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Photographer's Note

With 4205 m above the sea level, Mauna Kea constitutes a formidable barrier against the moist winds coming from the east, which end up shedding most of their water on the east slopes of the mountains. That's why the eastern shore of the Big Island sees rain pretty much every day and the coast is covered by lush, tropical vegetation. Most tourists avoid this side of the island because of the weather and consequently mass tourism has changed the traditional Hawaiian way of life somewhat less than in other parts. This picture was taken on the Saddle Road, which traverses the island at high elevation between the two largest volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. At this elevation, probably around 2000 - 2500 m, the forest yields ground to short vegetation, maybe 50-60 cm tall and very dense. It is rather difficult to walk through, because the foot doesn't sink all the way to the ground through the compact green layer.
My tripod was literally floating above the plants. The camera points towards Mauna Kea, but the top is not visible because the slope of the volcano is very shallow.

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Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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