Category Archives: Animals

Wild pig with a mango

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘From Your Window.’ See more responses here.

There’s a very large mango tree in the yard, which is an erratic producer of fruit. Some years, there’s not much. Other years, the tree looks like an overdecorated Christmas tree. In those times, it’s best not to spend much time under the tree, particularly when it’s windy, because the thud of fruit hitting the ground is frequent (though, standing under that tree is risky any time, since large branches are prone to breaking off).

When fruit does start to fall, wild pigs move in. There are always windfalls available and the pigs love this easily-accessed treat. The pig population around here varies, mostly depending on whether hunters are active in the area. Pigs are nocturnal, so do most of their foraging at night, but the younger ones are more likely to venture out in daylight hours, either because they haven’t yet learned how dangerous that is, or because it’s harder for them to get a look-in when the big pigs are around.

This year, there have been as many as nine pigs in the yard at one time, but this younger pig was out by itself. As there were quite a few mangos on the ground, it was being quite choosy as to which ones to eat. Hard ones will be shunned, unless that’s all there is. This mango was just right, and the pig was tucking in until something disturbed it and it ran off, but not without its prize.

Mostly the pigs are a source of entertainment and don’t bother me. The exception is when they roam past the bedroom window in the middle of the night and get into arguments, grunting and squealing. They also have a very ripe smell, which drifts in through the open window. Fortunately, they’re easy to disperse. I just do my large, angry dog impersonation, consisting of a few loud barks, and they disappear like they’ve been shot out of a cannon.

Goats at the watering hole

A recent visit to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, otherwise known as Place of Refuge, included this encounter with a herd of goats. The goats were passing through and stopped to get a morning drink in the ponds. These anchialine ponds are connected to the nearby ocean through underground channels. Because of this, the levels of water in the ponds vary with the tides.

In the ponds, fresher water floats on top of saltwater from the ocean, which is why they’re a good watering hole for the goats. Back in the days when Hawaiian royalty lived on these grounds, the ponds were used to hold fish for future consumption by those living here.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.

That’s a lot of bull

Recently, I stopped to take photos along Kohala Mountain Road. I was leaning against a gate when I glanced to the right and saw this rather large bull lying down in the enclosure. I took some photos, looked over again, and saw the bull stand up. It stared at me. I glanced down at the gate, wondering just how stout it was.

I finished my photo taking, snapped a couple of the bull, and retreated to my car. There’s no doubt in my mind that, should the bull feel like it, neither the fencing, nor the gate would keep it contained. Probably my car wouldn’t fare that well either.

Gecko on a stovetop

I spotted this baby mourning gecko one evening, just sitting on the stovetop. This is what I call ‘making an unwise decision.’ Fortunately for the gecko, the day’s cooking was done, otherwise it risked getting fried or flattened by a pan.

Baby geckos have a fairly high mortality rate from accidents and predation by larger geckos, but at the same time, there seems to be no shortage of them. I guess some kind of balance has been achieved.

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

Bee on a ribwort plantain

When I saw this bee I thought, I know that plant, but what’s the name of it? Well, it’s ribwort plantain, but my knowledge of it stems from many years ago when, as kids, we used to pick them, loop the stem around just below the head of the plant, and then jerk that loop forward to send the head of the plant zinging in the direction of the intended victim. It was amazing how far those heads would travel.

This bee is using the plant for more beneficial purposes.

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

Praying mantis

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Wild and Weird.’ See more responses here.

No matter how you look at them, there’s something wild and weird about praying mantises. They look like Popeye with that spindly body and bulging forearms (no pipe though). Parts of them look like they came off the production line with some assembly still required. They remain motionless for long periods, watching, waiting. When they do move, it’s with a constant back and forth motion to sneak up on prey. Then they strike like a cobra and make short work of their victims.

And yet I find that despite all this weirdness, there’s something endearing about them. They put up with intrusive photographers and they keep still for them. What’s not to like.

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