Anthurium cupulispathum

Anthurium cupulispathum is a large-leafed anthurium with a long, hanging spadex. The little dots on the spadex are seeds. The plant originally hails from Equador.

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Yellow gray chub

This fish is a gray chub, so why is it yellow? That’s a question with no good answer. Locals used to think that yellow-colored chubs were ‘queens’ of their schools, but there’s no evidence to support that. Instead, it’s regarded as simply a color variation, seen in a few fish, that is without significance. This is the first one of these I’ve seen.

Gray chubs’ usual coloration can be seen in the photo below.

A gray chub in the waters off the Big Island

Large orange sulphur butterfly

Orange sulphur butterfly

A large orange sulphur butterfly feeds on a bougainvillea. This was one of the few butterflies I’ve seen on a flowering bougainvillea. Not sure whether that’s usual or not.

A green turtle says hello

Green turtle says hello

During a recent snorkeling trip, I happened to turn around and saw this turtle heading toward me. Usually they will head off in a different direction when they see something as strange as me, but this one came up quite close before sliding off to the side and gliding away again.

As you can see, there’s nothing green in the appearance of green turtles. The name comes from the color of their fat, found between their organs and carapace.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Green.’ See more offerings here.

Green turtle swimming

Highway Department mistakes

This is the highway intersection about a mile east of Kawaihae. It’s the junction of three roads, Kawaihae Road coming down from Waimea, Akoni Pule Highway from Hawi and North Kohala, and Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway (better known as ‘Queen K’) from Kailua Kona.

It’s always been a problematic junction because Kawaihae Road and Queen K are part of the main loop road around the island, but the right of way at this junction was the Kawaihae Road to North Kohala road. Traffic would get backed up on Queen K, particularly in the afternoon, and accidents were common. Compounding the problem was that the road from Kawaihae carried a lot of trucks coming to or from the port there.

So earlier this year a revision of the intersection was started. A right turn lane was added to Queen K, for traffic going up the hill to Waimea, and a right turn lane was added Akoni Pule Highway for people headed south. (There was already a left turn lane on Kawaihae Road for people going south.)

Don’t worry if this makes no sense, because it makes no sense. What was being set up seemed doomed to failure.

The problem was that the new right turn lane from Kawaihae onto Queen K was fitted with a yield sign. This meant traffic from Waimea, turning left onto Queen K had to give way to traffic heading up the hill, but had the right of way over traffic turning south.

The first accident happened before the intersection was finished. Someone failed to make this right turn and plowed into the guard rail opposite. Shortly after this, two cars collided in the middle of the junction. There were more near misses and accidents.

The yield sign was changed to a stop sign. This helped, but did nothing to stop the confusion of drivers coming down from Waimea. White poles were added to the lane divider for the right turn lane from Kawaihae. Bumps were placed in the other lane for traffic going up the hill. The accidents continued, as did the near misses.

These photos show that right turn lane coned off, as the powers that be have decided to take out the right turn lane. So what we have managed here is several months of work and adjustments has caused a bunch of accidents and near misses and now a good portion of that work is going to be undone and returned to its original unsatisfactory configuration. Your tax dollars at work!

It’s not been a great period for the highway department. A major project saw the main road north of Kailua Kona to the airport widened from two to four lanes. This was delayed for several months because plans given to the road construction company failed to include right turn lanes into Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. The problem here was that it’s national historical park because there are a lot of Hawaiian artifacts in the area, so a new archeological study had to be carried out.

And my personal favorite was the construction of a new highway south from Kailua Kona, intended to relieve traffic congestion in that area. The new highway connected to a previously confusing and dangerous ‘Y’ layout, that became a four-way intersection complete with traffic lights. It was opened with much fanfare and the only issue was that people, tourists and locals alike, had no clue where they were supposed go because there was no signage showing which road went where. Yes, that’s an exaggeration. There was one sign, left over from the previous configuration of the intersection, that now directed people in the wrong direction.

And the moral of this story is that, if you visit the Big Island, please drive with caution.

Posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge on the theme of ‘Mistakes.’ See more responses here.

Ferns growing in lava

Ferns are one of the first plants to establish a foothold in lava flows. These ferns are on the northeast slope of Mauna Loa with Mauna Kea in the background.

Erckel’s francolin

Erckel's Francolin

Erckel's Francolin closeThere are three kinds of francolin in Hawaii, the grey francolin, black francolin, and Erckel’s francolin. All are introduced game birds. Of the three, the Erckel’s francolin is the largest. It’s native to North Africa and was brought to Hawaii in 1957. It’s distinguished, not just by its size, but by its bold markings and chestnut crown.

This one was at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

Mongoose on the rocks

Mongoose on the rocks

A small Asian mongoose suns itself on rocks along the shoreline. The mongoose can be found in most places on the island with the exception of the higher elevations.