Category Archives: Animals

Green anole shedding

A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii
A Carolina green anole shedding in Hawaii

I noticed something on the cane grass, with a strange shape and some kind of long beak. I wondered if it was a new bird, but then saw it bobbing its head up and down and puffing out the dewlap at its neck. It was a green anole and it was shedding. The ‘beak’ was a chunk of old skin sticking out.

By the time I got my camera, the ‘beak’ was gone, but there were still areas around the head to be dislodged. Sometimes it can take quite a while to remove the last bits and pieces. This anole moved on to complete the job in a bit more privacy.

Paniolos

Three Paniolos on horseback in Hawaii

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Hands & Feet.’ See more responses here.

I wasn’t sure I had anything for this topic, but then I thought of these paniolos, who I saw at Upolu last month. Paniolos are the Hawaiian version of cowboys and these days they often ride four-wheel vehicles. But there are still occasions when they’ll saddle up while moving or tending cattle.

This scene occurred last month when they were moving a herd of cattle into a new pasture. I arrived at the tail end of the process, when the paniolos were walking back to their vehicles.

So what does this have to do with hands and feet? Well, it occurred to me that hands and feet are the main tools of the trade for communicating with the horse being ridden. And as for the horses, their feet are shod with lucky horseshoes and their height is measured in hands.

Enough said!

Three Paniolos on horseback and a sugar cane harvester

Gecko games

  • A gold dust day gecko on a bird of paradise flower in Hawaii
  • A gold dust day gecko on a bird of paradise flower in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘National Kids and Pets Day.’ See more responses here. I mentioned to Terri that I might have a hard time with this one, not having kids or pets, and she suggested I could use the ‘pet’ geckos around here.

So here’s a gold dust day gecko playing hide and seek with me from a bird of paradise flower.

Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

Two donkeys

Two donkeys in Hawaii

Here’s the third of my three weather-related posts. Driving home from the walk in yesterday’s second photo, I saw these two donkeys. They live right on the shoulder of Kohala Mountain in the same 45-inches-of-rain-a-year range as Upolu. They’d been on the receiving end of the same weather as my first photo yesterday, but now they were standing on their little hill, soaking up bright sunshine, and drying out a little.

Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

Gecko in a Pepsi machine

A gecko looks out from a Pepsi machine
A gecko looks out from a Pepsi machine

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Emerging.’ See more responses here. I’ve posted photos of this scene before, but I thought a couple more fit the bill for this week’s theme.

This brightly-colored gold dust day gecko lived in a Pepsi machine for a while and regularly emerged from the interior via the coin return slot. Then it would hang out on the edge for while, checking out the scene, before returning to the cool, dark interior.

Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

Maiapilo

Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
A bee forages on a Maiapilo flower in Hawaii

Maiapilo (Capparis sandwichiana) is an endemic plant that requires little water once established and is also salt tolerant. This means it grows well on the dry side of the island along the coast. This of course is also an area popular with humans, both for living and recreation. Consequently, maiapilo is considered an at risk plant.

Its standout feature is the beautiful white flowers, but if you want to see them, bring a flashlight or be prepared to get up early. Maiapilo blooms at night and begins to wilt early in the morning, fading to pink as it does so.

These photos were taken around nine in the morning and the bees were busy exploring and pollinating the flowers. At night though, native moths are the main pollinators, attracted by the white flowers and pleasant lemon scent. A cucumber-like fruit follows the flowers but, unlike them, it is said to have a very pungent smell.

The plant can be low-growing and sprawling, or a more upright shrub reaching 10 feet.

The BGP

A cat sits by a puddle

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Respect the Cat.’ See more responses here.

We don’t have a cat here in Hawaii, but this is one of our neighbor’s cat. It used to spend more time around our house, but as it’s got older, it seems to stick closer to home. We call it the BGP, which stands, of course, for big gray pussycat.