Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park
It turns out the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve is not so foresty – due largely to introduced hunting stock. The first picture below shows a grove of fir trees that was planted last century with some native trees in the foreground. The landscape shown nthe second photo is all too typical.
The Mamane tree – critical habitat for endemic birds and where we found the endangered Palila.
The Palila – not a great photo but a very rare bird.
The Pu’u O’o trail runs from the Saddle Road off to the kipuka (forest surrounded by lava) seen off in the distance of the first photo.
The kipuka are home to I’iwi, Apapane, Amakihi, Omao, ‘Elepaio, and the rare Akiapola’au.
The Ohia tree is a food source for many of the region’s birds.
The Saddle Road cuts across the middle of the Big Island between the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanos. Much of it is at high altitude (6-7000 ft) and is adjacent to critical habitats for some of Hawaii’s endangered endemic birds.
The introduction of sheep, goats and pig – primarily for hunting – has led to habitat degredation and the endangerment (and extinction) of many bird species which live only in a narrow range of habitat and elevation.
Old cinder cones:
Akaka Falls – 300 foot drop.
To the East of downtown Hilo (and Hilo Bay) there are a series of smaller bays and public beaches.
The active Halema’Uma’U crater at Kilauea. Click on this photo (twice) to see a fairly large high resolution version.
The crater emits a glow at night.
The shoreline at the end of the Chain of Craters road. The plume off in the distance of the first photo (see second photo for closer view) is an active lava stream pouring into the ocean.
Holei Sea Arch:
The Chain of Craters road descends 4000 feet from the Kiluea crater down to the ocean. It passes a number of historical volcanic craters and passes through some relateively recent lava fields.
Here the road passes through the 1972 lava flow:
Two similar views looking across the edge of the Kiluaea Crater and up the slope of Mauna Loa in the background. Steam from the volcano can be seen coming out of the ground along the rim of the crater.