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.