Monday, March 19, 2012

Aloha to Kilauea: 'Eli 'eli kau mai - let awe possess me

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is built around Kilauea - the US's active volcano and home of Pele from Hawaiian mythology.  Above is the Kilauea Caldera .... 


.... with the Halemaʻumaʻu crater blowing off steam!

My pictures cannot capture the vastness of Kilauea!

Inside the Jaggar Museum, David stands in front of a mural depicting what the Polynesians witnessed as they stumbled onto the Hawaiian islands.


Madame Pele, the Volcano Goddess, is both feared and revered.

Pele's hair is fragile strands of volcanic glass.


Pele produces two kinds of lava.  Above is A'a lava that is difficult to walk over.  Perhaps it is Pele's revenge.

This is Pahoehoe lava that can flow up or down hill.  It is easier to walk across.

Pele's temper produces two types of sand - green and black.

The Jaggar Museum is adjacent to the US Geological Survey - Hawaii Volcano Observatory.  Modern equipment helps them predict future volcanic activity.


Pele's wrath entombs all living things in her path.


Outside the Jaggar Museum, I found another "rainwater" station, "captured from the clouds, filtered by the sand, pumped here by solar."   You can't get much "greener" than that!


We walked along the caldera rim to see it from different angles.

We discovered the vents where rainwater turns to steam when it seeps into Kilauea's caldera.  

I welcome your comments about Kilauea.  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs will win a book choice from my convention stash.   This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, March 24, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, March 25.



Back in the parking lot, I spotted Mauna Loa ("long mountain" in the foreground) and Mauna Kea ("white mountain" in the distance).  On Mauna Kea, find the peak and look left for a fleck of white.  The white fleck is a space observatory.

The pictures above are mine during the day .... and I found one fabulous photo at twilight to demonstrate the awe of Pele:

Dave from gave me permission to publish this image.   It truly captures the essence of Pele - she is present even if you cannot see her during the day.   You can find this image and others on his blog at this link.    Mahalo, Dave!


  1. We actually saw a bit of lava from Kilauea and it was quite a sight.

  2. i found my first name "eli" here ;)

    i never see lava directly but last year a volcano erupts in one town in my country and detroy nearby cities, so sad ;(

  3. As always, gorgeous pictures and so informative. I would love a chance t go back to Hawaii and see the islands and not just the touristy spots although I did get to see a bit more than that but we didn't have a lot of time.


  4. I find it really fascinating that Pele's hair is fragile strands of volcanic glass! Love the photos!

  5. Amazing to see. I have always wondered if the ground felt hot to you.

  6. Great pics, whoo

  7. Once again, you have provided wonderful and inspiring pictures and also taught me something. I love the rainwater station.

  8. Very nice pictures. That looks like a fun museum.

  9. Let awe possess me cool words:). I think I am very interested with pele hair:), and of course the Madame pele herself, Aretha zhen

  10. Awesome pics! Would love to travel there someday! Thanks for sharing with us!