FEATURE image: April 20, 2017 7.31 mb 99%
Photographs and Text ©John P. Walsh
Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Cockatoo, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Bronze Buddha, Thailand, 19th Century, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Bodhisattva,Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Main Pool, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Footpath, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Free Form Pool, Hyatt Regency Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Lahina Roads, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Hookipa Beach, Wind Surfing, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Kaʻahumanu Church (1876), Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
In 1832, Queen Ka’ahumanu (1768-1832), the Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and an early convert into Christianity, visited Maui. She came to the site of the then-new Ka’ahumanu Church and witnessed services being presided by the church’s founding pastor, Reverend Jonathan Smith Green (1796-1878). Upon seeing the congregation, Queen Ka’ahumanu asked the Congregationalist mission to name the permanent church structure after her. The current structure, the fourth on the site, was built in 1876. It was built to honor Queen Ka’ahumanu’s earlier request using native materials in the construction in an adaptation of the New England style of Gothic architecture brought to Hawaii. The building was by Edward Bailey with Wailuku Sugar Company. The bell and three clock faces are from American clock-maker Seth Thomas and brought over in 1884 around Cape Horn. The original congregation, under the leadership of the Rev. Green, came into being in 1832 and held their first worship meetings in a shed.
Please visit the church’s website– https://www.kaahumanuchurch.org/ -retrieved March 22, 2020.
Sugar Cane, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
West Maui Mountains, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Iao Needle, Iao Valley State Park Monument, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Self Portrait, Wailuku, Maui, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988
West Maui Mountains, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Cambodian Buddha, Maui, Hawaii, May 13, 1988.
Evening, Maui, Hawaii, May 12, 1988.
FEATURE image: purple and white irises, May 2023. All photographs and text ©John P. Walsh.
My entire life I have always enjoyed being around flowers and gardens.
I started taking photographs of them in 2012. With so many other people everywhere, I have always enjoyed visiting and walking among the beautiful fragrances of earth’s bountiful and beautiful flora. Dangling, drooping, shooting straight up, bunches, single stem, of endlessly different shapes, sizes and colors—and places and settings—flowers and gardens embody life, creativity, and beauty. One of my earliest memories of gardens was on a childhood vacation to Jefferson’s Monticello and, in that summer’s heat, being surrounded with the scent of the boxwood shrubs. All these perennials and annuals are definitely worthwhile photographic subjects. To stroll (and bend and scrunch) among nature’s orchestra of leaves, branches, and blooms and photograph them is one of life’s pleasures.
The world of flora contains some of the most distinctive creations on the planet.
Fresh blooms are engaging, shy, forthright and protective. In their season, they exist to proffer their fleeting beauty and fragrance for the spectacular end of reproducing themselves.
I have taken photographs of many other subjects but flowers I return to again and again. It’s because flowers don’t disappoint.
Grace Kelly wrote a book on flowers called My Book of Flowers. “I love walking in the woods, on the trails, along the beaches, ” she said. “I love being part of nature…” This is one of the great things about searching for and finding flora to photograph: whether in the wild, semi-wild, in a nursery, or on the front porch or in the garden, the wonder of their presence leads to an experience of nature in its most vital form.
Grace Kelly became interested in flowers and their arrangements only in the last years of her life. It had been suggested to the American princess in the late 1960’s that as part of the festivities for Monaco’s centennial she might host a flower arranging competition, which she did. Though princess Grace admitted she “was the most ignorant garden president going,” her knowledge of flowers and gardening grew and, if only because of their shared passion for these precious blooms, she met many new friends. I too have found that I have made friends from all over the world because of our mutual love for flowers and the garden. One cannot underestimate flower power!
Most of my photographs of flowers and gardens are shot in the Chicago area.
Named for Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), American slave, abolitionist leader and author. Developed in 1972 by Richard Americo Fenicchia.
FEATURE image: Phreatic or steam-blast eruption from the summit crater of Mount St. Helens on April 6, 1980. USGS/Public domain.
By John P. Walsh, May 18, 2016.
“Nobody lies about her lodestone any more. She burned and destroyed the whole park! Killed people too – what a pity! Only scientists are out there now. What’s there to see, dear? Isn’t it all in ruins?”
This is what the lady innkeeper told me in Portland, Oregon, before I set out in the car one early morning in July 1991 to visit the crater.
“It’s a pity she blew. It was such a pretty mountain before. WAS, I say. The kids loved camping at its base. It was so easy for them to get in and out. Then she blew and changed everything.”
I waved my good-byes and started the two-hour drive.
At 8:32 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, 1980, an earthquake followed by a landslide and near simultaneous volcanic blast changed forever – and in less than 10 minutes – a Cascades landscape of 230 square miles. Months before the unexpected blast, volcano watchers had camped near the mountain, including scientists and photographers, who were interested to gauge its recent unusual seismic and geological activity and capture what the mountain may do. Local property owners pressured authorities to be let back into their homes during this uncertain and, as it turned out, critically dangerous waiting period. Especially good weather brought out an extra contingent of weekend campers, backpackers and curiosity seekers to the mountain, many from Portland only 70 miles away.
Everybody I talked to during my 1991 visit remembered 83-year-old Harry Randall Truman who lived by the mountain for over half his life and refused to leave in the days and weeks before the May 18, 1980 eruption. Not sure whether the mountain would blow or not, Truman, who served in the U.S. military in Europe in World War One, resigned himself to the mountain’s fiery whims. When the 1000-story high burbling volcano finally did blow, the avalanche and blast buried Mr.Truman, as it did Spirit Lake, in 350,000 acre-feet of fire and ash debris. Mr. Truman’s body was never recovered nor did he represent the only loss of human life in the eruption.
Only a few months before my July 1991 visit the authorities had re-opened Mount St. Helens for the first time in more than a decade. It was named a National Volcanic Monument and deemed safe again for visitors. After Bear Meadow I followed the prolonged twisting road to past Ghost Lake, Meta Lake and Norway Pass until I reached Independence Pass. From its overlook I saw for the first time the ashen slough that had been Spirit Lake. For years prior to May 1980 several camps inhabited the shore around the lake’s perimeter. There had also been various lodges around the oblong-shaped lake including the one Mr. Truman lived in. On May 18, 1980 Spirit Lake met the full impact of the volcano’s lateral blast. The sheer force of the blast lifted the lake out of its bed and propelled it about 85 stories into the air to splash onto adjacent mountain slopes. Despite the weeks of warnings about a potential eruption of Mount St. Helens, the sole film records of the actual event are in photographs.
At 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980 a 5.2-magnitude earthquake triggered the bulging north slope of Mount St. Helens to slice and fall away into the biggest debris avalanche in recorded history. This landslide was rapidly succeeded by the powerful lateral blast that sent scorching hot ash and rock hurtling out of the mountain at approximately 300 miles per hour, toppling and incinerating everything in its northward path. Fifteen miles away from the mountain temperatures reached Fahrenheit 572 degrees.
While in 2016 plant and animal life continue to recover and augment as it has for decades now, my boots in 1991 crunched into a gray, dusty moon-like surface. From Spirit Lake to Windy Ridge I was confronted by trees flattened like toothpicks as far as the eye could see, and a cauldron emitting wispy white smoke. The base of the mountain is four miles wide. The journey had taken me from civilization and delightful wilderness into mile upon mile of badlands. My bodily presence was miniature in an immense, silent, and deserted landscape, the scene only a decade earlier of the most powerful natural event in the Continental United States in over one thousand years. While I heard some people talk about this volcanic eruption as comparable in its destructive power to that of a detonated atom bomb, I know that sort of comparison is ludicrous. For all its destructive force, this is not a disaster as it contains, if one requires patience to believe it, a natural benignity – or what scientists call a natural disturbance on a grand scale which allows mankind to study the natural cycle of death and life in a landscape. An atom bomb provides none of that -it only bestows extinction and contamination.
Ash and gas, accompanied by lightning, ascended 15 miles into the air at the speed of a mile a minute. In a blast that killed 57 people – many of whom were there to study and record its possible eventuality – it also decimated approximately 7,000 large animals and 12 million salmon. No trees of dense forest were left standing within 6 miles of the summit. Rescue operations continued for days with varied success.