Volcanic Landscapes Come to Life

This is the fourth in the series of volcanic blog posts comparing our experience in the Hawaiian and Chilcotin shield volcanoes.

Originally, many millions of years ago, spores released into the wind from a fern in Southeast Asia were carried by air currents high into the jet stream, where they drifted eastward. Eventually they settled on lava fields in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is just one way life came to the Hawaiian Islands.

Today, soon after fresh lava flows, algae, ferns, ohi’a trees, lichens, and mosses (in that order) take root in small cracks in the lava where moisture is found. It was amazing to hike over huge lava fields and find so much beautiful vegetation. I’m not an expert on the plants we did see, but I did make a few images to capture this landscape; one that we were deeply moved by as we hiked over it.

The regeneration was a beautiful sight to witness. In the foreground are the ohi’a trees in blossom.


The Ohi’a tree blossum is like an exploding eruption. It is the pioneer species on new lava and it prevails as the dominant tree in most Hawaiian forests.


The steam (top of image) is still rising, and the lava still warm in places, yet plants continue to grow.
Amidst several distinct lava flows, a solitary tree thrives.
In the alpine meadows of the long extinct Itcha Mountain volcano in British Columbia, vegetation is well established.
Likewise, in the alpine meadows of the dormant volcano in Wells Grey Park, wildflowers adorn the landscape.

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2 Comment

  1. niasunset says: Reply

    Beautiful photographs, fascinated me. Thank you, Love, nia

    1. chris says: Reply

      Thank you Nia!

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