|Small Indian Mongoose near the patio in Kona|
|Yellow-billed Cardinal eyeing my burger buns|
We took our time, even stopping for an early lunch of burgers and fries at the Shaka Hut in Naahehu. I enjoyed my lunch, but enjoyed the birds there even more; Northern Cardinals, the ever present Common Mynas and some Yellow-billed Cardinals.
We were in for a series of surprises. Our first stop in the park was the steam vents, where hot underground volcanic lava sends steam out of fenced holes large enough to lose an elephants in.
|Ron & Jeannie enjoy the free facial steam treatment provided by the park|
|Steam rises from the ground in the meadow opposite the fenced vents|
We stopped for a view of the Kilauea Volcano. Though we were all impressed by Kilauea, I was thrilled to at long last see four White-tailed Tropicbirds rise up from the caldera, soaring high in the sky, their streamer tails whipping in the wind and shut up, no I couldn't get photos of them and NO, I don't want to talk about why! [Management regrets Ms. Miller's sulkiness over the Tropicbirds business, but have no fear, she'll blabber on any second now... Oh, there she goes!]
|Stephie, Ron and Jeannie hiking over to the Caldera overlook|
|View from the overlook - Halema'uma'u is blowing steam!|
|Photo-op at Caldera Rim|
|An offering for Pele sits on the rim overlooking Halema'uma'u|
|My photo from 2005 of the ocean bound lava stream|
Back in 2005, an underground stream of liquid magma poured into the ocean. The new lava had buried under the oceanside drive, almost cleaving the ocean rim drive in two. A makeshift interpretive center had opened and people hiked a meandering trail out to see the lava enter the ocean. Back then, just hearing the trail was a balmy 110 degrees due to the hot lava - not to mention hearing a tourist had been sucked into a suddenly appearing lava hole, easily convinced myself and Jeannie from attempting the hike. But now, in 2012, the lava flow into the ocean is, for now, ended. We parked at the old interpretive center and climbed down to for a view of where the hot lava had previously boiled the ocean water.
|The Lava no longer flows into the ocean along the shore - for now|
|The Gang of Three enjoying the ocean view|
|Stephie ignored signage and didn't realize she was|
squatting on top of the lava arch over the ocean - YIKES!
At the ocean's edge, once back on solid land with the rest of us, Stephanie said she was hoping a whale or some Spinnner Dolphins would swim by. I said, "there are turtles out there too..." and just as I said that, a Hawaiian Green Turtle popped up out of the surf just below us.
|Catching it's breath before diving back below|
|Far on the horizon you can see Ron & Stephanie about to disappear as they headed out|
|You can see bits of the old carvings and holes left by Hawaiians long ago|
|I thought the neatest carving was this one of a sea turtle like the one we saw a little earlier in the day|
|A carving of an ancient warrior|
|Ke 'ā weo i ka lani, (Reddish glow lighting up the sky)|
|Full moon on the right, flaming crater in the middle, the steep climb upward to the right where the sun attempted to set.|
|A bundled offering made of coconut leaves I spotted earlier in the day,|
certainly an offering for Pele - the sort of thing my ankles owe Pele for her assistance