When we visited Hawaii’s Big Island we spent a lot of time outdoors (see our Top 10 must do list of Hawaii Big Island activities here). Hawaii is truly a land still being created and we were constantly amazed at the abilityof stunning plants to thrive in what appeared to be barren volcanic soil. We thought you’d enjoy a look back at the colors and contrasts of life in the volcano zone.
The active volcanic areas such as the Halema`uma`u crater at the Kīlauea summit and the ocean entry, where new lava pours into the sea, feature large smoking plumes of sulfur-laden gas that create a pretty hostile area for any kind of flora or fauna.
Amazingly however, plant life quickly establishes itself and works to transform the landscape. Examples of the powers that the island’s plant life have to re-emerge after the lava cools were abundant. Along the Devastation Trail, the cinder field left from a 1959 eruption is showing signs of new life.
But amid the cinders, new life takes hold and blooms.
Along the Chain of Craters Road, which offers access a number of trails and lava viewing overlooks, the lava fields show signs of new life. Even in the East Rift Area, where the flows are active, the plant life returns quickly.
In older volcanic areas, such as dormant Mauna Kea which last erupted 4,500 years ago, a wide range of vegetation has returned including some very rare plants like the Silversword.
Finally, in rainy areas where volcanic activity occurred in the distant past, ferns and large trees return to stand next to ancient lava trees.
We felt like we were in Jurassic Park!
Hawaii’s Big Island is a wonderful family vacation for teens and tweens. The challenges of hiking, snorkeling and exploring the island assure they will never get bored. We highly recommend making the trip.
We included a link to this post in the Delicious Baby Photo Friday round-up. Stop by over there for more fun family travel photos.