Old Saddle Road

A photo buddy texted last week want to go up Old Saddle and look for pueo ? The remnant of the road that was once our only way across the middle of the island, Old Saddle is full of scenic charm.

...And fence posts. Owls love them. They're great places to perch and watch for critters below. Even without a gorgeous bird of prey on top, I love fence posts too. The pragmatic ruggedness, the unconscious beauty of weathered strength: those mighty uprights have stories to tell.

A brilliant afternoon greeted us at the top of the hill. We met up with a couple other photographers, swapped stories and lenses, and meandered our way down the road in search of beauty. It was everywhere.

We lingered until dark up there, enjoying sandwiches and good company.

It's Milky Way season now and we were already up on the mountain, so we couldn't resist staying a little longer. The Old Saddle Road intersects with the new modern highway not far from a great spot for capturing all that astral glory. The perfection of the spot is a combination of clear air, low light, and a cinder cone foreground.

Plus it's an easy spot to get to, a bonus at the end of an adventure. We pulled off the highway and waited for a quiet moment in the traffic. I stood there next to my tripod looking at, and through, our galaxy to take in the vastness beyond. It's a magic feeling to be a part of something so large and glittering. If the night is still enough, Earth becomes my spaceship, and for a fanciful moment, I almost feel it moving with all the rest.

...and then there's laughter and shivering and hot chocolate as we huddle around the heater in the car -- because it's a bone-chilling 58 degrees up there, and we live in Hawai'i 😉

Rainbow Sunrise

I woke up while the stars still struggled to express themselves in a sky busy preparing for the sun. There's a certain lull in the song of the coqui frogs in our jungle that heralds the sunrise, and gives us photographers enough time to brew a cup of coffee and grab a tripod before the sun struggles up out of the ocean. A lot of mornings, I like to just walk down to the cliffs, but this morning I took the car. Living on the windward side of the Big Island, I'm cautious of those early-morning trade showers. We've had a wet week, so I played it safe...

...and got lucky with this bold panorama. The sun was up, in its full glory for the 45 seconds or so it took to take these 18 shots, and the show was over just that quickly. Happy with the capture, I turned back to the car...

...but turned back for one last look before I climbed into the car. And got this great rainbow shot, up the coastline.

They say around here that when the rainbow is moving toward you, you'd best get moving if you want to stay dry. So I did.