SmugMug Appreciation Sunday — No. 027

In brief, these posts serve to introduce new readers — and reintroduce regular readers — to photos from the early days of this blog and, occasionally, to photos from days before this blog came into existence.

Two galleries again this week, for a total of 140 photos! The post associated with the first set of photos is HERE, and the photo gallery is HERE. Again, many of the photos are similar to each other, hence why I’ll add photos from another gallery after these.

These were all shot with the D7000 during one of our drives on my favorite road on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi: Saddle Road.

“All I see are rocks. Specifically, lava rocks. Where’s the road?”

OK, so it’s more about the views from the road than the actual road. Stretches of the road are cut through old lava flows (but not that old) from both Mauna Kea and Muna Loa.

On this particular drive, I wanted to capture some of the (sparse) vegetation trying to get a foothold on the lava. I mentioned before that the ʻōhiʻa-lehua plant is likely to be the pioneer in recent lava flows. But, there are other plants.

. . . and then zooming out . . .

Here’s a more panoramic scene from the side of the road. It shows the cloud-shrouded Mauna Kea and some of its verdant slopes.

Here’s a panorama showing Mauna Loa on the left and Mauna Kea on the right, with the road cutting through between them, hence the name.

At that location, we’re at about 6,500 ft of elevation. If you noticed the white globs on the red plants pictured above, you might have surmised they are flowers . . . and, yes, they are. And, where there are flowers, there are bees . . .

Those are fairly small, but these are even smaller . . .

Yes, since I travel with multiple lenses, that’s shot with my macro lens. I’m sure drivers of passing cars might have wondered what that crazy haole was doing on the side of the road. Actually, they probably used the term howlie, and probably not in an affectionate way.

This was about a month after we had moved there and had our car (we shipped the Highlander). We decided to head up Mauna Kea’s road. It’s a pretty steep road, narrow, and with some sharp turns. It is paved, but as it was getting late, we didn’t want to head too high up and decided to save the trip for another time (as it turns out, we never made it up there before leaving the island).

I think we made it to 8,000 feet or so (the visitor center is a tad higher, around 9,200 feet), but I took some nice panoramic photos on the way back down.

That’s Mauna Loa in the background.

I also saw this abandoned Quonset Hut just begging to be photographed.

The rest of the gallery has photos of tree remnants, victims of past lava flows, and grasses covering old lava . . .

The next gallery (HERE) has 87 photos and is documented in THIS blog post.

I mentioned grasses claiming the lava fields, and these photos don’t do justice to the sight. These are not on Saddle Road proper, but on Waikoloa Road, on the way to Saddle Road Junction.

That’s Mauna Loa’s slope in the background, and you can see just barely see Kawaihae on the right edge of the photo.

This area is generally pretty windy, and the tall grass (it is tall, even if not evident in the photo) is whipped around by the wind. It’s a scene of constant motion that I didn’t film in this outing.

And, of course, goats are found all along these roads.

The Blog post has a map with numbers to reference, describing the areas I visited and identifying the photos from those areas. For instance, these next photos were snapped along the old stretch of Saddle Road as opposed to the newer, wider, less torturously winding route.

Along that road, this and similar shrubs caught my attention.

Also along that road, a post (not a blog post; just a regular post).

And cows marching in a straight line . . .

One neat thing about that stretch of road was that often you felt as if you were about to ride atop the clouds . . .

The destination on that particular trip was the Pu’u Huluhulu Cinder Cone. This gallery doesn’t have a photo of the cone, so I’m using one from the previous gallery.

Anyway, I took a panorama of some Koa trees near the top. The protected wildlife area is fenced off from the feral goats and boars, and it has a decent forest of Koa trees. There are supposed to be some rare birds in there as well, but I saw no birds during my visit. 

That’s Hawaiʻi, but it could be Colorado if those were shrub oaks.
Closeup of the lava comprising the cone.
And a wider view.

Next up, a guy taking a challenge that’s apparently popular with locals and tourists. . . climbing the steep slope made up of loose soil. He did it barefoot and, after considerable effort, made it to the top.

There are a number of photos of lava, especially the different colors of lava. That’s right . . . lava has colors.

You could occasionally see other stuff in the lava fields . . .

Bones . . .
. . . a solitary tree . . .
. . . and the solitary remnants of a tree.

I risked incurring Pele’s ire by appropriating this piece of lava . . .

I still have it . . .

. . . luckily, she’s still taking inventory and hasn’t noticed it’s gone . . .

Note: the transition is set to 2sec, but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower left, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. If you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button, you’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug. You can still scroll through the photos, or interact in other ways.

Slideshow of Saddle Road Part I — (53 photos)

Slideshow of Saddle Road Part II — (87 photos)

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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