Friday, October 31, 2014

The Lava Erupting From Kilauea Keeps Inching Closer

ENA Media/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Moving for weeks, the lava flow from the Kilauea volcano continues to move towards the village of Pahoa and was clocked at speeds of up to 14 metres and hour. The molten rock topped temperatures of 900 degrees Celsius on Tuesday. More than 180 homes were destroyed by lava from Kilauea between 1983 and 1990, but none since 2012 (ABC/Reuters).

ENA Media/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Lava flow moves toward the village of Pahoa

The lava flow began slowly moving toward Pahoa in June after a volcanic crater vented allowing the release of the liquid rock. Some areas of this community, with approximately 900 residents, are covered with lava which is chest high. Two gravel roads have been rebuilt to provide escape routes from the lava flow and has advanced about 13 miles since it began on June 27 (

ENA Media/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports today (10-31-2014, 8:02 AM HST) that the volcano is continuing eruption at the summit and within the East Rift Zone, and the gas emissions remain elevated (
ENA Media/Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Predictions were that Pahoa’s main road would be covered with lava by Friday morning. At this time, the flow has stalled but the possibility of it restarting remains (Star Advertiser). The United States Geological Survey said that while the front of the flow is 15-feet wide, the molten river widens significantly behind it (CNN). CNN live news reported yesterday that the heat of the lava was in excess of 2,000 degrees.

The youngest in a chain of more than 129 volcanoes which expands 3,600 miles across the North Pacific Ocean, Kilauea is one of fifteen which make up the eight principal islands of Hawaii. The elevation at the summit of the Halemaumau Crater is 3,648 feet (CWOP-Weather Quality Reporter). The largest is Mauna Loa vaulting to 13,678 feet high and historically considered to be the largest volcano in both mass and volume on earth. Due to Kilauea lacking the topographic prominence and historically its activities have coincided with those of Mauna Loa, it was once believed to be a satellite of the much larger volcano. The chemical composition of the lavas from the two volcanoes does prove that they have separate magma chambers and are distinct from each other.

J. D. Griggs, HVO/USGS
Pu'u O'o in 1983

Pu'u O'o is a cinder/spatter cone in the eastern
rift zone of the Kilauea volcano.

In the Hawaiian language, the word Kilaeua means spewing or much spreading so aptly named in reference to its frequent lava outpouring. The volcano at 300,000 to 600,000 years old rose above sea level about 100,000 years ago and is located along the southern shore of Hawaii. Except for a brief quiet between 1934 and 1952, Kilauea has been an active volcano. The first well-documented eruption in 1823 placed the volcano under observation even though Native Hawaiians are believed to have first settled on the island around 1,500 years ago (

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Monday, October 27, 2014

Nature's Art From Wild & Woven

Imagine wandering through a beautiful forest when out of nowhere a giant sequoia portal appears. What you are seeing is probably the work of David Digapony. This amazing sequoia circle is pictured in the Redwood Forest near Warburton, Victoria, Australia. Ephemeral art, woven sculpture, and basketry made from the treasures he finds in the forests comprise the beautiful creations which can be found at Wild & Woven.

Ephemeral Art

'Magic Portal'
Sequoia circle
Redwood Forest, Warburton

Interwoven mountain ash branches
O'Shannassy Aqueduct, Millgrove

Natural materials including branches, sticks, and vines are intricately woven over many hours to create a completely unique form which corresponds with nature itself. David does commissioned work for public spaces, festivals, and community gatherings.



Using a random method of weaving gives each of Wild & Woven’s baskets a truly unique design. Each root and vine has its own composition which slowly begins to define the texture and shape of the finished basket throughout the course of the weaving. Most are irregular in shape and the final form is the result of many hours of creation.

         Tree Fern Roots

Large 'Baby' Basket
Wongo Wonga Vine


'Baby Nest'
Random Weave Basket


Random Weave Nest
Grass and Moss

Random Weave Basket




The Yarra Valley provides a location to search and harvest the twisted vines, roots, and branches which are then carefully assembled in a process which David states is both “ancient and meditative.”

Yarra River, Warburton 

Wall Art

'Winter Moon'
Pandorea Vine and
Leptospermum Roots

Both coarse and delicate textures are reflected in David’s wall art with which he seeks “to create works which resonate with nature’s wild essence.” His inspiration comes from the beauty of the natural materials themselves.


While wandering through the forest on your next adventure, if your discoveries include a magic portal, continue on your course and discover where the doorway leads....

David Digapony

Visit David online to view more stunning concepts composed from nature's elements:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Lemurs of Madagascar

Lemurs are arboreal primates with a pointed snout and typically a long tail, found only in Madagascar.  The word lemur is derived from the lemures, which means ghosts or spirits, from Roman mythology. This word was first used describing the slender loris which had nocturnal habits and a slow pace. The word lemur now only refers to the primates living on Madagascar. Lemurs are also known to sing like a whale and move as a doing ballet.

The approximate life span for a female in the wild is about sixteen years, although the oldest known wild female was between 18 and 20 years. Less is known about the male life span, but some of been recorded to living to at least 15 years of age.

For Lemurs, Larger Groups Mean a Higher Social IQ

Raising Baby Lemurs To Save A Species

The Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina has the largest collection of lemurs in the world outside of Madagascar. View this video to see some of the tiniest lemurs just a few days old.

The majority of lemurs are diurnal, although the smaller mouse and dwarf lemurs are nocturnal. They are insectivorous primates, composed of a small body, long nose, and very large eyes. Today on Madagascar, there are nearly 60 taxa of lemurs ranging greatly in size from some of the smallest primates to some of the largest primates in the world. Currently the size range is from about 1.1 ounce for Madame's Berthe's mouse lemur to 15 to 20 pounds for the indri and the diademed sifaka which is 41 inches long. The Archaeoindris fontoynonti was known as a sloth lemur and was comparable in size to a male gorilla but became extinct around 350 BC.

Pygmy Mouse Lemur

The pygmy mouse lemur is the second smallest of the mouse lemurs and is reddish brown and creamy white. Due to its small size, it was difficult to locate for over a century and was rediscovered in 1993.

Indri Lemur

The indri is considered to be the largest of the surviving lemur species. The indri is monogamous and only seeks a new partner after the death of a mate. They are known for their distinctive songs lasting from 45 seconds to more than three minutes.

Lemurs do not have prehensile tails as many other primates do and cannot hang by their tails from trees. Their tales are used as an aid in balancing. Their sense of smell is keen and they also have good vision, even at night. The lemur's thumbs and big toes are opposable while also having an extended claw, or toilet claw, on the second toe of their hind feet which they use for grooming.

Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur

These ruffed lemurs are black with white on their limbs, head, and back. The neck has a white mane and their muzzle resembles that of a dog. Both the males and females look the same. Their call is the second loudest in the primate world, second only to the howler monkey. Black-and-white lemurs can grow up to two feet long and weigh about seven to ten pounds. Their lifespan in captivity is about 18 years, but many of them have lived to be twenty years old.

Just A Lemur Eating Watermelon

Lemur's diets can be highly variable. Fruit makes up the largest part of a lemur's diet, but they also eat leaves, flowers, tree bark, seeds, sap, and insects. The general trends suggest that the smaller species tend to consume primarily fruit and insects, while the larger species consume mostly plant materials. As is common with most primates, a hungry lemur might eat anything edible even though it is not one of their preferred foods.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Italian Artist Emanuele Dascanio

The amazing detail in this work in progress caught my attention immediately. Working in charcoal and graphite pencil, Emanuele Dascanio creates an image so stunning and real it makes one believe that you could reach out and touch the subject as though it were a living person. 

The finished portrait below is the amazing result of 300 working hours drawing in charcoal and graphite.

Charcoal and graphite
Schoeller Paper
AD 2013

Watch Emanuele's video from YouTube for a very closeup look
at the detail of this amazing portrait:

Emanuele Dascanio was born in Garbagnate Milanese in 1983. After graduating from the art school Lucio Fontana di Arese, he enrolled in 2003 at the Academy of Brera painting section. 

Size:  15 x 15 cm
Oil on board
AD 2012
Private collection

He later continued his study as Gianluca Corono's assistant learning the art of oil painting and the technique of the Renaissance great masters and refining his drawing, beginning in 2007.

Size:  50 x 50 cm
Oil on board
AD 2012
Private collection

Loving both to paint and draw, Emanuele cares only about the content of his image. The subject of his work is simply the means by which he expresses what he wants.

Size:  50 x 40 cm
OIl on canvas
AD 2005

Living now in Senago, Emanuele maintains a studio and continues to draw and paint. Both his drawings and his paintings are indistinguishable from photographs. 

Size:  69.5 x 49 cm
Charcoal and Graphite
Schoellers paper
AD 2013

Emanuele has won prizes in Northern Italy, one of which is a prestigious national painting prize: Le Segrete Di Bocca.

"Alla speranza"
Size:  40 x 20 cm
Oil on board
AD 2012
Private collection

Visit to see Cindy Wilder's interview with Emanuele Dascanio to learn more about this amazing master artist: