A Hazy, Headache-y Sort of Day...

5:18 PM

It's been a hazy, voggy, headache-y sort of day here on the island of O'ahu... It's one of those hot, muggy and humid days where the vog rolls on in from Kīlauea volcano on the Big Island laying its blanket of haze on everything around you.  It rolls in ever so sneakily in the middle of the night on the backs of the warm, slow, southern winds and stays awhile to diffuse the sun and make everything look a little foggy, a little hazy and oh so voggy.  It sounds romantic, the idea of a haze coming in and blanketing an island, but it's not.  With the vog comes a sticky, oh so humid feeling with little to no winds which doesn't make a girl feel all that great.  I suppose for those from cold climates, it would be a welcome change, but for me and many like me, the vog is a literal headache that rolls in far too often to our island.

What is vog?
Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. The word is a portmanteau of the words "volcanic" and "smog". The term is in common use in the Hawaiian islands, where the Kīlauea volcano, on Hawaiʻi Island (aka "The Big Island"), has been erupting continuously since 1983. Based on June 2008 measurements, Kīlauea emits 2,000 - 4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide every day.
Literally, it's sulfur fog that blankets everything, dulls the vibrant colors of the ocean and vegetation to the naked eye, makes growing a garden very difficult and oh, causes migraine like headaches to those who are sensitive.  Of course, I'm the kind of person who has allergies to pollen, dust and weather changes so the vog creates a not so fun, oh so headache-y type of feeling within me. Were it not for Advil, I would scarcely function during voggy, hazy days like today.

You know, the vog used to come throughout certain seasons in the year when I was growing up but in the last few years, it seems that the vog is all the more present, paying visit to all the islands on a more frequent basis. Perhaps it just likes to come to O'ahu because of all the shopping? haha.

Regardless, as bad as it makes me feel, as dull as it makes the vibrant colors normally surrounding you, it does create a kind of soft, diffusing blanket in the horizon that makes the vibrant and colorful sunsets here look like a gradient sky full of shades of purple, gold and red.  It's a rather enchanting effect that I would enjoy were it not for the negative symptoms and side effects the vog brings.

The photos above were taken nearly a year ago, on a voggy and hazy day much like today where it's so humid you feel sweaty less than an hour after you shower.  The gradient, hazy sky created by the vog is kind of a romantic type of scene that you could sit in the sand and enjoy with me at Laniakea Beach in Hale'iwa on O'ahu's North Shore with a cool drink in hand.

I think it's contributing to my oh so pensive, somewhat bummed mood the last two days.  I know that it surely hasn't helped but hey, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world so I need to just take it all in and be thankful to be in such a lovely place.  Perspective Jean... perspective.  I always have to remind myself of that when I get down in the dumps or grumpy in a hazy headache-y sort of way... Perspective is the difference between a happy person and a miserable one.  I remember hearing that in a movie with Diane Lane... Under The Tuscan Sun (I believe) and although I don't know where that quotation originated from before I saw that movie, it holds true in every situation.  Must. Maintain. Perspective.

Hope you have a lovely and wonderful night and an even better day ahead.  Were you ever to visit our lovely state, may I suggest some Advil for the headache or whatever allergy medication you take if you're an allergic sort of person like me.

For more of my photos click here: What Jean Likes Photography

Here's to us, to maintaining perspective and not letting the headache-y, down in the dumps days get us down!


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