Travel Photo Mondays – #2

Travel Photo Monday

Welcome to Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling .

For my second submission, I’m taking you to this beautiful area with striking landscape at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. Desolate and barren, this area along the Chain of Craters road seem to be limited in plant form and life. Only few trees survive in this harsh environment due to lack of nutrients and hard lava rock to cling unto.

Volcanoes National Park

Lonely Ohia in full bloom

Chain of Craters Road

Along the Chain of Craters road from the top of Volcanoes National park to the rugged shoreline is an area filled with changing typography, plant life and history from a series of lava flows and devastation in its path. Originating from Kilauea, the volcano is still active and is continually spewing toxic gasses, fire and lava from the caldera and along the east rift, flowing down lava tubes and out into the ocean along the Puna coastline . Even in these empty and desolate areas, they are filled with history, legends and the people who live and pay tribute to this spiritual place. The early Hawaiians came to this place to etch their personal histories into the lava rocks and pay homage to their goddess, Pele of the Volcano. Whole areas of rolling rock show thousands of shallow holes or ‘pukas’  symbolizing families and their children – the parents come to pay homage to their ancestors and create a space for their newborn to be a part of their Ohana (family) with these petroglyphs carved into the lava rock.

Volcanoes National Park

Petroglyphs on lava

Volcanoes National Park

Petroglyphs etched on rock


 Pahoehoe Lava

Lava formations with the undulating pahoehoe formations which are ever-changing lava rock shaped into various shapes, roping effects, and many interesting patterns and colors. In the late afternoon light, the pahoehoe shines to a silver black during the golden hour and casts a glow with its undulating patterns like those below. Out of these solid lava rocks small cracks form and hold minute nutrients and with the afternoon winds, the many seeds that blow into these crevices form into ferns, ground cover and even the occasional tree like the hardy Ohia Lehua tree with their blooming red clusters of Lehua flowers – they are amazing and survive in these harsh environments.



Volcanoes National Park

Pahoehoe lava rock formations

 Legend of the Ohia Lehua

As legends tell of two lovers, Ohia and Lehua,  who were deeply in love with each other. One day Ohia happened upon Pele, the goddess of the volcano who instantly became infatuated with the handsome Ohia and wanted him for her husband. Ohia refused her, claiming his devotion to Lehua and in her rage, Pele turned Ohia instantly into a tree. Out of pity for the grieving Lehua, the other gods turned her into a red flower placed on a tree so that both would be reunited again.  Hawaiians believe when it rains and a blossom is picked from the tree, this symbolizes the tears of the eternal lovers.

Native Hawaiians still use the Ohia bark and leaves for medicinal purposes including being used as a painkiller during childbirth.

Volcanoes National Park

Lava rock formations ahd Ohia trees in bloom.




Volcanoes National Park

Scenic overlook




Volcanoes National Park

dead ohia trees on lava




Volcanoes National Park

Lone tree along the Chain of Craters road.



Thanks for taking this tour of Volcanoes National park on this Travel Photo Monday, if you would like to travel to other destinations around the world, please click on any of the links below to see some more gorgeous travel images.

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37 Responses to Travel Photo Mondays – #2

  1. njoyeverymoment July 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Amazing clicks 🙂 and thanks a lot for stopping by my blog and sharing the info about travel photo mondays 🙂

  2. that's the way the cornbread crumbles July 13, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    what an interesting a beautiful place. I’ve never been to Hawaii. Thanks for the invite to join. I’ll be back on Monday with some of my travels…even they may be just travels in my own area.

  3. Suzanne July 13, 2013 at 1:26 am #

    Thanks for inviting me to contribute to the photo challenge. I don’t know how to post my link in the box you have provided so I’ll put it here.
    I hope you like it. 🙂

  4. Suzanne July 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    I’m glad I found your site. Your photos of lava are very interesting. There are many extinct volcanoes in the area I live in and the beaches are littered with lava rocks. Quite different from the ones you have photographed though.

  5. Mary {The World Is A Book} July 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    This collection of photos are absolutely gorgeous. We visited Volcanoes NP awhile ago but is at the top of our list for a do-over since we didn’t have enough time. Thanks for taking me back to this beautiful landscape. Love the ohia trees in bloom against the desolate background.

  6. Marisol@TravelingSolemates July 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Hi Noel, your photos are stunning. The landscape is very dramatic and you captured it very well. I love the story of Ohia and Lehua.

  7. Catherine July 10, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    What a beautiful tour of Volcanoes National Park! I’d love to visit Hawaii one day, it seems like such a magical place. Will be sure to link up here more often 🙂

    • Noel July 10, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Hi Catherine, Yes please come and join us on Mondays, thanks

  8. Pat July 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    What interesting photos of a place I’ll probably never be fortunate enough to see in person. I enjoyed visiting through your eyes.

  9. ladyfi July 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    What beautiful volcanic landscape. And such gorgeous shots! Love that lone tree against the blue sky.

  10. Carver July 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Your photography is fantastic. I enjoyed all of the shots very much.

  11. elaine schoch @ July 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Wow. Your photos are always stunning. I love the volcanic landscape.

  12. travelnwrite July 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Noel, I linked up yesterday, but don’t seem to see any links today. . .something hay-wire with TP Monday? Or am I not seeing the other links?

    • Noel July 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Not sure but the links seem to be working, try it again.

  13. SandyCarlson July 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    These are great shots. The road looks to me like a sleeping reptile.

  14. Jennifer July 9, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Great photos! I find volcanic landscapes fascinating.

  15. planetlew July 9, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Volcanoes have always fascinated me. Hope to get to see some of these one day.

  16. Eileen July 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Hello Noel, I love these shots of the Volcanoes National Park,. They bring back memories of my own trip there. It is an amazing place to visit, thanks for sharing your world.

  17. Jess July 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    This is beautiful – but nothing like I picture Hawaii when I think of it! I’m not a beach person, but I would love to visit the lava fields.

  18. Boom & Gary July 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  19. Marcia July 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Great shots, Noel. I’m glad I don’t have to choose as that would be difficult. Love the legend and that the bark of the tree has medicinal properties.

  20. Sunshine July 8, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    breathtaking beautiful landscape images. ♥

  21. Karisa July 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I really love the tree photo!

  22. Sonel July 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Stunning shots Noel! The last photo is my favourite for sure! 😀

  23. Anita Mac July 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Great photos! Love the texture of the hardened lava.

  24. budget jan July 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    The dead ohia on lava is a spectacular photograph. It is the cloud that catch the eye – it is magnificent against the blue background.

  25. Life Images by Jill July 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    amazing images. I particular love the one with the rock lit up by the sunlight with the chia trees in flower.

    • Michele {Malaysian Meanders} July 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      I had a previously unidentified flower in a photo from Volcanoes National Park, but now you’ve showed me that it’s an ohia tree. Thanks! Glad the mystery is solved. I really love your photos.


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I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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