Friday, January 23, 2015

Smoke From Lava Flow Brush Fires

Here in Hawaii, life has a way of keeping you on your toes. While it is paradise most of the time, there are things that can make life here a bit challenging, and sometimes even exciting. We are in the midst of our dry season, and we have had very little rain, for the entire month of January. As a result of this, our water tank had been slowly losing its fullness of water, and while we aren't into strict rationing mode yet, we are watching it drop, and learning new ways to use less water.
All those early years of living in a log cabin, (without running water), an old bunkhouse, where the bathroom consisted of a row of coffee cans, (in the middle of the room, as chamber pots), and numerous park campsites, from family camping, to Pathfinder Jamboree's, who would have thought all of that would prepare me for life in Hawaii?! I smile now to think of it.

One thing I have learned is never take breathing for granted. The old volcano loves to belch nasties, and even more, it has a great hunger for anything in its path. Lately it has taken to causing brush fires, which result in plumes reminiscent of a-bomb clouds.

I took this picture while standing in the door of my shop, on the fifteenth of January.

I took this the very next day, on the sixteenth, where it had started another one.

I took this one just a few minutes ago, today, the twenty third. The poor fire department has to go fight these things, and it is not cool here today, by any means. We've seen and heard the helicopters flying over, with their buckets of water, and it reminds me of fires in the Gorge, in summer. Only there is no putting out a lava flow.

Most of the time the lava flow makes almost no impact on our lives here at all, but when it hits the brush, and the wind blows the wrong way, the result is very bad air. Then it is sit in the house, with the filter fans on, until the wind changes, or they get the brush fires out.

The next thing to know about Hawaii is that it has some very interesting insects. I have hunted the mighty cockroach, some three inches in length, without an ounce of trepidation. They stay mainly outside, and can sometimes be found, lying on their backs, kicking up their feet, in the cool shade of the lanai. I do not know if this is due to their eating the ant poison, or if this is just some normal routine of theirs. What I do know, is that they receive no mercy, and are swiftly and surely dispatched, if I can reach them at all.

We were visited the other night, by a creature of a different color, which I assisted in removing from this world, and was most happy to do so.

This is a giant centipede. This nasty fellow, all six or more inches of him, came to visit us in the evening, in the middle of the birthday party, I was throwing for Gregg, out on our front lanai. It moved very fast, and was very aggressive. One of our party goers, and friend, gave the thing a good several stomps, which  managed to slow it down a bit, and that was sufficient for me, to dispatch the nasty thing with a shovel, by cutting off its head. This did not render the beast harmless. It had to still be removed with great care, for its head can bite, a good five minutes after being severed, and is quite poisonous.
They can grow to 12 inches, and live to be 10 years old, so I was told, and at that size, it was no doubt hunting the cockroaches I mentioned before. They do like frogs and lizards, and will even take on snakes, tho there is no worry of snakes here. They are said to live in tree's and shrubs, which is one reason we do not have any plants up against the house. This is to keep these things outside, where they belong. Needless to say, it livened up the party for several minutes.

One thing about Hawaii, it is never dull, for you never know, what may happen next?! Aloha

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