Category Archives: December 2019

Pacific beetle cockroach

When I first saw this bug, with its red back and gold sparkles, I thought for sure it was a beetle. But it turns out, it only resembles a beetle. It is in fact a cockroach, which left me with slightly less warm thoughts about it.

But it turns out that the Pacific beetle cockroach is quite interesting. It’s one of a few that are viviparous, meaning that it gives birth to live offspring. A couple of years ago, this cockroach was in the news because the ‘milk’ it feeds its young is a more complete food than cow’s milk and was being touted as the next superfood. Not that cockroach dairies were about to be set up, but the thought was that the protein crystals in the milk could be reproduced in labs.

This hasn’t happened yet, but who knows. I bet Gwyneth Paltrow is out there, milking cockroaches, even as I post this.

Thanks to Hawai’i Insect Identification for help in identifying the Pacific beetle cockroach. For more information about Hawai’i Insect Identification, go to

Rainbow on the water

Today marks the start of this blog’s fifth year and to mark the occasion I’m posting a rainbow photo, as I did for the first blog post and for last year’s anniversary.

This rainbow occurred while I was snorkeling in somewhat lumpy water with clumps of clouds above.

Eagle ray juvenile

On a recent snorkeling expedition I was lucky to notice this eagle ray sliding by below in some hazy water. It’s the smallest eagle ray I’ve seen, with a wingspan of about a foot-and-a-half. Adults can have a wingspan of up to ten feet though the ones I see are mostly in the five to six feet range.

One nice thing to see was that this little ray was in perfect condition with nary a mark on it. Some of the bigger ones look like they have been in the wars.

Christmas lights

Seasons greetings to all. I’ve swung by the Hilton at Waikoloa a couple of times in the early morning to see the collection of lights creating a festive display. Fronting the display is a large sleigh being pulled by a quartet of little deer (they’re not gonna make it down the block let alone around the world). But what makes it stand out is that the trees on the roundabout behind the sleigh, and all the way up the drive to the hotel, are wrapped with lights. It looks like a candy cane forest.

I used a tripod for the top and bottom shots, but for some the camera was handheld. Most of the shots were shaky, but I liked the one on the right, in part because it caught a barrier rising making it look like a large red fan.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hawi

It’s Christmas Eve, so what better time for a post about Hawi’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. These photos were taken on a Wednesday evening and I’m not sure what the activity was inside the church. My goal was to take photos of the exterior without disturbing anyone.

When I got there, I was a bit surprised to see someone sitting on the steps outside the church, but they were absorbed in their phone and didn’t see me. I’d taken a few photos, when I realized that the figure on the steps had got up and was walking up the path to the church. That’s the person in clerical robes standing in the doorway in the photo to the left. Shortly afterwards, he entered the church and I didn’t see him again.

While I’m not religious, I always enjoyed visiting churches in my native England and elsewhere. The interiors are usually cool and calm and conducive to reflection, and each church invariably has some feature of note. In this case, I liked the stained glass windows illuminated by the lights within.