Wow, for the third time this month (third time in a week) I’ve realized the day calls for a post I hadn’t planned. The first time was when the MLB delayed the baseball season. The second time — the very next day — was Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday.
This time it’s the equinox (and a friend’s birthday; shout out!). For those of us in the northern hemisphere it’s the spring (vernal) equinox, and that’s my favorite of the four annual solar node points (two equinoxes; two solstices). It means we have a whole half a year of light ahead.
So I just had to post something.
The very idea of spring is evocative. It’s a season of new life, but all sorts of things spring forth, even ideas. (Another kind of spring brings forth new water.)
Just as Christmas was deliberately aligned with the winter solstice celebration (a huge pagan party!), Easter — the Resurrection — was aligned with the spring celebration (another huge pagan party).
Of the four annual solar node points I mentioned, those are the two worth celebrating. They are the two good ones.
The solstice means the days will finally start getting long again. (“Hooray! The Star Dragon isn’t going to eat the sun completely. It’ll grow back! We’re going to live!”)
The vernal equinox means plants start growing again and hibernating animals wake up. (“Hooray! There’s going to be new food again and we can stop eating old moldy stuff. We’re going to live!”)
Back in 2018 I became absolutely enthralled by the Kīlauea volcano eruption.
As it turned out, it was a historical event. It started that April (in the spring!) and covered over 13 square miles with lava by early August when it abruptly ended. Spilling into the ocean at the coastline, it added almost 900 acres of new land to the big island.
It’s been quiet since, although the underground heat lingers and causes problems as it spreads through the ground evaporating ground water.
So two years ago, in the spring, lava was about to spring forth from the ground in devastating amounts. Molten rock flowing like water.
Lava isn’t the hottest thing, but it’s still really, really hot. When it comes to molten stuff:
- Brass: 600° C (1100° F)
- Lava: 1000°–1250° C (1800°–2300° F)
- Iron: 1200° C (2200° F)
- Steel: 1300°–1500° C (2400°–2700° F)
- Glass: 1400°–1600° C (2550°–3000° F)
It’s not something you can stand next to. (Let alone fight someone while standing on a rock chunk floating in it.)
The operative phrase here would be: “Instantly burnt to a crisp.”
It will be two years this August that the lava stopped flowing.
While hot spots remain, the molten has become rock, and new plant life is already growing in the lava field.
I have two videos to share that I thought to include in a Wednesday Wow! post. (That first post of mine in 2018 was filed as a Wow! post, but wasn’t explicitly called out as one although it is in the title.)
I almost included them in the post I just published, but I don’t like to bog down a page with too many video player frames.
So this is both an extension of last Wednesday’s post and a spring equinox thing.
That said, there is also a hellish aspect to this. This guy hikes through what was, less than two years ago, a field of molten lava. As you’ll see, some parts are still smoking.
It would make a good depiction of Hell: Forever wandering a barren field of raw rock with green life over yonder just out of reach…
So I admit my choice may be a little macabre here, but the sights along the hike — especially if you have any interest in geology at all — are rather jaw-dropping. The mineral colors and crystals alone are worth the watch.
Without further ado:
This next one actually gets kind of intense (but, again, the sights are really something to behold — being inside a new lava tube like that… yikes!):
One thing I really appreciate is that the guy doesn’t say a word during either video. There simply are no words that could do it justice, and a narration would just be a distraction.
Just put these videos full screen on your largest screen and sit back and appreciate the stunning beauty and awesome power of Pele.
I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. If nothing else, it’s a nice quiet distraction by some very “concrete” natural reality.
Whatever else is going on, at least we’ll have more light than dark now.
And no one in the USA is being threatened by lava, so there’s that.
Stay vernal, my friends!