Thursday, January 28, 2010

For The Record

I publish the blog as a community service; a place people can come to get the essential pulse of the Big Island’s weather, surf and volcano information all in one place without having to search multiple sites to receive it.

My intention is to share my first-hand accounts of weather, surf and the lava viewing conditions, often accompanied with my photographs, and combining these field notes & photos with other sources. For the volcano information these other sources are wide-ranging: I have many supportive friends that are involved with the Kilauea volcano in various capacities; pilots, National Park field rangers, Civil Defense personnel, local residents living either near the National Park or in the Kalapana area, other photographers, and even reports from visitors to the active flow fields. For surf and weather reports I often receive phone calls from friends on all the islands.

To this array of first-hand information I add highlights from some of the elaborate public information sites posted daily; such as on the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory pages, as well as the from the National Park Service, and I may also include at times other reports on weather and surfing from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

On the bottom right side of this blog page I have many of these public information sites listed for everyone to bookmark or visit. When appropriate, I also include any information I share on this site with a direct link to the source highlighted in blue font like this; not always but nearly always. If you cruise back through my past postings you will see this is the case.

There are times when my first hand accounts will read nearly the same as another sites post and that is simply because we are both observing the same event. If I do use text from another site I credit them and put the information in quotes.

I am writing all the above because last night I received a bunch of comments on my blog postings by one person bent on bashing me and accusing me of plagiarism, stealing others content etc. I am not sure what their motivation for this could possibly be, nor do I care, because I know it is misguided and coming from intentions other than honorable. What I do care about is to deliver accurate updates on our amazing volcano activity, weather & surf events, and to share my passion for these Big Island events, and my love of photography, with anyone visiting this blog or my photography site.

I have zero advertising on this site and I do that proudly and with intent. There are too many sites on the web touting volcano information, even including some of the same links I offer, but their sites are often very cluttered with all sorts advertising and I find that unneeded and annoying. I do not make a dime from offering what I do here.

I spend about one hour each morning gathering the pertinent information for each posting: creating informative graphics and/or photographs, reading email reports from my contributing friends or taking phone calls from them and writing scripts and text. I am out on the active lava flow fields nearly daily and often well into the night. I have been hiking and photographing the lava activity for twelve years and so I also draw on my intimate study of this ongoing geology as well.

If my efforts here have somehow irked even one of my readers, I apologize and hope they can get over their problem with the ways & means I offer my information here, and find something more constructive to do than bashing the messenger and his methods. One result is having to now moderate comments on my site, something I had never considered before.

For all you others - thank you for your supportive comments and emails!; it does help to know you have found some value in my posts here.

May the lava flow safely to the sea again soon,
I am going surfing now,


  1. Keep up the wonderful work Leigh!!! I read every post and find the blog to be extremely helpful in understanding the volcano itself and what is currently happening. Screw anyone who says otherwise!

  2. I am visiting the Big Island for the first time and came across your blog. It has been very helpful in finding out what is going on with the Volcano and your pictures are great. Thanks for the service. With the current status of the lava flows, do you think it would be worth it to take a helicopter ride over the volcano? Sharon

  3. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for your comment (and to Chris above too!)

    Yes I think at this point with the molten lava hard to see from any place you can drive to, that a helicopter tour would give you a decent look down on where it is flowing high atop the slopes near Pu`u O`u Crater vent. There are a few different companies doing the volcano tours. A Google search for "big island helicopter tours" will bring them all up.

    Have a good trip!!

  4. Tell 'em to get stuffed!
    I look forward to you daily posts as my wife and I are visiting Big Island from Australia in a few weeks and we have found your updates very helpful and informative. I know you gather info from various sources to add to your own observations and knowledge but I find what you offer to be a nice summary of whats going on. If I so desire I can zip off to those other sites if I need further in depth info.
    Keep doing what you are doing and I hope to see you at the trailhead when we are there in March.

  5. Agree with other comments...your blog is the one to check out...details,pictures , & insights are GREATLY APPRECIATED !!!!

  6. I read every post, and I miss Hawaii so very much. It's 32 degrees outside right now, and thinking of our time at HVNP keeps me going...till I can go there again. Your fans outnumber the idiots, though they may not shout as much :)