“House of the sun” – Haleakala National Park, Maui…

The land mass of East Maui is simply the top of a huge shield volcano that begins more than 5km below the sea level. Its last spewed molten lava some 200 years ago is still considered to be active, although not currently erupting. Its summit depression is about 12km-long and 4km-wide, formed by erosional forces acting on volcanic rock. In under 2h, we drove from ocean level to the 3055m peak, rising from one ecosystem to the next one – sugar cane fields, Pacific pine trees, blue gum eucalyptus, and even lavander, while temperature and oxygen level went on falling dramatically from 29°C to 9°C! This natural preserved wonder has reminded me of another amazing small volcano – “El Cuervo” from Lanzarote Canary island: 🙂

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The only plant that thrives here under the most hostile conditions is the silversword; the volcano offers “it”: hot days, chilly nights, porous ash soil… The soft silvery hairs on its incurved leaves protect it from sunlight and draft. It takes up to 50=fifty years to blossom when it raises an awesome “spike” of purplish flowers! up there, I could catch sight of Big Island’s 2 volcanoes that I visited several years ago: Mauna Kea & Mauna Loa… I approached the “Science City” – kinda fiction-style cluster of research station set in a lunar landscape; data gathered here help scientists to map the movements of the Earth’s crust.


About Mél@nie

https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/about/ Mélanie Bedos-Toulouse @ Facebook

Posted on 15 February 2015, in melanie. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. C’est super beau Hawaii. Je connais le Parc Volcanique de l’ile de Hawaii (the big island) et j’ai adoré la variété des paysages de toute cette ile un peu moins visitée que ses soeurs. En tous cas merci pour tes superbes photos, Mélanie. A plus tard.

  2. the area appears awe barren at first sight, but there is life!

  3. What an interesting plant, that silversword. I see it grows quite tall and saw a picture of an adult woman standing next to one…it was taller that she was by at least a foot. The landscape would make a perfect location for filming a sci-fi movie.

    Glad to see you’re still having fun out there. 😀

  4. Tes photos évoquent un paysage lunaire typique des zones volcaniques.
    En ce qui me concerne, le seul volcan en activité où j’ai mis les pieds est le Teide à Tenerife. Il sentait bien le soufre! J’ai ramené quelques roches mais elles se sont assez vite dégradées. Bonne fin de WE! Mo

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