Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Pele is Here

Last year, we all enjoyed many stories about Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. People are afraid of Pele because she makes the volcanoes erupt. Even now, some Hawaiians leave flowers and food for Pele to try to keep her happy. They don't eat her special ohelo berries.

In the first photo, you can see some flowers leis that people have left for Pele near the place where lava is flowing into the sea. We saw a mouse running around on the lava. Maybe he was eating the food people left for Pele (or just food they dropped when they were viewing the lava). We tossed a few of our chips to Pele, just for fun.

Yesterday in the afternoon, we spent several hours watching the lava flow into the sea. We stayed very far away from the very hot lava.

We watched the glowing lava and the steam clouds that came up as the hot lava hit the ocean. The ancient Hawaiians must have found this type of volcanic activity very amazing, and thought that Pele was very frightening. We certainly think it's amazing, especially at night when the lava glows and lights up the steam clouds.

Last year we saw an offering to Pele that was near to the Halema`uma`u Crater. People had left flowers and even some crackers. In April, right at that place, Pele started a new volcanic eruption, so you can't go to that place any more. Since then, the parking lot where we were last year is all covered with ash and with lava formations called "Pele's Tears" and "Pele's Hair." Pele's Hair is like spun glass, when the wind blows the molten lava into fine threads. Pele's tears are little tear-drop shaped lava beads that form in the plume of the volcano.
You can only watch the new plume of gray, white, and brown smoke and dust from the museum about a mile away, but it's still awesome! In the daytime it looks like a big pillar of steam and at night, we saw it glowing deep red.

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