Author Archives: Graham

About Graham

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

Fish at Viper Rock

Fish swim in the waters off Hawaii

On the coast where I snorkel, there’s a spot known locally as Viper Rock. This is where a very large Viper Moray Eel used to reside in a recess in the rock. I haven’t seen him lately, but it’s also a good spot for a variety of fish so I go down there regularly.

On this day, I approached the rock from the shore side and noticed these Whitebar Surgeonfishes swimming by. Then I noticed the Great Barracuda that can be seen in the background against the edge of the farther rocky outcropping. A few moments later I saw another one, and then a third.

It appeared that the barracuda ohana that frequents that area was around in force. Rather than cross to the other side of the ridge by Viper Rock, where the barracudas were, I returned the way I came. A couple of barracudas looked like they might follow, but quickly lost interest. Their interest in people appears to be related solely to the possibility that those people will snag some fish which the barracudas will then hope to steal.

Skydiver falling

Skydivers jump from a plane in Hawaii

I often see the skydivers operating out of Upolu Airport. I see the plane take off and I see the brightly colored parachutes descending. But I’ve wanted to get a photo of the skydivers jumping out of the plane for some time. This photo isn’t it, but it’s the closest I’ve come.

Here, the skydiver has just jumped, but the main chute hasn’t yet opened. They typically drop for a while before opening the main chute, as this one did a minute or so later.

Brown Anole

A brown anole on a wire in Hawaii
A brown anole on a post in Hawaii

I saw this anole down at Honokohau Harbor in Kailua Kona. It was asserting its rights to a patch of territory there, though it didn’t look particularly promising as far as harboring much in the way of food. It’s also an area that tends to be thick with house sparrows, hanging around to snag leftover French fries at the Harbor House restaurant, which is where these photos were taken from.

The eyes have it

A Yellow-billed Cardinal is fascinated by his reflection in a car window
Who’s that?
A Yellow-billed Cardinal is fascinated by his reflection in a car window
Better check this out.
A Yellow-billed Cardinal is fascinated by his reflection in a car window
Incoming!
A Yellow-billed Cardinal is fascinated by his reflection in a car window
Well hello there handsome.

Recently, for some reason, a couple of yellow-billed cardinals have taken a liking to my car. I thought they were attracted to their reflections in the mirrors, though I later realized it was their reflections in the windows that they noticed more.

The downside of their activities was the all bird poop I had to clean off the side of the cart. So I decided I needed a deterrent. It seems to work. At least I haven’t seen them since!

A photo of an owl in a car wing mirror

Flowers for King Kamehameha

The statue of King Kamehameha in Kapaau, Hawaii, is decorated with leis on his birthday
The statue of King Kamehameha in Kapaau, Hawaii, is decorated with leis on his birthday

June 11 was King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii, celebrating the birthday of the king who first united the Hawaiian Islands under one rule. The day is marked by parades and ceremonies in several places, including here in North Kohala, which is where King Kamehameha was born. The past couple of years, the ceremonies didn’t take place because of Covid restrictions, so this year’s event was the first since then.

I was working on the day, but after work I stopped by to see his statue, which was draped in leis during the ceremonies. It seemed like there was even more floral decoration this year than in previous events, making for a colorful spectacle. But even more striking than the color was the wonderful aroma from the profusion of plumeria flowers in the leis.

The leis are left in place for two or three days before they’re removed. Even when I was there on the first day, some of the flowers were starting to wilt.

Solstice photos

A Royal Palm in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Again the Solstice.’ See more responses here. I didn’t have any good ideas for illustrating the solstice so, instead, plumped for photos taken on the solstice.

The top photo, I’ve run before in 2019, but who doesn’t love a grumpy cat? The second photo, from 2021, is of a royal palm amongst other tropical foliage. These palms can grow to 70 feet tall and look very stately when planted in a row. This one was quite a bit smaller.

The bottom two photos show a Fiery Skipper butterfly on a Mesembryathemum flower in 2020, and a Pacific Day Octopus hunting in the company of a goatfish back in 2018.