Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mount Hualalai

Morning clouds. I look out from my lanai as I sip my first cup of coffee and see that there is a cloud base with a ceiling around a thousand feet. Well, I have to shoot the Kamakana construction site today, last Friday of the month, every month. But it's not going to happen this morning. I retreat to the office and spend the day working on wedding photos I have to get out to anxious brides. I walk out into the yard every hour or so to inspect the sky in hopes of clearer sky above. The afternoon begins and I return to staring at a monitor full of smiling young women and their new husbands.

Around three I sense sunshine pushing through the makai (Seaside) windows of my office. I look out and see that the clouds have disappeared all about my island. Smiling, I grab my flight bag holding my camera and head to Kona Airport. Preflight, taxi, call tower, departure and start shooting aerial photos of location. The construction site goes well and as I finish my last run I look about and see that Mount Hualalai is completely devoid of clouds, very unusual on any afternoon.

My work is done for today. What the hell I believe I will circle the mountain on whose slopes I live and see what I can see. Hualalai is a dormant volcano whose summit is made up of a series of distinct craters peaking at 8,300 feet. On the Kona side of Hualalai is the village of Kailua where I live, my house resting at the 500' level. On the north side of the mountain sits a valley stretching to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

Hualalai with Mauna Kea beyond

                                                            The summit of Hualalai

The Kona slopes of Hualalai, my house lies in the subdivision in the lower left corner of the photo

Mauna Kea on the left and Mauna Loa to the right

Just above Kailua Village and my home I snap a last shot of the sun before it sets into the Pacific. I then  pull the power back,  shove the nose over, call the tower and dive down for the sea level runway at Kona Airport. A good afternoons work.


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