No technology today; just some photos I took on my recent trip to Kauai. (Click on the small photos for a larger version of each.)
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and has fabulous topography and rich soil as a result of its violent five-million year history of repeated volcanic eruptions followed by heavy erosion. A few of the highlights:
The Allerton Garden on the south shore is an amazing collection of native, endemic and exotic (that is, introduced recently) plants artfully arranged and carefully tended. My favourite arrangement highlighting a single tree was this one:
The Allerton Garden is also the home of the famous ficus trees seen in Jurassic Park:
To get a sense of the scale of those amazing roots and for some more background on these incredible trees, check out this little tourism video:
Kauai tops out at 1600 metres today; it was far, far higher than that when it originally formed. The immense erosion has produced the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific", Waimea Canyon, on the interior:
Of course each horizontal line you can see in the eroded layer is an individual lava flow. On the exterior the vulcanism and erosion has produced the Na Pali cliffs. (*) Here you can see an interesting feature: a sea cave with a tiny waterfall going over it. This was useful because you could stock up on fresh water without ever beaching your canoe!
All in all it was a lovely vacation, both relaxing and educational. I hope to some day go back and experience the north side of the island.
I've used some of the photos above as the header images for the blog; if you're interested in seeing the full-size versions of rest of the header images, see the photo credits page.
Next time on FAIC: Why it is very hard to give a sensible answer to "which is faster?" questions.
(*) Na Pali means "many cliffs", so those would be the "many cliffs cliffs". The Microsoft cafeteria once offered a sandwich "with au jus sauce", which is even worse.