Author Archives: Graham

About Graham

I take photos when I'm out and about, recording life on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Up all night

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Night.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

On December 21st of last year, I went down to the coast to get a clear view of the ‘Christmas Star.’ This event was the closest coming together of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in almost 800 years. This isn’t to say that the planets themselves would be closer, but from our planet, they would appear so, so close that they would seem to be a single large ‘Christmas Star.’

I got down to the coast before sunset and stayed until it got dark enough that I knew I wouldn’t get more decent photos. I knew my best shot would be with some foreground still visible. The top photo is the best I could do with my camera. The two planets can clearly be seen close together, but with a sliver of late evening sky between them.

I headed home, downloaded the photos, and went to bed not long afterwards. Why the early night? Well, the next day I planned to drive over to see the new eruption at Kilauea Volcano, in the pre-dawn darkness, which required a 1 a.m. start. (That story can be found here.)

It was as I was wrapping up taking photos of the eruption that I turned to see the eastern horizon lightening. But there were still some stars visible in the sky and the brightest light of all was the planet Venus. That’s when I took the second photo before heading back to the car to start the three hour trip back home.

Nuptial colors

A gargantuan blenny in nuptial colors

In November, I posted the photo below, showing a gargantuan blenny resting in a recess in some rocks. The top photo, taken at the end of December, shows a gargantuan blenny in the exact same spot. It’s probably the same fish and this is part of its territory.

But astute observers will note that the fish now looks completely different. That’s because it’s the start of blenny spawning season and this male has changed into its nuptial colors for the occasion. He looks rather dashing, I think.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

A gargantuan blenny

Up in the air at Upolu

Skydivers over the Big Island, Hawaii
Skydivers over the Big Island, Hawaii

The skydiving business, operating out of Upolu Airport, was busy during the holidays. A typical flight deploys a pair of tandem skydivers, where a paying customer is attached to an experienced skydiver.

I was out walking when these people jumped out of the plane. After the chutes opened they maneuvered around before landing back at the airport. The lower picture is a composite of three photos, giving an idea of how they spiraled down.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Hawai’i amakihi on the move

A Hawaii Amakihi hops from one branch to another

I was at the Palila Forest Discovery Trail, on the lower slopes of Mauna Kea, when I looked up and saw this Hawai’i amakihi, a native honeycreeper. When I got home, I was happy to find that one of my photos had caught the bird in mid hop, from one branch to another.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here. For more information about Palila Forest Discovery Trail, go to dlnr.hawaii.gov/restoremaunakea/palila-forest-discovery-trail/.

Cat up a tree

A cat up a tree in Hawaii

I heard an uproar from the myna birds in the yard and looked up to see this cat bounding up a tree trunk. It disappeared into the leaves and, shortly after, the mynas flew off in a huff. I took this photo when the cat was on its way down, with nothing to show for its efforts.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.