We’ve been brushed by hurricane skirts the past week or so, bringing flooding to downtown Kailua-Kona and flash-flood warnings elsewhere; an earthquake in Chili spawned a tsunami advisory, and somebody started muttering about how maybe all we needed to make it a three-some was some action from the volcano goddess. Me, I’m not worried because
Pele is a friend of mine,
I bring her rum and Coke,
and sometimes if she’s so inclined
we sit and share a toke.
I know she’s fond of me because
she sends me stinky smoke
and rumbles gently underground
to let me know we’re folk.
I just came in from the lanai: today was spectacular, starting with a fierce, warm wind that blew the clouds away and left the day drenched in sunshine and warmth. Toward evening the wind died down and the sun fell into a series of clouds, turning them peach and pink and golden, and the temperature finally dropped out of the high 70s. When I wasn’t listening to Bach (today’s his birthday, JC Bach I mean, not his huge number of talented sons), I was listening to the voice of the wind in the ‘ohia trees.
Apparently where I live lies at the mercy of both the Trades, which blow from the north, and the Kona winds, which blow from the south. The Trade Winds are big-bellied and blustery, but today’s Kona winds swept away clouds and haze and the vog that seems to gather on the lower slopes, and swept the vog north to Oahu. The result was a day of such clarity that I could see whitecaps on the Pacific all the way out until the horizon line slid into the sky.
Vog: Wikipedia says that “Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The word is a portmanteau of the words “volcanic” and “smog“. The term is in common use in the Hawaiian islands, where the Kīlauea volcano, on Hawaiʻi Island (aka “The Big Island”), has been erupting continuously since 1983. Based on June 2008 measurements, Kīlauea emits 2,000 – 4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day.”
Sounds pretty awful, but I haven’t noticed any adverse affects from it so far. My sister tells me that every so often Madame Pele cuts a big one, and everyone can smell the sulfer — but I haven’ experienced that yet, either.
From a few days ago.
The usual mid-day wind came up at, you guessed it, mid-day, but for a wonder it died down in the afternoon, and the day has been clear and sunny — clear enough so that I could see the cloud shadows on the Pacific far below. And, as another consequence, I’ve been driven inside by the mosquitoes. Usually the wind rushes them off, or blows them to Na’alehu, but not tonight.
I thought the afternoon winds in Petaluma were strong, but they can’t compete. The trades come bellowing in, divide on the other side of the mountain, then meet, slam! right on top of my house. When I was here in March of last year, they treated us to a real, tree-uprooting show, howling imprecations and rattling anything not cemented down. I’m nuts enough to have loved it, although I don’t think I could take day upon day of it. I tried to upload a clip I took during that wind storm, but haven’t learned that bit of WordPress magic. Besides, the clip hardly does it justice.
A windy, rainy day, with a reminder at sunset of why I moved here.
The flight in was a long five and a half hours from Oakland to Kailua Kona, made a little faster by watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Judi Dench and Maggie Smith — what’s not to like?) Predictably, I loved it. Retired old pharts headed off to exotic locations made me wish, almost, that I was headed for India rather than to a mountainside in exotic Hawaii. My sister soon changed that. Lobster for dinner! Num!
Island time has apparently affected my car and my stuff, though. The car was supposed to be available yesterday, then today, and is now promised for tomorrow. So instead of driving back up to Kailua-Kona to get the car and collect the insurance cards, I spent the day putting furniture together and organizing stuff. You know how you can tell that at some point a guy has been in residence? Five junk drawers – now organized down to one. We’ll see how long I can resist the urge to fill drawers with junk myself.
My stuff, originally scheduled to arrive on the 25th, is probably showing up the first weekend in March, instead. Luckily, over the past three years I have managed to accumulate what I need to survive here, and my sister has loaned me a t.v. so that I can veg out.
The weather pattern seems typical for this time of year and this part of the island. Beautiful, sunny mornings filled with birdsong, windy at mid-day and clouding up, and now grey with occasional small rains. It smells like water and rocks, and I love it.
I’d be lying, though, if I didn’t report that now that the rush of planning, packing, and leaving is over, this relative inactivity doesn’t feel a bit daunting. I miss my pets. But I’m looking forward to starting work on Monday.