Green Flash

It was a beautiful evening as I drove home from work. The clear air allowing appreciation of all five volcanoes that loom over South Kohala. Indeed, the horizon was completely clear, the island of Kaho╩╗olwe visible over 60 miles away.

As I drove I noted the Sun beginning to settle into the distant horizon. At the wheel I couldn’t look long enough to be certain, but I thought I saw an Etruscan vase effect as the solar disk made first contact with the horizon. Curiosity peaked, I pulled over to properly watch the end of sunset. A pleasant surprise rewarded my view, a decent green flash was apparent as the last glimmer vanished.

Better yet, the camera caught the effect as well. Of the dozens of sunsets I have stopped and watched, this was the best green flash seen yet from such a high elevation. Still, it was modest compared to a couple flashes I have seen from sea level. I can only wonder how good this evening’s flash was as seen from the shoreline, 2,000 feet below.

Green Flash
A modest green flash as seen from the Mamalahoa Highway outside Waimea, 1 Dec 2011

Postcard from Hawaii – Too Many Bananas!

A third bunch of bananas in as many weeks! Yeah, just a few too many bananas around here. Did the cooler weather bring them all on at once? Look for bunches of apple bananas in the Kohala break room at work tomorrow!

In the meantime… Banana smoothies! Two bananas, a cup of plain yogurt, a bit of milk to thin out the mixture, a handful of ice cubes, and a couple heaping spoonfuls of my sister-in-laws strawberry jam. Blend and enjoy!

Bananas
A bunch of apple bananas from the backyard banana patch

Postcard from the Summit – Sunrise Panorama

Watching sunrise from the summit of Mauna Kea is often the highlight of many visitor’s trip to the island. Any given morning will see a handful of tour vans and rental Jeeps atop the summit ridge awaiting the first glint of sunlight. A small crowd of camera wielding tourists mill about, gazing at the spectacle or huddle in vehicles to avoid the bitter wind.

I do occasionally stop to watch myself. While the telescope operators head for breakfast down below. I stop and join the crowd for a few minutes. Sometimes you just have to take a moment and enjoy the privilege of working in a place like Mauna Kea.

Click on the image for a better appreciation of what it is like to be there… Without the wind.

Sunrise Panorama
Sunrise seen from the summit of Mauna Kea, panorama assembled from ten separate frames.