My last Hawaii Post! Praise Pele & pass the poi. I could post photos of our island touring, up and down the Kona and Hilo coasts, but we all know, my biggest thrill were the birds, animals so let's just get right to 'em. What? Shut up and get this dog & pony show over with? Yes, my titas and mokes (tought gals n' guys) & Mahalo (thank you) to you too!
The photo up top was taken with a cheapie underwater snap camera - and as you can plainly see, there was a lovely tropical storm on while we swam at a spot popular with the locals at Pu'uhonau o Honaunau National Park. I must say, in general all of my underwater photos stink - in part because the water was all stirred up from the storm, and in part because... well, because they stank. Check out this photo of the pair of Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles that scared the crap out of myself and Jeannie. My photography means that Jacques Cousteau is not rolling in his watery grave - actually, I guess he's feeling pret-ty damned smug.
We didn't only snorkel under stormy skies - we had a great time snorkeling under blue skies at Makuhona Beach Park; the site of ruins of a mill and the current home of a enormous schools of Yellow Tang and many other beautiful fish besides.
And speaking of breakfast, every morning in Kona, Jeannie & I had a nice quiet breakfast outside on the patio, overlooking a fountain by the entrance to Mona Loa Resort. I breakfasted with my camera at the ready. Each morning a little gray Wandering Tattler - a shore bird - flew into the fountain strewn pond below the balcony to forage.
There were loads of other birds for my breakfast entertainment. One morning a beautiful 'Great Frigate bird' floated by slowly overhead - I was so stunned, so flabbergasted that I couldn't manage to get my camera up to photograph the bird before it floated away. I was heartbroken that I missed such an easy shot, but damn it - what a sight! Oh well - I was happy to settle on photographing some of the more common birds, such as the Java Sparrows & Nutmeg Mannikins, and Yellow-billed Cardinals - all non-native.
One morning an Indian Mongoose ran by below on a foot path. No surprised really as a day never passed without spotting at least one of the little guys - very cute but also very deadly to native Hawaiian birds.
One of the great treats of being in Hawaii is having access to exotic tropical fruits you can't get on the mainland. The red knarly fruit below pops open to expose white transparent flesh that tastes like fresh lychee nuts. The Strawberry guava is mango-like. The apple-bananas manage to taste far more fresh and flavorful than mainland bananas which are all bulk and little flavor. And the star fruit is - gak! Um... like Chinese pears - crispy and juicy and a super mild flavor.
I really enjoyed the little Saffron Finches. So tame I bet they could be taught to take food from my hand. And what is more sweet & tame than Saffron Finches? Yes, chubby little Zebra Doves.
While on the topic of mornings, I didn’t see many Gold Spot Geckos this trip, but I did see a
On my last two days on the island I went back to the Woh Ranch because I'd heard what I was certain were Sky Larks singing. I couldn't locate any on the ground because they were too busy doing what Sky Larks do - 'Sky Larking' around in the sky - singing as they flew high overhead.
This Pacific Golden Plover was the best birdie shot of the trip. He marched up and down, then posed on a bit of lava rock for me.