Category Archives: June 2019

Pu’u Wa’awa’a views

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Great Outdoors.’ (See more responses here.) When I think of the great outdoors, I think of hiking, and one of my favorite hikes on the Big Island is up Pu’u Wa’awa’a. It’s an 8-mile round trip and tops out at just under 4,000 feet. On a good day, the hike offers great views, not only from the top, but also on the way up and down. And there are several benches where a person can rest and take in those views, including a couple on the summit.

The top photo shows the view north from around 3,500-feet elevation, with Tamaki Coral in the foreground and Kohala Mountain in the background. The bottom photo is a view from 100 feet or so below the summit looking east toward Mauna Kea.

The hike can also include many native trees and plants as well as a variety of wildlife. There are domestic sheep, cattle, and horses, as well as wild pigs and goats. When the trees are in bloom, they’re rich with insects and birds including several native varieties.

To top it off, most of the times I’ve visited, usually in the early morning, I’ve had the place to myself.

For more information about Pu’u Wa’awa’a and its trails, go to

Achilles tang

Achilles tangs are surgeonfish, with a scalpel near the base of the tail, in the aft end of the large orange-red spot. They’re quite common in shallow waters near the surge zone. This one is passing over a patch of coral, dotted with red pencil urchins.

Flowers at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Floral.’ (See more responses here.) I thought a few photos from my last visit to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden (with Terri from Second Wind Leisure Perspectives) would fit the bill.

The top photo is an orchid, Catatante ‘Pacific Sunspots.’ To the right is another orchid, Wilsonara Aloha Sparks ‘Halloween.’ Below is a heliconia against a backdrop of tropical foliage.

For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to


I saw this piglet wandering through a cow pasture. It is likely the offspring of a feral pig, but there were no other pigs around. At this size and age, it would probably still have been drawing on its mother’s milk. Instead, it was grubbing through cow pies in search of worms and bugs.

I didn’t see it again, but I suspect it will be lucky to survive very long.

Abstracts: A splash of color

I like this photo for the three layers of different-colored underwater landscape. There’s the blue-green of the bottom, the pale, splotchy intermediate layer of rock, and the red-hued outcropping in the foreground. And complementing everything is the back end of a Christmas wrasse, disappearing from view.

Gecko on a pink banana

Gold dust day geckos are colorful little creatures and I look out for them on colorful plants such as bird of paradise flowers and pink bananas. They’re attracted to these, and other flowers, for the nectar within. This one spent a considerable time drinking from this pink banana.

Scrawled filefish

Scrawled filefish are at their most scenic when they catch the light. The blue scribbles that cover their bodies glow with intensity. They’re a peculiar-looking fish with a flat body and long tail, and they can quickly change color to a camouflage pattern when needed.

In this photo, the two dorsal fins are visible. The forward one is just a thin spine which can be raised and lowered. The other one is very fine and often hard to see. In this photo it has a bit of a wave going on.

Black-crowned night heron

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Stillness.’ (See more offerings here.) It made me think of this scene.

I was out early one morning and stopped by the port at Kawaihae. There wasn’t much going on, but I was happy to see this adult black-crowned night heron perched on a rock in the shallows. It didn’t seem to be actively fishing.

Indeed, the heron remained mostly still. It was just dark enough for the lights of the port to illuminate the rippled waters inside the harbor. The port itself was also quiet. No boats moving, no trucks lining up, no machinery grinding. Just a couple of men fishing off the small boat dock.