Day 2: Trip to Haleakala National Park.
The weather was fairly clear today so we could see Haleakala from our condo. We decided to make the trip to the top (over 10,000 feet elevation!!) Haleakala is a volcano (dormant) that can be viewed from the top looking down into it. You can see where the lava flow broke through the rim and poured out down the side of the mountain. There are also a number of Pu'u's in the main caldera. Each Pu'u is a cinder cone from another subsequent eruption.
Also we saw a Pueo (short eared owl) specific to Hawaii that, unlike other owls, hunts during the day as well as at night. Hawaiians consider the Pueo to be sacred and to bring good luck. It is an endangered species so we were blessed to be able to witness one flying along beside our car.
Silversword plants can also be found in the higher elevations (7,000 - 10,000 feet). These are interesting plants with silver colored leaves and a stalk with as many as 500 flowers that bloom ONCE and then the plant sends its seeds out to propogate new ones.
It was definitely cooler (read COLD) at the top of Haleakala. The wind was blowing but it was sunny since we were above the clouds at that elevation. It was quite a spectacular view. We could even see the mountains on the island of Hawaii (the "Big Island") from there. They had snow on them!!