The northwest side of the Big Island of Hawaii is largely covered with lava fields, created by eruptions of the Mauna Loa volcano over hundreds of years. Not much is able to grow on these lava fields, but little by little, some grasses have been able to take hold. While definitely not a favorite of local ranchers, fountain grass has been one of the most successful grass species and has taken over large sections of older lava fields like this one.
This spot is on a private ranch, but the owner allows hiker and dog walkers access to the old road that heads away from the village for miles. The road progressively becomes less used and more overgrown as you go. We stopped here to enjoy the wonderful surrounding scenery and I took a variety of photos of the grass fields, cinder domes, and distant coast areas. This shot of the road itself was the best, leading back towards the village, with the green slopes of the extinct Kohala volcano on the distance. I used a longer focal length (90mm) to narrow the view around the road and bring the volcano closer. The ever-present clouds near Kohala completed the scene. I wanted the combined feel of abandonment with the vibrant colors of the surrounding grasses.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor