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Divers heading out

Kohala Divers boat

The Kohala Divers boat, Namaka, heads out of Kawaihae harbor for an early morning dive session. The boat is also used for whale watching cruises.

For more information about Kohala Divers, go to kohaladivers.com.

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Sunken roads near South Point

Sunken roads near South Point

Not far from South Point, the most southerly tip of the Big Island and the United States, is a green sand beach, which I’ve posted about here.

The beach is 2.5 miles from the parking lot and, if you don’t want to walk, locals will drive you there ($20 is the current fee I think) in an assortment of trucks of dubious-looking pedigree. One problem with this practice is that it has generated a warren of deep, rutted routes in the sandy soil. Erosion is a problem. Sand is swept into the ocean when it rains and when the wind blows, both of which happen often and in strength.

The county is looking into ways to mitigate these problems, which could include regulating these unofficial taxis or banning them altogether. However, before anything happens, studies will be needed along with public forums to discuss the issue. These will result in an unacceptable proposal that requires further consideration. It’s entirely possible that, by the time action is taken, South Point will no longer be the most southerly tip of either the Big Island or the United States.

Leafcutter bee on aptenia cordifolia

Leafcutter Bee on Aptenia cordifolia

Leafcutter Bee close upA busy leafcutter bee forages on aptenia cordifolia flowers. Aptenia cordifolia is an iceplant that comes from southern Africa.

Wilsonara Castle Issa ‘Hilo Bay’ orchid

Orchid Wils. Castle Issa 'Hilo Bay'

Wilsonara orchids are a kind of hybrid oncidium orchid. This one was at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to htbg.com.

Hualalai and clouds

Hualalai and clouds

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in my life looking up at clouds, often as they poured water in my direction, so it’s nice to look down on them once in a while. Airplanes are probably the most common place to enjoy this view, but here on the Big Island, the upper reaches of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa also offer this perspective.

In this case, the clouds were low enough that, when I was visiting the Palila Forest Discovery Trail at around 7,000 feet, the clouds blanketed the landscape below. Here, Hualalai pokes through the cloud layer in the late afternoon.

For more information about Palila Forest Discovery Trail, go to dlnr.hawaii.gov/restoremaunakea/palila-forest-discovery-trail/.

Abstracts: ’78 Peterbilt

Abstracts-78 Peterbilt

A view of an old 1978 Peterbilt truck. If the truck were moving, it would be my last view, but this one was stationary. Phew!

Fresh produce

Sage Farms greens

Sage FarmsOne of the vulnerabilities of living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is that any big disruption of commerce, here or on the mainland, due to natural disaster or otherwise, could result in shortages here. Toilet paper and Spam would likely be the first things to be snapped up, but basic foodstuffs would soon follow. Having a variety of productive farms on the island would be a big help in such a situation.

Sage Farms, an organic farm that’s been in business here for 20 years, is one such enterprise. Their fruits and produce are available in local stores and farmers’ markets. The farm is one of a network of small growers in the area whose goal is to make the Big Island less dependent on imports from the mainland.

It might seem like farming would be easy in Hawaii. Most things grow readily, but that also includes weeds. In addition, pests also thrive and can be voracious. Currently, rat lungworm is a big concern. Recently, students at Kohala Middle School showed that a slug which carries rat lungworm parasites is now established in this area. This slug is just the latest challenge to the farmers of the area and the island in general.

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

Mourning gecko on ti leaf

Mourning gecko on ti leaf

When I see mourning geckos out and about during daylight hours I worry for them. They’re nocturnal and daytime is the domain of the gold dust day gecko, which has winnowed the numbers of other geckos in Hawaii.

I like mourning geckos for the patterns on their skin and their eyes, which are metallic-looking. This gecko has, at some point, lost its tail, and grown a new one, but the new colors haven’t quite filled in and the break point is clearly visible.