Monday, March 30, 2009

Burned trees stand forever


In the late 1700s, a flood of lava some 12-feet deep scorched the slopes of an ohia tree forest in the Big Island’s Puna District. As the molten mud flowed onward and downward into the cracks of the earth, some of it remained coated to the trunks of the green trees, which eventually burned up, leaving the rock spires.

Now part of Lava Tree State Monument, the weird statues are surrounded by 17 groomed acres of tropical greenery and bordered by towering monkey pod trees that are home to fluttering songbirds. The net effect is an installation any artist could brag about. See Page 162 of Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer.