out on kilauea point, atop the rolling green bluffs of northern kauai, the kilauea lighthouse still stands, as it has for nearly 100 years.
anchored in quiet grace against the lashing winds, standing serene above the rocky black cliffs and crashing waves below.
home to thousands of migratory seabirds nesting at kīlauea point national wildlife refuge, hypnotic to watch as they soar and dive along the cliffs above the surf. laysan albatrosses, red-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-tailed and white-tailed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, and wedge-tailed shearwaters all visit the refuge.
atop the lighthouse, the historic fresnel lens is still held in a glass enclosure on the sturdy white concrete tower of 52 feet, streaked with rust from the iron roof and casings.
some notes on the lens, excerpted from information posted inside the lighthouse:
the four ton fresnel lens is the largest clamshell lens in the world, 300 hand ground glass lenses and prisms, made by french craftsmen in 1912. the prism design of the lens created a double flash every ten seconds.
the lighthouse’s 2,500,000 candlepower beam could be seen 20 miles by sea and over 90 miles by air on a clear night. the light was retired in 1976, replaced by the automatic beacon.
the white concrete pillar glows as the sun sinks to the west, coming alive in the darkening sky.
it is a continual quest, exploring these beacons of light, made with skill, innovation and craft, kept with great care through the passing of days into nights. the perpetual beam of light, striking a path through darkness, anchored in the storm, piercing through the mists, constant in winds, striking straight into lightning.. holding steady, serene, shining in all.