Monochromes from Hawaii (the Big Island)

Hawaii, Hawaii, 23 to 26 February 2015

Here is a series of monochromes from images in previous posts from Hawaii (the Big Island).

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This is the lava, palms and sea just below where we were staying.

The next eight images are nearby patterns in the lava.

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View along the south west coast.

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Laupahoehoe.

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Yellow-billed cardinals at Laupahoehoe.  This is an image specially selected for those with red black colour blindness (and they would no doubt wonder why I made the comment).

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Waipio Bay.

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Green turtles, Punalau’u beach.

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Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Green turtle, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.

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South west road.

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Kilauea.

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Fern, Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Probably Holei Sea Arch, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Lava seascape, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Kilauea

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 26 February 2015

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We took off to visit the Kilauea Volcano and went along a section of the road with dense overhanging trees.

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Here is the main crater.  You can’t get any closer to it than this, presumably because of potential dangers from gas emissions.  Kilauea has been in continuous eruption since 1983 though involving no more than slow flows of lava and occasional pyrotechnics.  There is a current lava flow from one of the side vents but it is in dense bushland and access is prohibited.  Explosive eruptions did occur in pre-European time though, so it could become more dangerous again.

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Here is a view from further back, giving an idea of the outer crater.  The outer crater was once a huge caldera but eruptions from the inner crater have slowly filled it up over time.  The outer crater floor is actually not flat; it gently slopes away from the inner crater.

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Another view from further away, giving a better idea of the size of the outer crater.

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We are on the Chain of Craters Road down to the coast.  This is the entrance to the Thurston Lava Tube, an impressive tunnel but there were too many people in it to make a photograph practical or worthwhile.  I waited about ten minutes for a clear view here.

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This is a fern hanging down in the entrance of the lava tube (that you can also see in the previous image).

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Down at the coast now, I think this is Holei Sea Arch.

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Driving back up, this is a landscape created by lava flows.

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Here you can see where a recent (black) lava flow has stopped and some grassland survives.

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This is one of the many side vents, not currently active.

I perhaps should have waited until after dark to show you the glow of the main crater of Kilauea but I was running very short of petrol and was more concerned to make it to a nearby petrol station before they may have closed.

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Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 25 February 2015

Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

In the previous post we were driving up the west coast of the island of Hawaii but I omitted the visit to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau and I will cover this now.  It is alternatively known as the Place of Refuge and this starts at the wall in the distance.  In the foreground is part of the adjoining zone of royal residence.  Of course the appearance of everything is no doubt very different to what it was 200 years ago.

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These are Halau, long open-ended structures equivalent to schools.

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This is one of the fish ponds which would have been stocked with choice specimens for the consumption of royalty only.

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Apart from warriors, servants and slaves, this was an area for royalty only.  Behind are the walls of the Place of Refuge.

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A closer look at the walls of Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, around 10 feet high and 17 feet thick.  Although know as a Place of Refuge, it is more accurately a place of Absolution, particularly for those in danger of their life.

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There were many ways your life might have been forfeit in ancient Hawaii.  You might be a warrior from a losing side or a member of their family.  You might have contravened kapu and in some cases this would mean you were implicitly sentenced to death.  (Kapu is tapu in the rest of Polynesia and is the source of the word taboo).  There were many ways to break kapu.  Some activities and some foods were kapu for women, as was men and woman eating together.  Some fish and timber were kapu at certain times for conservation reasons.  A commoner could not look directly at an ali’i (a chief, equivalent to ariki for Maori), be visible with their head higher than the ali’i, or have their shadow touch the shadow of the ali’i.   Restrictions such as the last were particularly acute when the mana (prestige, power) of the ali’i was magnified because their parents were siblings.

Once a person who had contravened kapu made into the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, however, they were safe.  They could not then be harmed and a priest would perform a ceremony to absolve them of the taint.  They could then return past the walls and their restored status would be respected by all.

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Several tsunamis have broken over the site over the years and destroyed the structures.  Also, Kamehameha II abolished the system of kapu in 1819 by eating with his female relatives and the site was abandoned after that.  In some places it is difficult to make out the structures that would have originally stood.  In front of the palm trees is the scant remains of an ancient heiau wiped away by tsunamis.

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This is a stone that one of the wives of Kamehameha I is said to have hidden under.  They had a disagreement and she fled to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau.  He came searching for her, she was given away by the barking of her dog and they made up.

You can also see the corner of a heiau that would originally have had wooden buildings on top.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife Sections on the stonework in the heiau wall.

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Not far from the heiau, a green turtle was pulled up on the lava.

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Archaeology, Green Turtles, Hawaii, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Place of Refuge, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Nearby, another was swimming around at the edge of the rocks, seemingly feeding on the seaweed in the cracks.

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This is Hale o Keawe, a rebuilt temple and mausoleum that would originally have held the bones of twenty-three ali’i.  These bones were what made Pu’uhonua o Honaunau sacred and their mana was the source of the power to absolve transgressions of kapu.

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A half-sized reconstruction of the original Hale o Keawe temple.  The original was built around 1650.

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West Coast Hawaii

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 25 February 2015

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Early in the morning I went down below the front yard to take some shots of the lava and the sea.

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Then after a while we hit the road.  We were fortunate to pick up a hitchhiker who was going to Punalau’u beach, where there were some green sea turtles hauled up on the black sand.

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There were also a couple of birds in an idyllic lagoon that appear to be Muscovy Ducks.  Normally these are said to reside in Mexico and Central & South America (not Russia) but evidently Hawaii is within flying range.  Muscovy ducks were domesticated by various preColumbian cultures.

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After leaving the beach we stopped for a couple of shots of the coast from the road.

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After this, we visited Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (Place of Refuge) but I will show images and explain this in the next post.

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Much later, this is Kealakekua Bay.  The stones in the foreground are the top of Hikiau Heiau, a large stone structure that originally would have had wooden buildings on top. This beach was where Captain Cook was killed.  I did not realise this at the time or I might have taken more photographs of the beach.

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An unusual stand of succulents behind the heiau.

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The side wall, maybe ten feet high.

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This is a solid structure, perhaps roughly square, requiring a lot of stone and a lot of work.

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There is no access to the top for the general public but the fact that the stairs are concreted in suggests that it may be used for religious rituals or traditional practices. Cook died at Kealakekua Bay in February 1779.  He had received a friendly reception when first calling in January and returned after incurring rigging damage in a storm.  He was killed along with some of his men after a dispute involving a stolen ship’s boat.

There is a theory by Val Wake that this was not an accident but an assassination organised by Kamehameha to discredit the priests and strengthen his claim to the chieftainship of the island of Hawaii. When ali’i nui (paramount chief) Kalaniʻōpuʻu died in 1782, his son Kiwala’o inherited the realm but Kamehameha received the Waipi’o Valley (see previous post) and guardianship of the God of War.  Later that year, just south of Kealakekua Bay, he defeated and killed Kiwala’o in the Battle of Mokuohai though it took him nearly a decade to control the whole island.  In the 1790s he conquered Maui and Oahu and by 1810 controlled all of the Hawaiian Islands.

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Our final stop for the day was to see some petroglyphs at the Puako Petroglyph Park.  This was very disappointing.  I was expecting to see then in situ, perhaps showing why such a location was chosen and revealing something about how that related to the lifestyles of the Hawaiians.

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Instead, what was presented was chunks of rock in an artificial setting near a hotel.  No context.

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It made me wonder whether I was seeing an example of corporate vandalism,  with the hotel complex having built over the original site of the petroglyphs and failed to conserve them in their original location.

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A grove of trees near the petroglyphs.

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Sunset at the sea near the petroglyphs. There was no time remaining to visit Pu’ukohola Heiau a few miles to the north.  This massive heiau was built by Kamehameha in 1790 to 1791.   His rival Keoua accepted an invitation to attend the opening ceremony in 1791 but Kamehameha had him killed as he stepped off the canoe.

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East Coast Hawaii

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 24 February 2015

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This day we drove up the east coast of Hawaii in a guided tour very generously provided by Mark.  First we drove from where we were staying, along the coast to the south west corner of the island.  This is a place in the road where the trees grow overhead.

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Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, The Big Island, Travel Views along the south west coast.

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This is Pohoiki Bay, with surfers waiting in the water.  There are places here where the sea water is warm from thermal activity.

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A sacred pool at Pohoiki Bay.  If I remember correctly, it was only for the use of Hawaiian royalty.

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This is a view from a scenic road north of the west coast town of Hilo.  Hilo was devastated by a tsunami from Chile in 1960, the same one that washed the Tongariki moai on Easter Island hundreds of kilometres inland.  Thirty foot waves hit the coast at Hilo (and presumably here) killing 61 people and causing the town to be rebuilt further inland.

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Here we are further north along the west coast and have descended from the highway to the tiny coastal settlement of Laupahoehoe.  These are coconut palms where we parked the car.

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Damaging tsunami have hit Hawaii in 1837, 1841, 1868, 1868, 1869, 1872, 1877, 1883, 1906, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1946, 1957, 1960 and 1975.  Laupahoehoe was inundated by one in 1946 that originated in the Aleutian Islands.  159 people died, mainly in Hilo but including 23 children and 4 teachers in Laupahoehoe.  There were three waves and the children were on the beach collecting fish left by the second wave when the third and largest wave hit, thirty metres high.  Only one teacher and two children survived.  This is near where the school was, close to the sea.  Residences and school buildings are now further from the sea.

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Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, The Big Island, Travel Looking north, along the coast.

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Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

Not everyone was greatly concerned by the prospect of tsunamis.

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A couple of small birds were most indignant at interlopers they could see in car windows and mirrors.

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They are Yellow-billed Cardinals, native to Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

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Memorial and list of dead from the 1946 tsunami.

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Finally, some views from the lookout overlooking Waipio Bay.

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Getting to the lookout is one thing.  Going further down into the valley is another matter as there is a one-lane road suitable only for four-wheel drive vehicles.  It is an ancient sacred valley and was the headquarters of ali’i (or king) Umu, the first to rule over the whole island in the fourteenth century.

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It is also a surfing location.

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Here is a glimpse of life in Waipio Valley.  It was inundated in the 1946 tsunami when no lives were lost but ancient sites were destroyed.  The valley also went under four feet of water in a flood in 1979.  Today only around 50 people live there and visitors are not necessarily welcome.

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Kaimu

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 23 February 2015

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After Oahu and the Surfing Photography Workshop, Jools and I flew to Hawaii (the Big Island) and stayed for four nights at Ma’ukele Lodge on the South-West Coast with Raven and Mark.  I don’t usually show where I stay but I took some images for Raven for her website and include them here.

You can see the sea from the front verandah and there used to be a black sand beach there but a volcanic eruption in 1990 replaced the beach with lava.

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There are numerous little green geckos scuttling around the verandah railing at breakfast time.

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Dining room/ Lounge.

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Our bedroom.

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Our bed.

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Part of the outdoor bathroom.

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View from the lava at the front.

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Wandering around on the lava fields where the beach had been was a real surprise.  Coming from New Zealand and having visited Iceland, I’ve seen lots of lava but none like this.  It has cooled into a cracked skin with remarkable shapes and contours.  Other old lava I have seen has been very jagged.  It may be that this is very recent and hasn’t had time to erode; it may also be a measure of how slow the flow was and how smooth the skin initially.

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Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

There are also some interesting colours and patterns of minerals separated out from the cooling lava.

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Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

It was late afternoon and the low angled light helped give definition to the shapes.

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Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

Plants can be surprisingly resilient.  Wherever there is an opportunity….

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Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel .

Architecture, Hawaii, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, The Big Island, Travel

The coast, looking to the south west, in the fading light.

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Surfing Monochrome Selection

Oahu, Hawaii, 19 to 22 February 2015

Selected monochrome conversions from a surfing photography workshop with Michael Clark and Brian Bielmann.

Black and White, Hawaii, Monochrome, Oahu, Photography, Pipeline, seascape, Surfing, Travel

This is of course a very different effect to the colour versions.

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Part of the reason I converted these is that there is something of a traditional ethos to monochrome surfing images.  In the 60s and 70s probably most of the images were black and white.

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As always, you can click on any of the images for a larger view.

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