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Many, many nice images are being captured and shown from the current inflation at Halema’uma’u crater. Those of us that have access, time, talent and equipment are being given a great opportunity to capture God’s creation at work.

In looking over the numerous images I captured the other evening, I ‘see’ a few faces/profiles within the plume rising from the crater. While I don’t believe in Pele or the numerous other gods associated, I don’t disrespect, look down upon or otherwise ridicule another persons free will to choose what and who they believe in. I say this because I do not wish to create a religious or spiritual debate, argument or otherwise tick someone off. We, as individuals, believe what we believe.

Do I think the following images captured some ‘spirit images’? Nah. Just interesting stuff.

The first image, to my eye, looks like a lady in the plume. When I first saw the image on my LCD screen, I smiled and just said ‘Wow’. The folks standing next to me looked at me to see what I was talking about and I asked them to take a look at the screen. When they did, they said ‘Look at the lady!’. Pretty cool.

The second image, to my eye, looks like an old crone or hag.

The third image, to my eye, appears to be another profile.

The fourth image, to my eye, is probably the coolest one. It appears to be a Spanish Conquistador.

Yes, I have a very vivid and active imagination. You won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t see the profiles or think I’m seeing things. Just presented for enjoyment, kind of like looking at shapes in the clouds.

Music by Eric Matyas at

Lava Lake

As of this morning, the lava was about 13 feet from the rim of the Overlook crater and getting ready to spill into the larger Halema’uma’u crater.

For background, I’ve cut and pasted the following text directly from the USGS site that is here

The summit lava lake is within an elliptical crater (unofficially called the Overlook crater), which has dimensions of approximately 160 m (520 ft) by 210 m (690 ft), inset within the eastern portion of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The lake level has varied from about 25 m to more than 200 m (out of sight) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The Overlook crater has been more-or-less continuously active since it opened during a small explosive event on March 19, 2008. The lake level responds to summit tilt changes with the lake generally receding during deflation and rising during inflation. Since 2013, the lava level has been typically between 30 m (100 ft) and 60 m (200 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Small collapses in the Overlook crater are common, and over time have resulted in a gradual enlargement of the Overlook crater. The ambient SO2 concentrations near the vent vary greatly, but are persistently higher than 10 ppm and frequently exceed 50 ppm (upper limit of detector) during moderate trade winds. The gas plume typically includes a small amount of ash-sized tephra (mostly fresh spatter bits and Pele’s hair from the circulating lava lake). The heaviest pieces are deposited onto nearby surfaces while the finer bits can be carried several kilometers before dropping out of the plume.

You can check the live webcam at Volcanoes here

Don’t be surprised if the view is vogged/fogged in much of the time.

Who knows how long this will continue, it may end tonight and it might just continue to fill the larger crater.  Since I know most of you cannot make the trek to see it, I’ve brought it you in the following video from early this morning.  The video was shot at the visitor center, just a little over a mile away from the lava lake.


I ended up shooting a couple of hours worth of video last night at the volcano and just wanted to share this short clip of the lava churning within Halema’uma’u Pit Crater.

About Last Night


Halema’uma’u Update

You can now see the lava lake in the pit crater.  If this continues, the lava will spill over and begin to fill the larger crater.

Who knows, it could deflate tomorrow!

Image is from 4.24.15 (Friday).

Lava Lake

Lava Level Increasing Within Halema’uma’u

A couple of days ago the lava level in the crater increased to it’s highest level to date.  You can see spattering as the level reaches the top of the crater.  Cool.  Or hot, depending on your view.

This is just a quick shot of the crater from last night and I’ll head back tonight with the 100-400mm lens and try to capture the spattering.  Who knows, it may continue and overflow into the Kilauea Crater or it may deflate, there is no way to know what will happen.


Volcano Moon

Shooting Halema’uma’u about a month and a half ago when the moon rose over Kilauea Iki.

Shot with a Canon 100-400mm IS I.

Volcano Moon

Saggy Butt Lava Man and His Trusted Saber Tooth Lava Tiger Playing Ball

Yeah, that’s pretty much what I see in this lava flow.  How about you?

Our transfer station (the dump) re-opened a couple of days ago after having a great deal of lava scraped off of the ground to allow for the placement of cargo containers that hold recyclables and trash.  All of our trash gets shipped off to a landfill on the mainland by barge.  Where else can you put it?  What’s that?  Conveyer belt to Kilauea?  Yeah, it’s actually been brought up before by people.  They are still looking for those folks.

Anyway, you can see all sorts of ‘things’ in the lava that flowed into the transfer station and this formation really caught my eye.  On the left is Saggy Butt Lava Man and to his right is his trusted Saber Tooth Lava Tiger holding a lava ball in his mouth.

Maybe I’ve been breathing sulfur dioxide too long.  Is it just me or do you see it as well?

Saggy Butt Lava Man

Back To Halemaumau

Finished up an all day Jeep tour at Volcanoes National Park with the night view of Halemaumau pit crater.  It was very quiet last night, no rumbling, no explosions, no hissing and a smaller ‘light show’.  Still can’t get enough of it.



Spent a little time at Volcano last night and really enjoyed the clear skies.  In my experience, it is unusual to not have clouds, rain and a steady breeze.

We left earlier than I would have liked when the breeze did start to blow and we could begin to smell Sulfur Dioxide and see that the smoke from Halemaʻumaʻu was beginning to head our way.

Halemaʻumaʻu is a pit crater is located in Volcanoes National Park and is situated within the summit caldera of Kilauea.


Halemaʻumaʻu Up Close

Capturing all things big and small.

Capturing as in digital capture.  This not-so-little snail was near the rear of the lava flow the other day.  I doubt he will outrun it.

The snail may be quiet, hidden and very slow…but it’s still wild.


Lava Snail

Kilauea Caldera

Well, we dealt with the Tsunami warning like any other sane person would do, we drove down to Hilo Bay to check it out.  We did not go to the bay as we did not want to get in the way of emergency crews and the like.  We perched ourselves on a nice hill that has a view of the bay.  Fortunately the Tsunami was very mild with no major (or really any minor) damage.  What better to do after that than head on up to Kilauea Caldera and check out the lava level?

The wind was blowing very hard at the observation deck overlooking the caldera at Volcanoes National Park.  Made for some difficult shooting.  I think we came away with some wild shots just the same.

A little closer.