On Wednesday evening I made a short hike to a lava bomb field a few hundred yards from our accommodations on Mauna Kea (HP). The deep fried chicken and fish weren't very appetising (or tasty) but I had to eat something. I decided to walk off the cholesterol.
At the summit we get a great view of nature but I've only tried once or twice to picture things from HP. It's a place to try and sleep between very long work days/nights and not much more.
So, how many things are in the picture?
1) To the extreme left the clouds are being blown into the saddle by the low-level trade winds but can't get too far because there's not enough moisture in the atmosphere.
2) The high level winds are different and opposite. Cirrus clouds can be seen to the south above Mauna Loa. They are being driven there by the jet stream from some impossibly powerful thunderstorms to the south. The storms are generated in the Inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the tops of the massive cumulonimbus clouds are blown towards the islands.
3) Left to right - cinder cones mark volcanic eruptions in the last few thousand years. In fact the place I'm standing on to take the picture is strewn with lava bombs and was clearly a place to avoid in years past.
4) In the background - the Mauna Loa volcano and its summit to the far right. A few years ago all the indications pointed to a new eruption but in the end it didn't happen. It's fairly certain we're just buying time because Mauna Loa erupts every decade or so on average. It last erupted in 1984.
5) From about the middle of the picture to the left you can see some haze. That's vog or volcanic emissions from Kilauea. It tends not to get above the inversion layer which is why it looks like a band across Mauna Loa. On the odd occasion it can get to summit level, or 14,000 feet, but that's rare.
6) The vegetation in the foreground is at its limit. Behind me the so-called tree line begins. Although you can find the odd plant above this altitude the green plants are at the edge of their universe.
It's an amazing place.