Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Tag

Drama From The Rain Forest   Leave a comment

Amazing view from the rain forest above Kīlauea crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo by Rick Vega. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 6/19/17.


Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Earth Should Not Steam, Right?

Hawaii Is Growing

Posted August 5, 2017 by henrymowry in National Parks

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The Stars Above, The Fire Below   Leave a comment

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park & the Milky Way. Photo by Ryan Coad. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 6/2/16.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park & the Milky Way. Photo by Ryan Coad. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 6/2/16.


Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Earth Should Not Steam, Right?

Hawaii Is Growing

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park   3 comments

Hawaii Volcanoes NP 00Where Is It: The Park is on the island of Hawai`i. It’s 30 miles from Hilo, or 96 miles from Kailua-Kona.

The Birth: Kilauea and its Halemaʻumaʻu caldera were traditionally considered the sacred home of the volcano goddess Pele.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Park into existence in 1916. It was the 11th National Park in the US, but the first created in a Territory.

It Happened Here: In April 2013, a 15-year old boy tried leaping over a barrier surrounding a steam vent … and fell 25′ into the vent. He survived with minor injuries.

In August 2013, a 73-year old man climbed over a barrier on a trail, and then fell down a 115′ cliff. He was not discovered until a day later, when another hiker heard his cries for help. He suffered injuries to his pelvis and shoulder.

Age doesn’t matter: stay behind the barriers. Volcanoes are a dangerous place!

Size: 323,431 acres

# Visitors: 1,483,928 in 2012.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

Along the wind-scoured coastal plain, lone tendrils of an a’e fern peer from cracks in endless flows of hardened lava. At the Park’s mid-elevation, blazing blooms of ‘ohi’a trees and towering fronds of giant hapu’u, a tree fern, rise amid a tangle of misty rain forest. Miles above, the distinctive rosette of the endangered Mauna Loa silversword clings to an alpine ledge. Evolving over 70 million years ago in nearly complete isolation, more than 90% of the State’s native flora are found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Today, the Park harbors the descendents of those first colonizers—numerous evolutionary marvels such as mintless mints and nettleless nettles—plants adapted to life without plant-eating mammals.

Animals: The Park is the home of carnivorous caterpillars, crickets that like new lava flows, Honu, the endangered sea turtles, the largest dragonfly in the US, and just one terrestrial mammal: a bat.

Choices: Most visitors want to go see “live lava,” and that is not easy. Read about our visit to the Park on our 30th Anniversary … and how unprepared we were … here. That new lava flow, by the way, adds to the size of the state of Hawaii, as all new lava is officially state property.

Fees: Entrance is $10 per vehicle for a 7-day pass.

Staying There: Volcano House has only 33 rooms in the hotel, plus 10 cabins and campsites that it manages. It’s difficult to get reservations with that few opportunities available, obviously, so plan ahead.

Backcountry camping is by permit only for groups of 12 or less, who can only hike for 3 nights. You must register at the Kilauea Visitor Center prior to departure. You are required to hike out everything you pack in. All trash must be packed out.

Contact Info:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052
(808) 985-6000

Current Issues: The park is being overrun by non-native ungulates.

And who would like that?

These “non-natives” have been a part of the island for centuries in some cases … but that’s not native enough for the Park staff. They have a plan now in place to shoot most of the feral pigs, goats and axis deer. They’re also thinking of using either a boundary fence for the entire park, or limited regional fencing within the Park. For the details of the whys and hows, read about it here.


National Park Service: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

National Parks Of The Pacific Islands: Where’s The Lava? Kalauea….

Jason’s Travels: Exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Earth Should Not Steam, Right?

Posted January 3, 2014 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Earth Should Not Steam … Right?   6 comments

All of these shots are from the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, 2008.


Haleakala National Park   2 comments

Haleakala National ParkWhere Is It: Haleakala is on the island of Maui in Hawaii. It’s a five-and-a-half hour plane ride from Los Angeles (2,494 miles), but oh, is it worth it.

The Birth: The word Haleakala is Hawaiian for “house of the sun.” A Hawaiian legend stated that Maui, a demigod, imprisoned the sun in the volcano to lengthen the day. The Haleakala volcano last erupted sometime between 1480 and 1600 AD.

An area including the volcano’s summit down to the southern shore of the Pacific, as well as two volcanoes on the island of Hawaii, was originally created as the Hawaii National Park in 1916. The volcanoes on the island of Hawaii were made into a separate National Park in 1961.

It Happened Here: Bicycling down from the Haleakala summit is a unique way to see the island of Maui. Tour operators used to pick people up at their hotels, deliver them to the summit parking lot in the National Park, and then lead them down the 27-mile, 10,000′ slope to the ocean. After many fatal accidents involving cyclists on the twisting mountain road, in 2007 the Park suspended all bicycle tours within the park boundaries … so now tour operators have to start outside the Park, at 6,500′. Watch out for them as you drive up!

Size: 33,265 acres

# Visitors: 1,094,668 in 2012 – just about half of the visitors attracted in 1999. Visitation is relatively steady month-to-month, but July and August are typically the biggest months, with February and March the smallest. Interestingly, only one in six visitors to Maui also visit the National Park. Most people are making a big mistake!

Plants: Once plants and animals were brought to the Hawaiian island (the most remote island chain on earth), each species had to develop special adaptations in order to survive in their new climate. As a result, many species are unique to the islands, and rare. More endangered species live in Haleakala National Park than in any other National Park in the United States. As people have come to Maui and the National Park, some of these species have suffered. It is said that the silverswords, known to native Hawaiians as ahinahina, used to cover the summit of Haleakala Mountain to a degree that the mountain looked as if it were covered with snow.

Animals: The Hawaiian Petrel, AKA ‘Ua’u, is an endangered species with a large nesting colony atop the Haleakala summit. They are migratory seabirds that fly at night and are believed to navigate by stars. The state bird of Hawaii, the endangered Hawaian Goose, AKA nene, also nests at Haleakala.

Choices: The summit of the volcano is a totally different experience than the lush tropical forest at the shoreline. You’ll need to spend two different days to appreciate the top and bottom of the park: to drive from the summit to the Kipahulu station takes about 6 hours round trip.

Fees: The park is open daily; a 7-day pass is $10. Hold on to your pass; you’ll need to visit the shore and the summit on different days.

Staying There: There are no hotels in the Park. There are three primitive wilderness cabins available through a lottery for rental. To reach the cabins, you must hike at least four miles (Holua) or more (six to Kapalaoa and ten to Paliku). Wilderness camping is also available by permit only, and group sizes are strictly limited. Water may not be available in the crater, and won’t be potable without filtration.

Contact Info:

PO Box 369
Makawao HI 96768
(808) 572-4400

Current Issues: Many native Hawaiians fought the expansion of the observatory complex on the summit of Haleakala, but to no avail. Construction has now begun on a massive, $300 million telescope atop the summit which should be completed by 2020. Construction of the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope began late in 2012 after several years of delays caused by the controversy.

Don’t Miss This: You need to watch the sun come up over the crater, which I photographed in 2010. The link for The Haleakala Adventure is below.

The views for sunset are just as spectacular. It is said that if you see your shadow on the clouds during a sunset, then you will have wonderful luck.


Maui: Haleakala Crater

Maui: The Seven Sacred Pools

The Haleakala Adventure

National Park Service: Haleakala National Park

National Park Service: Kipahulu Coastal Strand Plants

National Park Service: Crater Aeolian Desert Plants

Portraits: William McKinley   3 comments

1900 reelection poster celebrates McKinley standing tall on the gold standard with support from soldiers, sailors, businessmen, factory workers and professionals.

1900 reelection poster celebrates McKinley standing tall on the gold standard with support from soldiers, sailors, businessmen, factory workers and professionals.

William McKinley (1843 – 1901)

The 25th President of the United States, 1897 – 1901

AKA: the Napoleon of Protection

From: Ohio

College: Allegheny College, Albany Law School

Married to: Ida Saxton

Children: Katherine, Ida

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: postal clerk, teacher, militiaman, Major in the Union Army, lawyer, prosecuting attorney, US Congressman, Governor,

In His Words:  “Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of earth.”

“War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.”

“Illiteracy must be banished from the land if we shall attain that high destiny as the foremost of the enlightened nations of the world which, under Providence, we ought to achieve.”

“We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is manifest destiny.”

“Without competition we would be clinging to the clumsy antiquated processes of farming and manufacture and the methods of business of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than the eighteenth century.”

Not true: Some would have you believe that McKinley lied in order for us to attack Cuba, launching the Spanish American War.  However, there simply is no persuasive proof that this is true.

It’s certainly true that McKinley inherited a volatile situation with Spain.  The repressive rule of Spain had led Cuba into open revolt.  Some Americans were fighting alongside the Cubans after Spain put 300,000 Cubans into internment camps.  Americans with Cuban investments pushed the government for action, and eventually McKinley sent the battleship Maine into Havana’s harbor.  And then, on February 15, 1898, the ship blew up, killing 266 US sailors. Americans rallied around the flag, and the US Congress approved McKinley’s request for $50,000,000 in defense spending.  War became inevitable.

But why did the ship blow up?  We’ll never really know.  Certainly in 1898, there were no scientific facts, there was only the actual event of American deaths while trying to quell an armed revolt just 90 miles from our shore.

The initial US Navy investigation blamed a mine that exploded, igniting the ship’s powder magazines.  In 1974, Admiral Rickover had his staff look at the historical records, and they decided there was an internal explosion.  National Geographic conducted another study in 1999 using computer modeling, and they concluded no definitive cause could be proved.  So what happened?  We don’t know.  Did McKinley lie to start a war?  No, but he did react to the ship’s sinking, and took the country into the 100-day Spanish American War

True: Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico all became part of the United States during the McKinley administrations. Cuba and the Philippines were also won in the Spanish American War, but granted independence soon after.

McKinley’s picture is on the $500 bill.

He was the last President to have served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  He enlisted as a private, but ended as a brevet major.

His term as President was a prosperous one for the country.

The Official Portrait: August Benziger painted the official White House Portrait of McKinley.  The President sat for the painting for several mornings at 8am, eventually taking to dictating his correspondence while Benziger sketched away.  Over the course of several sittings, the painter experienced the personality of the President, which came through in the final work. William McKinley, Presidential Portrait

William McKinley


The Spanish American War

A Tunnel of Trees   1 comment

One of the notable things to go see on Kauai is the Tree Tunnel.  It’s very pretty … you drive right through it.  Loved seeing it.

And then I saw the tree tunnel that’s near Halnaker, England, and it made me want to go to England.  Right now.  Check out the wonderful picture on what’s proclaimed as the web’s # 1 photoblog. Very. Pretty. Picture.

After you’ve gone to England, don’t forget to go to Kauai.  There are some very pretty things there, as well!

Drive from Lihue to South Shore, and you'll go right through the tree tunnel.

Drive from Lihue to South Shore, and you’ll go right through the tree tunnel.

Posted December 9, 2012 by henrymowry in Hawaii, Photography

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Gorgeous Kauai   Leave a comment

When I wrote about the best botanical gardens, I should have mentioned the prettiest hotel on the island, the Grand Hyatt.

This south shore beauty is really a must see, if you’re not lucky enough to be staying there.  The grounds are just fabulous.  We did a quick walk-through, so I know I’ll have more pictures to take on our next visit.  Meanwhile, enjoy the beauty I did capture!



Kauai: Kilauea Lighthouse   1 comment

The Kilauea Lighthouse is set on a prominent point on the north shore of Kauai.  The view of the bay beside the lighthouse is the reason to go.

You’ll see the lighthouse, take the picture.  Maybe there will be some nene on the grounds to take a picture of.  Good.

Now, look at the coastline.  Look at the albatross gliding on the wind currents above the ocean currents of that wonderful sea green bay.

Bonus: make sure you visit the Kilauea Fish Market for an ahi wrap on your way to or from the Lighthouse.  It is the BEST wrap on the island.  It’s the best restaurant for the money on the island, and it’s our favorite restaurant on the island.

Posted November 27, 2012 by henrymowry in Hawaii, Photography

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Statues of Na ‘Aina Kai   Leave a comment

This is series of  pictures of just some of the statues on display at Kauai’s Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. I have said it before: this is the best Botanical Garden we have visited in Hawaii.  The incredible array of statues is just one reason why I hope to return to this beautiful place.