and view it by air.
Up until four years ago, it used to be that all of the private golf clubs in Hawaii were located on the island of Oahu (plus one on Maui), and they all had limited nonresident membership.
Today all of that has changed, but it still remains a secret to most local people, especially those living on the other Hawaiian islands.
Now, the new trend is to build designer golf courses with expensive house lots, and market them to the ultra rich. The following 4 new Hawaii private golf clubs on the Big Island will give you an idea of just how much money we are talking about.
Initiation Fee: Valued at $150,000 (equity): membership is included in purchase of homesite
Annual Dues: TBD
Real Estate: Lots start at $1.8 million
Ke'Olu Course (Four Seasons Hualalai)
Initiation Fee: $175,000 (thirty-year refundable deposit)
Annual Dues: $19,500
Real Estate: Options range from villas (starting at $2 million) to single-family homes ($4 million to $25 million)
Initiation Fee: $250,000 (equity membership)
Annual Dues: $20,000
Real Estate: Lots start at $2 million
Nanea Golf Club
Initiation Fee: Said to be $250,000
Annual Dues: Unknown
Real Estate: None
Do you think this is a good or bad trend for Hawaii?
Information obtained from Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine March/April 2007 issue
There hasn't been this much excitement in my sleepy little town of Hilo since Waterworld (Kevin Costner) 14 years ago, and Planet of the Apes (Tim Burton) 6 years ago!
The fourth and last installment of the Indiana Jones movie series by Steven Spielberg has begun production on the Hamakua Coast north of Hilo town. The rich lush landscape of east Hawaii island will substitute for a South American rainforest.
Harrison Ford 65 years young, is doing his own stunts during the filming. His co-stars include Cate Blanchett, John Hurt and Shia LaBeouf. They will be shooting on the Big Island for the next three weeks before moving off island to the next location.
For more information read today's article in The Honolulu Advertiser.
After a break of 12 days, lava was once again visible at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. People have been anxiously awaiting the return of Madame Pele, the sacred fire goddess who makes her home in Kilauea Volcano.
Yesterday, a new flow was seen at the bottom of Pu'u O'o crater. The view is anything but clear yet, as it is mostly obscured by volcanic fumes.
For complete daily updates on the Kilauea Volcano visit US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
It’s true, there were over 250 small earthquakes recorded yesterday at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island of Hawaii. This data suggested that magma is on the move under the surface of Kilauea volcano, and prompted the rare closure of the park.
“It looks like the rift has expanded a bit, possibly to accommodate magma, and the earthquakes are accompanying that process,” said Jim Kauahikaua, scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Read more details about the Kilauea earthquakes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The scientists at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have very sensitive monitoring equipment, as the quakes must have been very tiny. We live about 30 minutes away from the park and did not feel a thing all day yesterday. The park was reopened today in most areas, and things seemed to have calmed down for now.
Please read our related post on Viewing Kilauea Volcano Lava Flow Into the Ocean by Sea.
If you are coming to the Big Island anytime soon, make reservations for a helicopter tour to see Kilauea volcano from the air.
On the Big Island of Hawaii at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can hike (4-6 hour round trip) to see the lava flowing into the ocean and creating new land, or fly above the volcano flow on a commercial helicopter tour. However, a nice women who reads my blog emailed to ask me, since I live here, if I knew of any boat charters to view the lava spewing into the sea.
Well, since I spent an hour today trying to find out, I thought it would make a good blog post.
I called several boat charters from the yellow pages but most of them were sport fishing charters and no one could give me a business name of who did lava viewing tours by boat. One captain told me if their boat left from Hilo it would take all day as they had a slow boat and it would be a rough ride. Another captain told me although it sounds like a good idea, the location is prohibitive -- there is no place to lodge near the park, and it would be a long rough water trip out of Hilo.
Next I called the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and spoke to someone there. She said that she didn't know of any boat tours but even if she did, they are not suppose to recommend any commercial businesses. She did tell me though that a person sent them a video tape of their boat trip to see the lava flow, and when a ledge or cliff of lava rock broke off and fell into the ocean, it sucked the boat down and swamped the back of their boat with water! I don't know how close they were to viewing the flow, but that sounded pretty scary.
I did a internet search for volcano tours of lava Hawaii, and found an article about boats leaving from the Hale Beach Park near Pahoa in Puna, but it didn't have any contact names or phone numbers. I emailed them and will update this post when and if I get any new information. If you know of anything, please share via a comment.
You can see a daily report of the Kilauea volcano eruption from the US Geological Survey called the Kilauea Daily Update.