This was the scene at sunset near the County of Hawaii’s lava viewing trailhead New Years Eve: A wispy ocean entry plume hanging back nearly overtop the heads of those of us gathered there at the end of highway 130. Us vendors were sure hat the viewing area would be closed due to this toxic plumes direction, but we were wrong; it opened.
Hundreds of visitors streamed in and hiked out the lava rock trail to the coastal viewing area. At least there was a plume and some lava glow. A major drop in lava pressures the previous 24 hours could have been low enough to stop the ocean entry completely, yet the plume was fairly pronounced and even produced a few explosions after dark.
Soon after dark a beautiful full moon rose in the east, the second full moon for the month of December. And soon after that moon rose, the light winds pushed the ocean entry plume overtop the entire crowd gathered – causing Hawaii County Civil Defense to call an emergency evacuation. Nothing panic like, just an orderly closure.
This morning: Serious volcanic haze, Vog, blankets a large portion of the Big Island and beyond. Light variable winds are not moving it much at all. The lava viewing area may be open tonight if the winds come up from the right direction, but it would be advised to phone the lava viewing hotline after 3:00 PM to find out: 961-8093
~~ May unexpected love and joy find you this New Year ~~
EDIT: My mother passed away while I was writing this morning’s blog; peacefully in her sleep at 86. My mother was a great influence in my life. She had a great love for nature and all the creatures we share this planet with, and taught me to appreciate these things, honor these things. My mother was also a published writer with many popular articles, stories and a book. She helped me in my writing for many years with guidance and editing. One of her stories ‘A Sandpiper To Bring You Joy’ was published in Readers Digest, Chicken Soap For the Soul, as well as made into a play and translated into eight different languages. There have been a number of plagiarisms done to my mom’s story; some claiming someone named Ruth Peterson or a Robert Peterson wrote it- this is false. Others have changed the stories names and storyline. But my mother wrote it: Mary Alice Sherman Hilbert. A proper version and of this story is HERE and at the end of it there is a credit to my mother and a list of various other incorrect authors and versions.
I will miss my mother a lot. I last spoke with her yesterday.