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.
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.
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.
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.
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.