Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heavenly Island in a Sea of Cloud

Sunday Jonathan and I went up to Mauna Kea as volunteers to help with the summit tour. It seems each time I go to see the silverswords I find another great photo opportunity. Someone created this pretty rock pattern around one particularly large and healthy plant:

A couple visiting Hawaiʻi showed up while we were there, so I pointed out some of the silverswords, and, when they seemed interested, shared a few of the things I've learned about them -- and was promptly asked if I was a botanist!

“The Botanist”
The wind at the summit was downright bone-chillingly frigid. I don't remember ever being so cold up there before. It was actually warmer inside the Keck telescope dome (or at least it felt like it)! Strangely, despite the Arctic weather up top, it was surprisingly mild and warm down at the Vis, even into the night. Jonathan and I went to catch the sunset from a cinder cone near the Vis, and the experience, sans wind, was much more pleasant than the last time we tried it. It was clear enough that we could actually see Hualālai to the west, a rare occurrence:

Hualālai: Ke Mokupuni Lani i ke Kai Ao (Heavenly Island in a Sea of Cloud).
All in all, a most pleasant day. I should probably end this post and get to bed, however. A hui hou!

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