On the Island of Hawaiʻi, Kaluapele (the pit of pele or Pele) crowns the summit region of the volcano Kīlauea.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

from the ma uka-most reaches of Keaʻau, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hūi!  Yes...Iʻve been away, resorting at Lāhuipuaʻa with HK, enjoying winds, rains, pacific bobbing, eating ʻono foods...all those fun things.  In retrospect, The Three Months, as Iʻve taken to calling them, were taxing.  And though allʻs been quiet on the eastern front for six weeks now, doubts lurk.  At some point sooner rather than later Iʻll write one of my stream-of -consciousness prose things in an attempt to portray what those times were like up here.

Iʻve come to understand that The Blog is actually a pretty cool diary.  It was all so in-the-moment, uncalculated, and driven by lack of sleep, Iʻm curious to go back and read what I experienced.  Because life goes on, and we seem to adjust to new paradigms/para-dimes faster than perhaps is healthy and healing.

If all goes as planned, The Park will be open next Saturday.  No potable water, most trails will remain closed, including the most popular Kīlauea Iki loop.  All those ʻōlaʻi shook loose many many boulders from the faces of pali, and so trails are blocked in places, and/or cracked and fissured in others.  But views from Volcano House and from Crater Rim Trail between there and Wahinekapu (the main steam vents area) should prove to be stunning, at least to those of us who know Kaluapele "then".  Malihini (first-time visitors) may volunteer something like... "Oh.  Nice hole...But whereʻs the lava?"  Of course there isnʻt any.  For now.  No evening glow, no choking fume during kona winds, no golden Peleʻs hair being wind-wafted.  

But the aerial footage gives us an idea of the scope of change.  The colors on the faces of newly revealed pali, a multiplicity of kaulu (ledges) spacious and small alike, the many layers, colors, and textures of pele formed since the last major collapse of Kaluapele in 1790, all exposed in new walls.  

Kaluapele from a USGS HVO drone, September 6, 2018

One of the coolest things, I think, is that we wonʻt be able to see the bottom of the abyss from any overlook.  No matter how much we tiptoe, crane our necks, or climb up on walls, the bottom will remain hidden.  We donʻt need to see everything.  Especially when Pelehonuamea decides to be discreet. 

A couple words that may be apropos from the Pukui and Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary:


nvs. To keep asking questions; inquisitive, curious, plying with frivolous questions (often used in pejorative sense, as of a busybody asking things that do not concern him); to quiz, pump; question. As an exclamation of annoyance: you are too inquisitive! Who cares to answer your questions! hoʻo.nī.ele Questioning, especially by leading up indirectly rather than directly; quizzing; curious; curiosity.


vs. Bold, impertinent, impudent, insolent, nervy, cheeky, rude, forward, presumptuous, saucy, brazen. 

To some the difference may not matter, but itʻs most polite NOT to be mahaʻoi...and itʻs not only about asking too many questions or being rude, itʻs about not going where you arenʻt invited.  No one has a "right" to go where ever they desire.  Especially now in The Park.

Some of us believe that now is a time for reflection, for being quiet and reverent, to contemplate stupefying changes we didnʻt even think about in April.  The challenge is that those who are visiting, who donʻt understand our cultures, and the majority who didnʻt experience what we did in The Three Months, much less during our lifetimes here, THOSE are the people we wish would also be quiet and attempt to learn about our ʻāina aloha.

Itʻs difficult to express and explain how we feel sometimes.  And Iʻm thinking Iʻm not doing a particularly good job right now.  Emotions are still raw, I guess.  And too, the ways in which Hawaiʻi is marketed to the world leaves a lot to be desired.  It shouldnʻt be about more More MORE!!! We just set another record!  But of course, now, itʻs just that.  Lip service is paid to the Aloha Spirit, to Sense of Place, to Authentic Culture, to Mālama ʻĀina, to Pono, but what does all of that really mean?  Really?  Use an ʻōʻō (digging stick) rather than a golden shovel to break ground for the latest highrise and itʻll make it all right?

I feel a rant coming on, but itʻs too beautiful an afternoon to get worked up.


All remains quiet here at the summit.  ʻŌlaʻi are rare.  Friends and I were talking and agreed that MAYBE weʻve felt a couple in the last several weeks.  

And here you go:  for the last Month, 166 ʻōlaʻi at the summit.  One could almost count them on the image!  Imagine that!

And shaking my head, a similar view on August 7, for the previous Month, 15,527 of them:  

Just in case some of you forgot or something...

And then down at Keahialaka, HVO installed a webcam at Fissure 8, maybe a week ago...

Fissure 8 cam

The view this morning:

The colors are of course highlighted differently depending on where the sun is, cloud cover, etc.  Looks like a cozy little bay...

And then the Tilting...or absence of Tilting.  All appears quiet for the time being.  For now.

near Puʻuʻōʻō:
 and near the summit:
Some of us prefer flattish lines...

OK then...These posts will obviously be more erratic than they were.  And I need to mull and muse topics.  If you have some to suggest, shoot me an email and Iʻll oblige if I can.

In a few days, then...

As always, with aloha,


Sunday, September 9, 2018

A brief note on Sunday, September 9, 2018


Another nearly cloudless morning here in the ma uka-most reaches of Keaʻau.  Summer still.

Iʻll be resuming posts on Friday or Saturday, after taking time to attend to other things.

We await the arrival of Olivia, on an unusual path, that may take her straight through ʻAlenuihāhā, the channel between us and Maui.  An entire apropos name, ʻAle-nui-hāhā means billows-great-smashing (or crashing).

The blue dot below Maui is the center of Olivia, courtesy windy.com as forecast for Wednesday morning at 4am.

I trust that all will be well.

As always, with aloha,


Friday, September 7, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Friday, September 7, 2018, Canʻt help myself

Of course I can help myself...at least thatʻs what Ma always said.  You can figure it out  [Note to Readers:  I had polio at 4 years old.  Left arm muʻumuʻu...no work].  Tie shoes with one hand?  Yup.  Cut fingernails?  Yup.  Drive Dadʻs Willyʻs stickshift at 12? Yup.  Not that kind of helping myself...  The thinking talking writing kind... Being inspired...which, I suppose, is a point of all this...

four feet since solstice
kawaiapapane wall
shadow slowly moves

Dwelling as sundial.  Camping at Maniniʻōwali:  where will the sun puka (emerge or appear)?  As in hoʻopuka in hula...The Entrance.

At Kaluapele this morning, exhalations of māhu (steam and vapor) create heavy-bellied clouds over the pit.  The abyss.  That still incomprehensible place; those events we bore witness to...but still we wonder:  How can?

The Wonder, above from Volcano House, early morning light.

And then, because I felt bad yesterday, just teasing with Ka Wai Mūkīkī, hereʻs the page 30 text, and Emersonʻs English translation:

And Kaliʻu is barely visible at upper right, wreathed in steamy mists, yesterday, at 8a.

I canʻt seem to keep looking at images of the puʻu at Fissure 8.  Especially high resolution ones such as this from the HVO website, taken by drone.  Layer upon layer.  Boggles the mind to think that Hawaiʻi nei was built this way over eons, starting on the ocean floor...

Try Remember:  Fissure 8 was born on May 6, 2018.  Another image from HVO, one of many shown on the news on its birthday.  Four Months Ago...is that all???

And, finally for today, I note in the news that The County is contemplating opening Pohoiki to The Public.  And The State is contemplating the same for MacKenzie State Recreation Area.  Gotta try... I wonder how long thatʻll take???

I believe that we are a resilient lot here on the Island of Hawaiʻi.  At least many, if not most, are.  Walking at the Golf Course last weekend, we ran into friends of my companion.  Theyʻre from Oʻahu.  They asked how we fared during the Lane Rains.  We chuckled and said something like: Oh.  We from here.  Can handle...  Then last night a dear friend on Oʻahu related a similar story.  Sheʻs spent a lot of time in the Hilo area, and, as a neighbor approached her home on Oʻahu with Lane-board-up-windows plywood, she and cousin housemate declined his generous offer, saying something similar:  We from Hilo...we can handle.  We like watch!

And the morning puzzlement:  How come the rush to buy bottled water???  Hurricanes or other storms get big rain!  Put the bucket outside!  Get a new trash can, or line an old one with a clean plastic bag!  You folks forgot where our waters come from?  The Sky...not COSTCO or Walmart...  How quickly we forget.

Headed out for a walk...

As always, with aloha,


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Thursday, September 6, 2018. Transitions and Change

Well...So much for schedules.  It was so much easier to write when I felt I needed or should write to pass along messages, to provide updates and interpretations, waking up really early and posting almost daily...Now it seems that much of the anxiety may be gone (please note the carefully couched phrasing), and that, perhaps, we should proceed with our lives.

But I canʻt seem to do that very enthusiastically.  The excitement, and yes, trauma, of The Three Months (TTM) of May, June, and July, have left their marks on many.  On our psyches, our perceptions, on the lands on which we dwell and have deep aloha for, and mayhaps most importantly, on how we envision The Future.

The weathers up here have been glorious and remarkable.  Blueblue clear skies, warm to hot temperatures (for Volcano), gentle ʻōlapa-rustling breezes, no vog, crisply outlined features on mountains near and far, some mist-rain-drizzles, ʻio calling and soaring, and those deep voiced ʻōmaʻo always hidden and invisible to me, flitting about the understory.

Gives one time to mull muse and wonder.  Are we still in malolo-mode, or is the pele in Keahialaka simply the last exhalations and burps?  There is apparently no seismicity, no deformation, nothing to suggest a reactivation.  But...

Whichever, from a USGS drone, the scene on Tuesday the 4th is painterly.  It doesnʻt look real.  Early morning rains left pele decorated with māhu (steams and vapors) wafted by trades.  The muted but still vibrant oxidized reds add contrast.  And for a long time, niggling in the back of my mind:  ka ʻawa ʻililena iuka o Kaliʻu...

Hālau did/does this still.  I can hear kumuʻs deep-throated voice, and if memory serves, the swish of aliʻipoe seeds in laʻamia, then later, the tap-tap of fingers on the ʻulīʻulī as it sat on the floor.  

Kaliʻu is the name of the puʻu in the picture above, directly behind our new friend.  And "puʻu", "hill" in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, does not need to be added to the name of the feature.  Kaliʻu is the name of the puʻu.  So if necessary, for clarification, puʻu Kaliʻu.  According to geologists, Kaliʻu is in the 400 - 700 year-old range, and sits in the ahupuaʻa of Kauaea.

Oh.  And the text and context of the chant can be found on p30 of "Pele and Hiʻiaka", by Emerson.  Sweet sweet memories.

And what else????

Oh.  Civil Beat people in Oʻahu.  GoRead:

Expand HAVO: Michael Ryan

Excellent thinking!

I keep saying, and I donʻt know if anyone is listening:  Pelehonuamea reasserts her authority.  Inundate we fix inundate we re-pave inundate we rebuild inundate we spendspendspend.  When we going learn???  Mr Ryan has some extremely interesting and provocative ideas.  

Surfers and others are crossing fresh ʻaʻā and getting to Pohoiki from the MacKenzie side.  To enjoy.  Make a trail across the ʻaʻā, or bulldoze across the top.  The trail is easy:  on ʻaʻā, all you do is pick the route, and strong-backed ones toss the bigger stones to either side, the smaller gravel falls to the bottom, and thereʻs your path.  People can walk.  Two miles.  No problem.  Go.  Just do it.  Like the intrepid surfers and explorers.  The trail option is way better.  Itʻll help protect resources.  And no, not everybody has a "Right" to go where ever they please, or to drive where ever they want.  But a trail over a public road, to a public beach...why not?  Oh.  Need luas.  Oh. "Liability". Oh. Cannot.  Oh.  Not supposed to.

You know what...Figure It Out!!!

My extremely rough calculations, off the map posted on the Civil Defense website, to get from MacKenzie to Pohoiki:

1,440 feet road, 1,450 feet ʻaʻā, 400 feet road, 750 feet ʻaʻā, 600 feet road, 1,600 feet ʻaʻā, 6,000 feet road.

Total Distance = 12,240 feet (2.3 mi).  1.6 miles on road, .7 miles on ʻaʻā.

Black Sand Beach (likely sharpish grains of sand), and at least a couple protected pools, likely with warm water (waiwelawela), and from what I read, dead sea creatures.

And then up here at Kaluapele:

Clear skies...Canʻt wait to walk again to Keanakākoʻi.  

OK...Oh.  Norman the hurricane is no problem.  Going up the top of the chain, hardly any rain or wind.

Gotta run.  More scribblings likely on Saturday.

As always, with aloha,


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Sunday, September 2, 2018. Hmmmmm. Have we learned anything?

What a wonder!  Brilliant clear blue skies, gentle winds, chilly crisp mornings, some very restful sleeps...everything seems back to normal.  How spectacular!

Is it?  Normal?  The County asks for $800 million to repave roads, build housing, etc etc etc.  The Park will reopen sooner rather than later.  Last date Iʻve heard for that is September 22.

Am I the only one who wonders:  Really???  I admire the certainty with which plans proceed.  The sense that everything will be fine, and weʻll simply proceed to make it all normal again.  And I shake my head.

A friend asked the other day:  How are you?  I thought for a moment and said:  Iʻm frickin exhausted.  Exhausted.  The Three Months of earthquakes up here.  The tension.  Will it end?  When will it end?  Will it get worse?  How much worse?  The 26 inches of rain at my hale...just over a week ago?  When do we get to enjoy the blue skies of memory?  Then it turned chill a few days ago.  Added a quilt to the bed.  And I wondered how come itʻs so cold?  Then I remembered:  The Three Months:  May, June, July.  Consumed by it all.  Timeless on and on-ness.  Wake up, think, write, attempt to live "normally", try to sleep, repeat, repeat, repeat.  And now itʻs September.  Thereʻs supposed to be a crispness to the morning air.

And now, at 10:11 am, I just read the HVO Update:  Late last evening, F8 was spattering, and pele slowly covered the floor of the lua, an area of about 210ʻ x 45ʻ.  Pelehonuamea is still active.  I sometimes sound like a broken record, I know...  Read, Learn, Try Understand.  Reports for your edification have been linked here again and again.

Pele will not be pau, extinguished, in our lifetimes.  She has been active for untold generations, and her presence shall remain till long long after weʻre gone.  Why do we seem to have such a difficult time understanding that???  This is HER place.  We are in the way.  we build our roads, our buildings, our infrastructure.  They are inundated, and we build anew. And Anew and Again and Again...  Please, someone, explain to me why?  Are we so arrogant to think that This Time weʻll win???  Weʻll just spend more money and more money, and re-do everything.  

Remember that word Malolo.  A pause, a rest... Tomorrow makes ONE MONTH since the pause began.  We have seen history-making, historic, life-changing, stupefying (thereʻs that word again!), befuddling, perplexing, devastating, heartwrenching change.  In three months.  The Three Months.  You can go look up the stats.  I shanʻt repeat them.  Please:

be outside...pay attention       noho i waho...a maliu

please?  At least try and realize.  SHE is in charge.  We are not.  I donʻt know how else to put it.  We need more tourists, we need to market better, we need to collect money, we need to make money.  Thatʻs what HTA says, thatʻs what Business says.  Are we so clueless that no one pays attention to what Pelehonuamea says?

I am often criticized by some for always complaining, for being too critical.  All I want is for people to open their eyes, their hearts, their minds, and to try to see from a different perspective.  And to be correct in spelling and pronunciation (always the proofreader and editor).  

I would love, as a friend said, for people to be infected.  I want everyone to be infected with a virus.  The virus of Aloha.  Who said viruses always have to be detrimental?  Become infected with aloha.  Some of us are.  Perhaps many of us are.  The aloha that engenders aloha ʻāina.  That love and caring for the land, all of it, as we would love and care for a beloved and cherished family member.  Not the aloha of slogans and ads and trite commercialism.  Not that kind.  

The kind of aloha and aloha ʻāina that I feel that makes me weep when I experience change and the loss that entails.  I weep for that which is lost, while knowing that Iʻll come to have aloha for the new faces in our midst.  For the new beaches, the new pali, the different colors and layers and...all that.  We shall come to know and adore them too.

Down at Pohoiki, the sandbar has morphed into a beach.  Pohoiki Black Sand Beach.  From HVO on August 31:

I sure hope that the kumu niu, the coconut trees, are able to grow fresh fronds.  And as a bonus there appear to be at least two ponds for keiki and kūpuna.

Up at Kaluapele, a new drone video from HVO, shot on August 26, 2018.  A bit dizzying, so Iʻve also included a few still screenshots:

Drone Video: posted August 30, 2018 by HVO: Kaluapele

View toward east.  Orangish Puʻupuaʻi at Kīlauea Iki at top left.  Maunaulu on horizon at top right.  Center right is the grey September 1982 Lava Flow.  Multicolored pali revealed themselves during incremental collapses of the floor of Kaluapele during 62 lūʻōniu (collapse-explosions) between May 16 and August 2.  Colors result from weathering of lava by heat and gases, and deposition of minerals by steam.

View toward Maunaloa, Kapāpala Ranch barely visible at top.  A section of road can be seen on the slumped kaulu (ledge).  The Halemaʻumaʻu Parking Lot was in this area.

From the other direction, view more or less east, section of road also visible on slumped kaulu.

And yes, these blogs will be irregularly posted.  When Iʻm inclined, or when Something happens...please stay tuned.

as always, with aloha,


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Tuesday, August 28, 2018, Number One Hundred...

Sunʻs out!  I wonder if I might stop holding my breath.  More rains?  Will Pele continue to rest?  What to do?  The sensible, prudent thing, I suppose, is to live life to the fullest, as best we can.  And so I shall.

One Hundred.  A hundred blogs...how did that happen?  One settles into a groove, a pattern, and just keeps going...like the Energizer Bunny...apropos for a Rabbit Year guy.

One thing I havenʻt been doing is responding to Comments posted.  I forget to look, I forget to reply, life gets in the way sometimes...But Billy Richards posted a Comment yesterday on the Sunday, August 26th post.  His comment is regarding ʻAilāʻau and "Old Lava"...

Iʻve talked about ʻAilāʻau and about old lava...and yes, there are those thinking that the elemental force driving pele in Keahialaka is the old guard...ʻAilāʻau, who inhabited Kīlauea Iki until he fled when Pele and her family arrived.  This wouldʻve been several hundred years ago.

The "old lava" erupted at the beginning of this eruption refers to magma that had been emplaced in dikes in the East Rift Zone in...1924,1955, 1960???  and was pushed out in front of the lava that erupted during the beginning of this eruption.  The stored magmas "evolved".  They changed chemistry as mineral crystals grew and settled in the dike, as gases escaped, and as the magma in the dike cooled ever-so-slightly.  That evolved magma, when erupted, simply looked different than fresh, hot lava.  The evolved "older" lava is pasty, black, and roughly-textured.  Fresh, hot, lava that has not spent a lot of time hanging out in the rift, erupts at hotter temperatures, is often pāhoehoe, and when it cools, has a silvery sheen, as weʻve seen for many years ma kai of Puʻuʻōʻō.

So "old", of course, is relative....And the Presentation suggested in Billyʻs comment would indeed very likely include lively discussion.  Iʻd enjoy listening and watching...

I donʻt know if these brief comments have added anything of substance for people to think about, but itʻs all a process...

And now, taking advantage of the generosity and hard work of folks at the United States Geological Surveyʻs Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, we are able to share the following video.  Itʻs posted on their website.  An excellent summary for #100.  Definitely worth replaying again and again.  Whatʻs missing, of course, are the sounds of rocks cracking, tumbling, and falling, the smells, the sensations of dozens of lūʻōniu and thousands of ʻōlaʻi, the feel of winds and rains; all of it stupefying.

The Before/After photos:

And the Video:

Kaluapele, April 14, 2018 to August 20, 2018

wow...We have watched and participated in history being made.  Decades from now, others will likely also say "wow"...

As always, with aloha,


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Sunday, August 26, 2018. Remarkable times...

Remarkable..."worthy of attention"...and something to remark or comment about...

And we shake our collective heads, perhaps wondering "What next?".  During the past 4 months (May to August), not necessarily in order:  ʻōlaʻi:  small, medium, large, extra large 2.8, 3.5, 4.6, 5.0, 5.4, 5.6, 6.9...tens of thousands of all sizes; Pelehonuamea and her pele working in Keahialaka, Halekamahina, Kapoho, Pūʻālaʻa, Malama, Waiwelawela, Pohoiki..., adding 875 acres to the shore of Hawaiʻi nei, inundating 13.7 square miles and 700+ houses with fresh ʻaʻā and pāhoehoe; newly sculpted puʻu, māwae, kīpuka, lae and kūʻono, 62 lūʻōniu and their attendant M5.3 equivalent energy-no-tsunami-generated shakings; Halemaʻumaʻu, then 280 feet deep, now ~1,500 feet deep; a new pali on the floor of Kaluapele with a face 400 feet tall; and at its base a new kaulu (ledge) many, many acres in size, falling off into the abyss of Halemaʻumaʻu; walls of the caldera decorated with evidence of numerous hāneʻe (rock falls or landslides) and with colorful new faces; and in recent days, rains and floods and bombastic torrents and more hāneʻe in Hilo Palikū, One, and Hanakahi; Hāmākua, and Puna, and more...and more and more...itʻs dizzying...

At Kawaiʻapapane, my place here at Keaʻau ma uka, I measured 26 inches of rain in the 66 hours from noon Wednesday to 6a Saturday.  More or less.  Good thing we can handle...

And a phrase that comes to mind, recorded by Mary Kawena Pukui, is

He aliʻi ka ʻāina, he kauā ke kanaka

The land is the chief, man is its servant

We are here at the pleasure of the elementals: pele, winds, rains, earth shakings, tsunami...and are subject to their whim.  We must

be outside...pay attention       noho i waho...a maliu

Observe and learn if we are to make any sense at all of all this.  We must.  If we continue to build where we shouldnʻt, where the elementals, if we pay attention, tell us Beware! then the consequences are on us.  

And yes, I suppose I keep repeating these things, and sometimes shout, but some people...hard head...  Theyʻre either stubborn, or they donʻt pay attention, and some seem incapable of accepting that they screwed up.  And that The Government should pay to make things right.  Please note, dear readers, that The Government, as stated previously, is Us...

Please think, mull, muse, consider...  And another little thing:  It seems that these days, in many minds, there is an expectation of Safety.  We want to be Safe.  The Government must keep us Safe.  We put up with a lot so we can be Safe.  Rules, laws, ordinances, codes, policies, statutes...of course some, and perhaps many of them are well-intentioned, and I am certainly not advocating anarchy or "AINOKEA: I do what I like"...no...

But when is enough enough?  Airport Security Screenings, Building Codes, Food Safety Codes, when are they enough?  This is when I long for the olden days, when life was, in my estimation, simpler.  Got banged up while backpacking or hiking?  Either dig into the first aid kit and improvise, or someone had to hike out for help.  Cars had no seatbelts, people (including me) smoked in planes, sunscreen wasnʻt invented, had glass and metal, but hardly any plastic, of course no computers, cell phones or social media.  OK OK OK...maybe too much coffee...  You get the point.  Maybe.  I know of many single-wall houses, post-and-pier, with the post on a river rock.  Many decades old.  They survived all sorts of nature-challenges.  They still stand.  No building "codes" back then, just Common Sense.  Common sense...what a seemingly uncommon concept these days!!!

And it might be common sense to think that after the stupefying volcanic events of May-August, that itʻll take time for things to settle.  To reach whatever states are natural.  The malolo, recess, still holds.  I believe that weʻre still in that place of what we know, was, as we anticipate our uncertain and unknown future.  Weʻll always be in that state of uncertainty, but it shouldnʻt cause us to be paralyzed.  Remember, study, learn lessons, proceed.

A wonderland of steams...yes, subsurface heat remains.  And Iʻve noted a newish webcam in the tower at HVO.  Itʻs a thermal one.  The scale is relatively low, but allows us to discern the warmer places.  30dC (white) is 86dF, while 20dC (purple) = 68dF.  Kinda PeterMax-y:

And note again, there is relatively a tiny amount of SO2, sulphur dioxide, being emitted.  In the range of a few hundred tons a day, rather than the several thousands of tons a day when the lava lake on the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu was active.  Time to store all those SO2 monitors?  Really good Volcano Watch summary, this week from HVO gas geochemists:

Volcano Watch 082318

And Iʻm thinking, hoping, etc., that the rains of Lane, combined with much-decreased fumings may result in cleanly washed airs and a return to that beloved visual, compliments of R. Alex Anderson in "Haole Hula":  

"The lovely blue of sky and the sapphire of ocean..."

Haole Hula lyrics

We are ever-optimistic...

And there will be more to read...maybe on Tuesday...

Till then, as always, with aloha,


Friday, August 24, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Friday, August 24, 2018. BigRain LokuLane

Thereʻs always something...but this seems to be an especially active season.  Especially active.  And we manage, enjoy, cope, are grateful, and wonder at the wonder of it all.

nvi. Downpour of rain; blowing of wind; to pour, of rain; to blow, as a gale; torrential. Fig., to feel deep emotion, pain, sorrow; to weep profusely; intense. Also noku. Ka ua loku, the pouring rain. Ke aloha loku i ka puʻuwai, love surging in the heart. Ke loku nei ka makani, the wind is blowing in a gale. hoʻo.loku To pour, as rain; to disturb; agitated.

The famed place, Hanalei, on Kauaʻi, and its "Ka Ua Loku Kaulana aʻo Hanalei"...a fun bouncy mele...The famous drenching rain of Hanalei.  And of course in Hilo we have Ka Ua Kanilehua: 

n. Name of a mistlike rain famous at Hilo. Lit., [rain that] lehua flowers drink. [An alternate interpretation is “rain that makes lehua flowers rustle.”] See ex., pāwehi. Hilo Hanakahi, i ka ua Kani-lehua (song), Hilo, [land of] chief Hanakahi and of the rain that gives drink to lehua flowers.

Hmmm...maybe the "mist" is that which rises up out of thundering waterfalls.  Nooo, Bob...that "mist" is a Pua ʻohu...

2. vi. To issue, appear, come forth, emerge, said especially of smoke, wind, speech, and colors, hence to smoke, blow, speak, shine. Cf. pua ahi, pua ehu, pua ʻehu, pua ʻena, pua hina, puana, puka. Pua ka uahi, the smoke rises. E pua ana ka makani, the wind rises.

nvs. Mist, fog, vapor, light cloud on a mountain; adorned as with leis.

And itʻs also the name of the home of a beloved niece, nephew, and their daughter, because at times like this, in drenching rains, we see the mists rise there in the uplands.

And then, of course, there is my favorite, the paka ua.  Growing up in Honokaʻa:  metal roof, big fat raindrops, spaced far apart, going paka, paka, paka as they hit.  Then after, when skies cleared, weʻd enjoy the sight of The Mountain blanketed with snow.  We called paka ua "snow rain".  "Ua" of course is "rain".

Noodling around with the Hawaiian Dictionary.  Always something interesting to muse about.

Up here at the ma uka-most reaches of Keaʻau, weʻve had 12+ inches of rain the last 36 hours.  Not bad.  And itʻs been interesting because the rains come in waves or bands...torrential for several minutes or more, then they rest and all is quiet, then more drenching downpours.  And the winds, thankfully, have been calm.  And the lights havenʻt gone out.  And as is our practice, we have plenty to eat.

The lua pele is enshrouded.  And Iʻm thinking that with all this rain, mayhaps the ground will be washed clean of the whitish lehu that fell during emissions accompanying the lūʻōniu, the "exploquakes".  Or the ash may be cemented by the rain, or... We shall of course see...

On Tuesday the 21st, a crew from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) walked around Kaluapele, looking for Benchmarks, those metal discs used in surveying, so the caldera can be resurveyed, documenting changes.

A Benchmark is shown above; that disc at the lower left.  Those familiar with Crater Rim Drive might recognize that this place on the floor is after you leave the Halemaʻumaʻu Parking lot, driving clockwise to Jaggar and HVO, this is just before the right-hand curve (see the yellow sign?) and then the hill up and out, then past the SW Rift Zone pullout.  
And the blue wedge of Maunaloa at upper right, with a small cloud of ash and rock dust blowing on the trades.

As NAP told me,

damn...the change is overwhelmingly real...not incredible!
ahhh...life...and what we "think" it is...
has mostly nothing to do 
with reality

And I think he said that because "Incredible" means "impossible to believe".  And as the photo above, and the many many others weʻve seen show us, the changes are indeed real.
Hoʻopūʻiwa, but real...

And of course Puna ma kai is drenched in rains too.  The photo below, from a helicopter of the lua at Fissure 8, is from Tuesday too.  The many shades of red in the walls...

As far as I know, we are still in malolo, a pause.  If youʻve wondered about the Tilt instruments on the deformation page, or the graphs themselves, it appears that the UWD Tilt machine at the summit may have died during our thunderstorm at noonish last Saturday.  And the graph of the ERZ Tilt may show the influence of our rains.  Stay tuned for more info.

The Updates from HVO reassure us that the ground is stable.


Now for some weekend browsing and reading.  In January 2013, Jim Kauahikaua at HVO and Pualani Kanahele of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation convened a two day meeting in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park to talk about Pelehonuamea.  Here is a link to the resulting report.  Perhaps youʻll find something of interest in its pages.

Stay tuned for more, sooner rather than later.

As always, with aloha,


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Wednesday, August 22, 2018, meet Hiʻiakalūʻōniu

Yup.  Late.  The best laid plans, etc.  Then life, other commitments, etc., sometimes get in the way.  Itʻs been another EARLY morning.  Woke at 250 or so.  Mind a-whirr.  And it didnʻt want to be stilled.   Darkness.  Still.  Quiet.  Except for that coqui in the distance.  

Before we get to the headline, here is something to consider, again...those words:  Pause, lull, rest, and...pau.  You pau?  Wen you goinʻ be pau? Almosʻ pau?  Pay aʻready?  Ha come not pau yet?  A very useful word, "pau"...

Pau = finished, ended, through, terminated....Thereʻs a place in or near the Basque Pyrenees named Pau.  I like go...  Yes, and yet another tangent.

So if we understand the definitions of "pau", the work of Pelehonuamea will likely never be pau.  A better word might be hoʻomalolo...to rest, pause, to cease work for a time.  Not to be confused with mālolo, those delightful flying fish.  Supposed to be very tasty.  We saw them...dredging up memories...maybe when we sailed from Hāna to Kahului on that sunnyWindy day, flying along on the canoe.  Thatʻll work.

"Hoʻo" is a prefix that activates the following verb.  Hoʻomalolo.  Good word, and apropos, because, (in unison, please...) We Donʻt Know whatʻs to come.

Down at Keahialaka, F8 sputters and fumes.  A little bit.  Sometimes.  And Mr Durginʻs cam intrigues...Faint orange glow on left, pixillated dawn at right.  I think...532 this morning.  We have to wait for Updates.

Spatter from jetting gases on Monday, August 20, the floor of F8.  The pale grey is fresh spatter.

Then an HVO drone video on Friday, August 17, spectacular view into the crater of F8:

081718, Drone Video into F8

The hues of red are caused by tephra (cinder, spatter, reticulite, etc.) oxidizing ("rusting") because of heat and gases.  Very artful.


And now, for the headlines:

Superintendent Cindy Orlando has stated that the the Park may "re-open" on Saturday, September 22.  That "reopening" will be extremely limited, and is, of course dependent on Pele being oia mau nō:  As she is now.  Itʻll be a long, careful, deliberate process.  Stay tuned.

Now.  Now we get to meet the newest elemental in our pantheon.  Recall that during those 62 Magnitude-5.3-Equivalent-Energy-Released-No-Tsunami-Generated shakes, we went through a number of names, descriptive mostly, in an effort to make sense of what was happening.  "Ōlaʻi.  ʻŌlaʻi ʻami (hema or ʻakau), ʻŌlaʻi ʻōniu, ʻŌlaʻi ʻōniu pele, etc etc etc.  Remember all that?  Then I said Stop.  Forget it.  I take back the Oop.  

And weʻve been thinking and talking.  With the esteemed and beloved Pua Kanakaʻole Kanahele.  She is one of my kumu, and a friend of 40+ years.  She knows things.  And based on what she and I each know, we collaborated.  We believe that if a culture is to live and thrive, learning, thinking, and learning must continue and evolve.  Always.  And new ideas must be based on foundations previously built.  I am not an expert on much of anything.  I depend on good thinking, provocative conversation, and maybe too many questions so ideas can be developed.  And yes, I talked with other good observers up here, and we all agreed, Yes...these are different.  Really different.  "These" being our 62 "exploquakes".  And if you werenʻt up here, you wouldnʻt have felt them.  Just us...

An "elemental" is what some, or many, used to call a god or goddess.  The Hawaiian ones.  Or deity.  Or...Madame???

Lū means, among other things, "to scatter, throw, as ashes"..."to shake", and lots of other things.  GoLook.

ʻŌniu, as weʻve hopefully learned by now, is short for ʻamiʻōniu "the figure-eight hula step; the revolving hips (ʻami) form an eight, with weight shifting..."

And A CAVEAT:  As thinking and understandings advance, this document shall be edited and updated.  And itʻs brief, because I wanted it to fit on one page.  Comments and questions are, as always, welcome.  And I may not have the answers, because I only know lillabit.

Please meet, and think about, Hiʻiakalūʻōniu:

As always, with aloha,


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Sunday, August 19, 2018. Ua noho au a kupa i kou alo...

The air is still and a bit humid.  Cardinals and doves call, and I wonder where the ʻapapane are.  Maybe they went up the mountain seeking coolness or are flitting about elsewhere lehua-seeking.

You know how sometimes youʻre mostly minding your own business and something random (or not) pops into your head?  Earlier I was poking around online, reading news snippets, and watching parts of news videos [those by Big Island Video News are especially apropos] about our current events.  Media are being toured around the Park so they can see and report on the changes wrought by Pelehonuamea.  It appears that from the ground, the scale and scope of Her remodeling is difficult to comprehend.  Especially...especially if one is new to the scene.  If one lacks context or history, how is change assessed or ascertained?  

So there I was, washing the morning dishes, and out of nowhere, there was "Ua noho au a kupa i kou alo, a kamaʻāina i kou leo..."  A song.  In the incomparable voice of Robert Cazimero.  Just like that.  "I have stayed and become accustomed to your face, and familiar with your voice".  Easy to find versions on youtube.  This one, by Kealii Reichel is particularly lovely...

Reichel: Ua noho au a kupa

The timeless poetry was written, some say, by Edward Nainoa in the 1890ʻs.  Others suggest it was written by Emma Bush.

Yup.  Bob tends toward the sentimental...Sigh...

When we meet someone, or a place, for the first time, thatʻs our baseline.  The beginning.  Time passes, and if weʻre lucky, familiarity grows and appreciation deepens.  At some point we may pause and look back, and think or say:  My!  Things have changed!  And we either get with the program, acknowledge change, and continue to appreciate, or, if too much the change, some get grumpy and say Nevermind!

It happened to me with Maniniʻōwali.  First encounter in 1972 with Tōb.  I was smitten.  And returned and returned and returned, countless times.  And then they bulldozed in a road.  And then they built houses ma uka.  And then they opened a park.  And over time, infatuation changed.  Though Maniniʻōwali and Kua Bay are among my ʻāina aloha, and I met and made cherished lifelong kuʻuhoa there, I rarely rarely visit these days.  Back then I was often the only one on the beach or in the Maniniʻōwaliblue waters.  The only one, or one of few.  Now...Now get 150 cars, 300 people on the sands or in the water, bodies from almost point to point, the sand is dirty...but the people meeting Maniniʻōwali these days for the first time, I believe, are delighted, and yes, maybe as delighted as I was 36 years ago.

And so it is here at Kīlauea.

We became accustomed to the face of Kaluapele, after decades of visits, explorations, wanderings.  We knew her many moods; the mists, rains, rainbows, clouds; innumerable colors, shades of light, textures; plants and birds and bugs; sounds, and scents.  We knew them well.  And now, though her face has changed, and will take a little getting used to, the essentials remain.  If anything, the incomprehensible events of the past few months remind us that the basics still surround us.  Wind and rain, pele, the sun and moon; all abide.

Even if, as above, the view to the south-ish from near Uēkāhuna looks muddied and nearly monochromatic, we at least understand why.  Well...maybe not so much "Why" as "How"...

And here are things to contrast.  Festive, colorful, and maybe even something to Print and Frame!  Our ʻōlaʻi, in colors!  These are for the past year.  

And note, below, our exploquakes - those big orangyred dots on the right side of the top row - the shallowest...

Gotta run.  Be back Tuesday.

As always, with aloha,

maniniowali@gmail.com  (now you know why...)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Kīlauea Update, Saturday, 081818. Weʻre All Learning (mahalo to gh and to Joni Mitchell)...

Indeed, indeed...if we pay attention, there is always more to learn.  A critical piece of learning is reviewing histories, then adjusting and adapting to new circumstance.

I was heartened to read in the paper that the Superintendent of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Cindy Orlando, is contemplating a "Reset" of management policies, to in part, alleviate congestion in the Park.  I wrote her saying that I believe that the focus of Interpretation, explaining Park resources to visitors must be Reset too, placing Native Hawaiian culture at the forefront.  

Pelehonuamea has entirely remodeled Kaluapele (the caldera) in stupefying ways.  It stands on a pedestal all its own, and is not at all comparable to any other place on earth.  We must celebrate the uniqueness of what for many is our ʻāina aloha.  Perhaps, at last, all can begin to appreciate the wonders of this place from the perspectives of those whose families have dwelt here for centuries.

Too, Iʻm contemplating a Reset of my own.  Not too much of one, though.  No panic...

This blog thing began because of my frustrations with media coverage at the beginning of The Recent Events.  MC and CM provided the kickstart, and to them Iʻm eternally grateful.  Poor, inaccurate, sensationalistic, sometimes false information, presented by those clueless about this place, inspired me to get off my ʻōkole (or more properly, ʻēlemu) and do something rather than just namunamu (to grumble or to complain).  And itʻs gone on and on and on...This is #95.  Who woulda thought???  

These were started mostly in pre-dawn darkness, because Iʻm a morning person, and more simply because webcams, especially the now-dead PGcam, allowed us to see what Pele was up to at Puna ma kai.  And the summit cams provided sunrise and other views of places otherwise inaccessible.  And with all the ʻōlaʻi, real and anticipated, I was often awake at 330a.  The average blog takes maybe three hours to assemble.  I think the longest took six hours.  No real outline, just a few notes or phrases, then I root around in computer files and the www for additional inspirations.  A gigantic MAHALO to the folks at the United States Geological Surveyʻs Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS HVO) for their photos, graphs, and other images.  All I did was curate and present them in ways that made sense to me, hoping that theyʻd make sense to you too.

Is there a point, Robert?

Yes.  Though I am well aware of the fact that Pele may, at any time, redirect her energies, while we wonder, I donʻt see the need to write daily and compulsively.  There are other projects requiring my energies.  So Iʻll post, likely several times a week; however many times Iʻm inspired to do so.  And there will likely be Topics (thanks lr).  Topics related to things other than those volcanic.  Plants, place names, pet peeves, those you suggest, what-la, and those quotidian observations I enjoy so much.  [An author, pen-named Trevanian, wrote a number of novels, including favorites "Shibumi" and "Summer of Katya".  He always found a way to use "quotidian" in them].

Moving along...

Yesterday, brilliant blue sky and crisp white clouds...just a tiny bit of exhalation...This from near Volcano House, by HVO staff...

And the Tilt...here at the Summit,

 and there at the Middle East Rift Zone.  Both trending downward.  Portending????
While at the shore, pele is still oozing.  Right now up here, the air reeks of what I think might be hydrogen sulfide.  REALLY rotten eggs.  Itʻs raining, and winds are slack or from the east a bit.  Water + Sulphur = Hauna!!! and a headache.

Remember that the kahawai pele is 8 miles long.  Rock is a really good insulator, so though the surface of the flows are crusted and appear cool, the tens of feet of pele below the surface is still very hot, and obviously molten in places, at least as of yesterday.

At Pohoiki, also yesterday,

I wonder...how much of that bay will be black sand beach?  And for how long?  Looking vaguely Kaimū-ish with all those kumu niu (coconut trees).  Sure hope they arenʻt dead.  So very many kumu niu from Puna ma kai were dug up and trucked to resorts to beautify and tropicalize the lavalands on the west side...and of course now the trees there are all nutless to avoid lawsuits from Death and/or Injury By Falling Coconut.  Auē!

And this rain, harder now, is an excellent, excellent thing, helping to finally extinguish the 3,739 acres burned during the Keauhou Fire.

Why not end today with a few haiku from the morning walk at the Golf Course?

heady scented airs
eastside fullblooming gingers
memories recalled

doves wings driving winds
feast on lawn interrupted
surprising the breeze

swelling of slope clear
distinctly outlined features
now as it was then

OK?  Till next time, as always, with aloha,