Canlaon in early afternoon

Canlaon in early afternoon

Plowing in the foreground

Plowing in the foreground

Mid afternoon

Mid afternoon

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Close to sunset

Close to sunset

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Mt. Canlaon dominates the landscape of the island of Negros as Monadnock dominates the part of New Hampshire I live in. Unlike Monadnock, Canlaon (or Kanlaon) is an active volcano and taller than Mount Washington in northern NH. Its summit is 7,989 feet (2,435 meters) above sea level. The sea is close by, only 19 miles away in Bacolod, the capital city of Negros Occidental, and the foothills gentle, so most of that elevation rises from the agricultural plain that surrounds the mountain.

Hot springs, an active crater, a national park established in 1934, all draw people to the mountain and its flanks. Wikipedia tells me that Canlaon is the most active volcano in the central Philippines, with 26 eruptions recorded since 1919.

We circled part of Canlaon yesterday on a trip to visit three families in the town of La Castellana. The pictures here show the mountain wreathed in mist in the early afternoon, and then revealing its summit gradually as we approached sunset. The upper slopes don’t appear to be vegetated, not because the mountain is too high for plants to grow but because of the periodic eruptions.

Canlaon is a constant, brooding and beautiful presence.   In the foreground of these photos, you’ll see rice drying on a tarpaulin; a farmer plowing his field with a water buffalo; sugar cane growing.   Life goes on in the shadow of the mountain.

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