Category Archives: July 2017

The end of Highway 270 at Pololu Lookout.

End of the road

The end of Highway 270 at Pololu Lookout.

There’s satisfaction in reaching the end of the highway. Highway 270, also known as Akoni Pule Highway, ends at the Pololu lookout. From there, a steep trail leads down to Pololu beach and valley. Parking at the end of the road is tight and there’s no good place to turn around, but plans are afoot for a new parking area and toilets about a hundred yards up the road. If and when that happens it will be a marked improvement on the current setup.

 

The flowers of an Aliceara Pacific Nova orchid

Aliceara Pacific Nova orchid

The flowers of an Aliceara Pacific Nova orchidThe flowers of an Aliceara Pacific Nova orchid

A lot of the plants, fish, and birds that I see on the Big Island are new to me, but I find it satisfying to identify them. It’s often not straightforward. Striking colors or patterns that I think will be easy to place can often prove elusive. Juvenile birds and fish might look nothing like their parents. Other times, a mostly undistinguished look might pop up first in my search.

Orchids are a big challenge since there are numerous hybrids. I’m pretty confident this is Aliceara Pacific Nova not just because it matches photos online, but also because there was a tag at the base of the plant, a useful search tip I’m happy to pass along here.

A small boat navigates swells off the Kohala coast.

Not sinking

A small boat navigates swells off the Kohala coast.This small boat, chugging along the North Kohala coast, kept disappearing, then popping up again. As a marker of the action of waves and swell, it always catches my attention, possibly because I’ve been in that situation many times myself.

A Hawaiian monk seal swims in a a bay

Waimanu swimming

A Hawaiian monk seal swims in a a bay

Waimanu is one of the few Hawaiian monk seals that live permanently around the Big Island. She has given birth to three pups, each time in the vicinity of Keokea Park in North Kohala. All three pups died, one from swallowing a fish hook when a few months old, the other two while still with their mother on the beach.

We’ll see if she returns to the park again this year for another go.