Halemaumau is said to be the habitation of Pele, the volcano goddess of the islands. I've had just enough interesting experiences with flowing lava to think of Pele as a tangible personality with moments of jealousy, but also with a penchant for granting precious gifts at particular moments.
By day, little can be seen of the lava. What glow there is is crowded out completely by sunlight, and although our students were sufficiently impressed by the sight, I was hoping that an opportunity would arise for the group to see Halemaumau at night. The weather was not being cooperative, with a constant threat of rain the last few days, but we took the gamble and headed up to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the late afternoon to see if the rain clouds would clear for us a bit. It turned out that Pele had a grand surprise ready for us.