Hibiscus tiliaceus

A yellow Hibiscus tiliaceus flower in Hawaii
Yellow and pink Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers in Hawaii

This was going to be my last response to Becky’s April Squares challenge, but I punted it back a week. These are the beautiful, bright flowers of hibiscus tiliaceus, which is known as hau in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, who used the wood in their canoes and the bark for cordage and medicinal purposes.

The flowers only last for a day, starting out yellow and becoming orange and then red as the day wears on. As the lower photo shows, different colored blooms can often be seen on the same plant depending on where they are in this progression. These were at Kohanaiki Beach Park.

Better Days: Dead fish

Dead fish among rocks at Kiholo, Hawaii

On a walk at Kiholo, I noticed a bit of a ripe smell in the air. When I got to the top end of the lagoon I found the reason for it. The shoreline was littered with clumps of these dead fish. There must have been several hundred of them all told. I don’t know the reason for the stranding, but the scene reminded me of images of fish markets or still life paintings.

Green anole shedding

A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii
A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii

I noticed something on the cane grass, with a strange shape and some kind of long beak. I wondered if it was a new bird, but then saw it bobbing its head up and down and puffing out the dewlap at its neck. It was a green anole and it was shedding. The ‘beak’ was a chunk of old skin sticking out.

By the time I got my camera, the ‘beak’ was gone, but there were still areas around the head to be dislodged. Sometimes it can take quite a while to remove the last bits and pieces. This anole moved on to complete the job in a bit more privacy.

Paniolos

Three Paniolos on horseback in Hawaii

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Hands & Feet.’ See more responses here.

I wasn’t sure I had anything for this topic, but then I thought of these paniolos, who I saw at Upolu last month. Paniolos are the Hawaiian version of cowboys and these days they often ride four-wheel vehicles. But there are still occasions when they’ll saddle up while moving or tending cattle.

This scene occurred last month when they were moving a herd of cattle into a new pasture. I arrived at the tail end of the process, when the paniolos were walking back to their vehicles.

So what does this have to do with hands and feet? Well, it occurred to me that hands and feet are the main tools of the trade for communicating with the horse being ridden. And as for the horses, their feet are shod with lucky horseshoes and their height is measured in hands.

Enough said!

Three Paniolos on horseback and a sugar cane harvester

On the water

Water lilies at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden in Hawaii
A sailboat off the coast of Hawaii
Two outrigger canoes off the coast of Hawaii
A surfer in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Water.’ See more responses here.

First up is a patch of water lilies on Lily Lake at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens, which reopened at the beginning of April after being closed all year. My wife and I visited last Friday and it was great to be back. As usual, I took a bunch of photos most of which still need processing.

Second is a sailboat running before the wind on the blue Pacific.

Below that is a pair of canoeists paddling along the island’s northern coast. Yesterday, I saw several vehicles going by with canoes, probably headed for Keokea Park, where they can put in safely, possibly for a race. One of the vehicles pulled in to the likely landing spot, where surf was crashing over the parking lot. The driver didn’t look too enthusiastic. I don’t know whether the race took place or not.

Fourth is that quintessential Hawaiian pastime – surfing. Watch out for those rocks!

Finally, a pair of northern pintails coast on a pool of water at Upolu. These used to be seen in large numbers in Hawaii, but not so much these days.

A pair of male northern pintails in Hawaii

Rainbow around the sun

A rainbow halo around the sun

For my last response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright,’ (see more responses here) I had scheduled a flower photo. But a couple of days ago I shot this image, which is decidedly bright and comes with a story.

I’d been cleaning a vehicle and found a single lens from a pair of sunglasses. It was one of those with a reflective blue surface, which I thought looked interesting. As I walked away, I fiddled with the lens, moving it around, seeing the different reflections. Then I held the lens directly in front of me and saw my image backlit with bright light and with a rainbow halo perfectly centered around my head. I looked like one of those biblical illustrations in religious manuscripts or a stained glass window (a lot of those guys were gnarly-looking, too).

Looking at this image, I wondered how it was that the lens had created this rainbow halo and why it was around my head. But there it was, still there, still in place. It took a while before the thought filtered into my tiny brain that, since my image was reflected there, perhaps something else was, too. At that point I turned around, looked up, and saw this halo around the sun.

This one wasn’t as good as one I posted last year, but it’s the first I’ve seen since then and it’s certainly the closest I’ll get to being in The Bible.