Category Archives: March 2016

Green anoles mating

Green anoles fall for each other

Green anoles matingGreen anoles mating
Green anoles matingI found these two thrashing about under the eaves. At first I thought they were fighting, such was the violence of their activity, but I learned that’s just part of their mating ritual.

The key here is the larger male getting a grip with his jaws on the back of the female’s neck. He doesn’t let go. In this encounter, a series of skirmishes interspersed bouts of wrestling with periods of rest. All the while the male maintained a firm grip.

After one tussle, the male lost his footing and ended up hanging off the back of the female, his jaws still clenched on her neck. The female hung on with a couple of claws, as they swung side to side. Then she lost her grip.

The pair plunged onto a ti plant where the male immediately puffed out his dewlap. The female took the opportunity to scamper off. He pursued for a while but lost track of her and gave up. The female meanwhile looked somewhat the worse for wear, a clump of darkened skin bunched up from her neck.

Clearly anoles are one species where relationships can literally be a pain in the neck!

For more information about green anoles, go to

Green anoles matingGreen anoles mating interruptedFemale anole after mating

A green turtle passes close by.

Green turtle swimming

A green turtle passes close by.
Green Turtle SwimmingOne day, when I got in the water, I dipped my head below the surface and saw a large barracuda idling a few feet away in murky water. Gathering myself, I took a few photos, none of which turned out.

When the barracuda swam away, I tried to follow, but didn’t see it again. Instead, this green turtle slid by not two feet away. It pottered among the rocks, then came back out, passing me almost as close as before. I followed at a discreet distance, before it eased into the ruins of an old pier. I love seeing turtles in the water – they’re so graceful. First time I’ve had my camera with me.

In my attempts to identify what I see in the water, I use John P. Hoover’s book The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes, Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals. His website is

A green turtle swims through the remains of an old pier.

Dragonfly in a kiawe tree

Abstracts: Where’s the dragonfly?

Dragonfly in a kiawe tree

I was walking through a stand of kiawes when a dragonfly jitterbugged by. I hoped it might loop back so that I could get a photo of it, but instead it headed toward the top of a tree and disappeared. I thought I saw where it went and got as close as I could, which was still a good distance away. I trained my camera in its direction and took a few photos, not sure if it was even in shot. I thought I might just be taking pictures of a twig. It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photos that I saw I’d been right about its location all along.

The sign which marks Mano Point

Kiholo to Mano Point hike

The start of the trail to Mano Point

The start of the trail below the parking area at Kiholo.

The house built for Loretta Lynn at Kiholo.

The house built for Loretta Lynn at Kiholo.

The anchialine pool at Kiholo

The anchialine pool at the south end of the first beach.

The lava bench before Mano Point

The trail winds down to the bench before Mano Point.

This hike is a not-too difficult, out and back, 4-mile round trip. Aside from wanting to check out this part of the coast, I also wanted to try out a new pair of shoes, more suited to hiking, rather than the old pair of walking shoes I’d been flogging my toes in recently.

The access road to the trailhead can be rough, but on this occasion had been recently graded, at least down to the private road near the bottom. The hike follows the coast south from the Kiholo parking lot. There’s camping here Friday through Sunday, but on this day it was much quieter – three people on the beach when I set out, not many more when I returned. The day was hot, as it usually is on this coast, and the vog was thick enough to chew on.

The hike starts out crossing the first of three black sand beaches. It’s part of Kiholo State Park Reserve, which means it’s a park for which the plans have not yet been finalized. Behind this first beach is a house built by country singer Loretta Lynn back in the 1980s. It’s boarded up now, but is tabbed to be some sort of visitor/cultural center in the new park. Check back in 10 years or so to see how things are going!

At the south end of the beach is an anchialine pool. After the pool, the trail winds up and over a’a lava to another smaller black sand beach. There’s another up and over to the third beach, Luahinewai, which is backed by a large private residence, overlooking another anchialine pool and surrounded by vegetation. The second and third beaches were deserted, the a’a lava lumpy, the new shoes doing a splendid job of cushioning my feet.

After this third beach the trail heads up onto the lava for a while and crosses inland from Nawaikulua Point until it reaches a lava bench backed by vegetation. The trail, which is marked by some rounded stones in the trail and white coral markers on the edges, ends here. Mano Point is reached by crossing the lava bench, which is not difficult but, as always, requires keeping an eye on the ocean. On this day the waves were thudding against the edge of the bench, sending spray into the air and some whitewater onto the bench.

It was a day for keeping toward the back of the bench. A couple of days earlier, when the surf was higher, it would have been a place to avoid altogether. On a calmer day one could walk along the edge of the bench. This is an area of tide pools, arches, and collapsed lava tubes that have become surging inlets.

Mano Point itself is not much of a point, but it is easy to identify because it’s where most of the vegetation ends. It’s also marked by a black-bordered, yellow sign (only the back of which is seen from the land), which I think means that no aquarium fish collection (a contentious issue here) is allowed south of the sign. The return is back the same way. I took a dip in the water at one of the beaches on the way back, but the surge was fierce and I ended up discovering black sand in unlikely places for a couple of days afterwards.

It’s not an earth-shaking hike, but enjoyable in its own way. There was a breeze on the coast as there usually is, some whales to be seen offshore, and my new hiking shoes performed admirably. That said, crossing behind the last beach en route to my truck, I felt a pricking in my foot and took off my shoe to find a kiawe thorn that had penetrated the sole. Not the fault of the shoe though, just an occupational hazard of hiking here.

For more information about the Kiholo to Mano Point hike, go to


The trail from Kiholo to Mano Point

The trail heads across a’a lava after the third beach.

Waves crash ashore near Mano Point

The water surges into a small inlet, probably an old lava tube.

The sign which marks Mano Point

The sign at Mano Point which I think means ‘No Aquarium Fishing.’