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Friday, January 15, 2010

Foto Friday: Sugar Daddy

Puunene Sugar Mill, Jan 2009Puunene Sugar Mill, Jan 2009

This is the sugar mill in central Maui, a stone's throw from Wal-Mart. It might be the last mill on Maui; I'm not sure. I do know that the sugar on Maui is now the last in the state, as of October 31. (Link to cached copy of Honolulu Advertiser article, since I couldn't get the paper's site to cough up the article.)

This mill is beautiful. I know there are those who find any type of industrial activity ugly. They're fools. Though it's true that the belching smokestacks hardly fit the idea of paradise, and it does stink. Driving through the smoke on a damp night is like diving head-first into a vat of lukewarm sweet potatoes. I hate sweet potatoes.

But it's beautiful at night, with the smoke illuminated by the moon, or the plant's own lights. On a bright sunny day the plant is slightly startling against the lush green cane. It reminds me of the machinery in Riven. (That was also probably supposed to be fouling an island paradise, but I thought it beautiful too.)

This picture does not begin to do justice to the day, with clouds in shades of silver, suddenly thinning to reveal the mountains looming in the background. It really needed to be shot in black & white, but of course I had color film in the camera. And it took a bit of patience: the road is a busy one, and I had to wait until there was a break in the clouds and a break in the cars.

Sometime I'd like to go down and get a night shot, if I can avoid getting run over, or arrested.

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