Whether coating the forest floor, or cloaking tree trunks, the abundance of moss alongside the Pu’u O’o Trail, off Saddle Road, always reminds me of the Pacific Northwest, where I lived for 30 years, before moving to Hawaii.
Author Archives: Graham
Yes, there is a fish in each of these photos! The endemic Strasburg’s Blenny is less than two inches long and is easily overlooked. It tends to move about in short, sharp bursts, blends in well when it settles, and is almost undetectable when it backs into its hole. That’s where the blenny is in the top photo.
In the second photo, it’s lying out in the open, but blending in rather well. Can you spot it?
This photo tells you all you need to know abut the winds up here in North Kohala. It also says a lot about the cattle pastures here. Many are currently overrun by weeds of one kind or another thanks to an ongoing cycle of droughts and rain.
One of these is not a sparrow
The praying mantis had been on the rail for some time when the sparrows arrived. I feared for its chances, but it remained very still and the sparrows never seemed to notice it, even though they hung around for a while.
This is a scene I like to refer to as ‘gang activity.’ Blue Goatfishes are predators and hunt in packs, often in the company of other fish, such as Bluefin Trevallies and Pacific Trumpetfishes, as well as eels and octopuses.
The fish on the left is showing its barbels, which are used to ‘sense’ prey and also can be poked into tight spots to flush out prey.
A plethora of purple
This week’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge is ‘Purple.’ See more responses here.
I’d like to say I have some kind of theme going here, but I don’t, outside the color.
First up is a bee approaching a very purple bougainvillea.
In the gallery, we have a Fiery Skipper butterfly feeding on a Blue Heliotrope (Heliotropium amplexicaule) flower, a purple and white spider lily, and some dark purple Helmet Urchins clinging tenaciously to a rock.
Then there’s a sign advertising purple ice cream. Not sure what flavor that is, but I’m a bit wary.
And finally, a lush purple orchid.
Hawaiian Garden Spiders
I noticed that in the front border of the house, the ferns and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) needed weeding and cutting back as there was foliage up against the house, a handy highway for ants and centipedes and who knows what else. The only problem is that, at this time of year, this little garden is guarded by a wall of spiders.
These three Hawaiian Garden Spiders are just a few of that kind there, and they’re accompanied by the usual mass of crab spiders and one or two others I’m not familiar with. I wouldn’t mind moving the crab spiders, whose main activity seems to be to build webs in places that mean they’ll end up wrapped around my head. But the garden spiders, I have a soft spot for. The females are quite beautiful and the males, while drab and tiny, are very watchable as they try to mate with the mighty females.
I guess the weeds can wait for another week or two.
View of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa
There’s still a bit of snow on top of both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Every time it looks like it’s going to disappear, a new dusting bolsters the coverage.
This view is from Kohala Mountain Road. The dark strip snaking through the center of the photo is housing alongside Kawaihae Road, which goes down to the coast. These houses are part of the town of Waimea, which sits in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Kohala Mountain. This part of Waimea is known as the dryside because it receives significantly less rainfall than areas on the east side of the saddle, which is known, correctly, as the wetside.