Odd things remind one of the changes that time brings.
|Coast of the Big Island, Hawai'i|
I spent 11 months in Hawaii in 1981-2, doing research on ant-plant interactions. (Because Hawaii has no native ants, ant-related characteristics of plants should be reduced or lacking. My specialty was extrafloral nectaries, glands that produce sugar-water on leaves and other places that ants might encounter. I did find reduced frequency of the nectaries on native Hawaiian plants).
In 2012 we returned for a visit. I knew that time had passed, and that, for example, Hilo now had a Walmart. I also knew that the active volcano, Kilauea, had been erupting more or less continuously since I was there. But I didn't think much of it.
In 1981 we lived in Hilo and on workdays I drove up Route 11, Volcano Road, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and spent the days studying native plants. At the end of my workday, I would drive down Chain of Craters Road, with spectacular vistas out to sea along relatively new lava, and then turn toward the ocean and drop quickly down the cliffs (palis) to sea level.
|Pali with lava flows|
At the base of the pali, I turned with the ocean to my right and followed the coast road, driving first to Kalapana, then inland to Pahoa and then home to Hilo.
You can't do that today.
|Lava flow blocking road|