Category Archives: Fish

Hazy water

Fish swim in hazy water in Hawaii

These days, when I go snorkeling, it’s not unusual to encounter hazy water like this. 10 years ago this would have been unusual. Today, it’s closer to the norm. I don’t know why this is, but warmer water is likely one factor.

From a snorkeling perspective, I have to be a lot closer to fish to hope to get a decent photo of them.

Spinner Dolphins zipping by

Spinner dolphins off the coast of Hawaii

We have had a seemingly endless stream of swells rolling in from the west, west-northwest, northwest, and north. What they all have in common is that they make snorkeling miserable here. The water gets churned up, reducing visibility to near zero, and getting in and out can be an adventure.

A few days ago, there was a gap between the incoming swells, allowing the water to settle a little and visibility to improve. And, luckily, that was a day that a pod of Spinner Dolphins went by.

I had stopped swimming for a moment and popped my head up to look around when I saw fins arching through the water towards me. This pod of 20 or 30 dolphins was just passing through, but I was happy to snap a few photos, of which these were the best two.

The visibility still wasn’t great, but any dolphin encounter is a moment to be treasured.

Spinner dolphins off the coast of Hawaii

Blackstripe Coris

A Blackstripe Coris swims in the waters off Hawaii

The Blackstripe Coris is known as Hilu in Hawaii. According to legend, two gods who were brothers appeared as Hilus. One got caught and ended up on a grill, but the other took human form, rescued his brother, and returned him to the ocean. However, the stripes from the grill remained and can still be seen on the Hilu to this day.

Favorites from 2022

Surf crashes ashore on the North Kohala coast in Hawaii
January: High surf crashes ashore in North Kohala. (link)

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2022 Year-in-Review.’ See more responses here. Like last year, I’ve gone with a favorite photo from each month of 2021, with a caption and link to the post the photo first appeared in.

A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
February: A Common Waxbill grabs a mouthful of seeds. (link)
A Monarch butterfly on purple bougainvillea flowers
March: A Monarch Butterfly on a bougainvillea. (link)
A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle swims by
April: A Green Turtle swims by. (link)
Three cats resting in Hawaii
May: A trio of cats hard at work! (link)
A photo of an owl in a car wing mirror
June: How to keep birds off your car. (link)
A view of Green sand beach (Papakōlea) on the Big Island, Hawaii
July: The green sand beach near South Point. (link)
A white-tailed tropicbird flying over North Kohala, Hawaii
August: A White-tailed Tropicbird glides by. (link)
A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond
September: A Black-crowned Night Heron struggles to get out of a pond. (link)
A Spinner dolphin leaps from the waters off Hawaii
October: A Spinner Dolphin leaps from the water off North Kohala. (link)
Two manta rays in the waters off Hawaii
November: A pair of Manta Rays swims toward me. (link)
A cloud forms over the site of the eruption on Mauna Loa , Hawaii
December: Mauna Loa erupted for the first time in 40 years, capturing attention and changing the weather. (link)

Chubs cleaning

A chub cleans itself against a rock

It’s not unusual to see a variety of fish performing the same maneuver as this chub. I think what it’s doing is rubbing off parasites that attach themselves to fish. They seem to like this particular rock, possibly because of its rounded top and just the right amount of abrasiveness.

Orangespine Unicornfish

An Orangespine Unicornfish in the waters off Hawaii

This brightly-colored fish is fairly common in shallow waters. Those orange spines at the base of the tail are reputed to be very sharp, though I have no desire to field test that. One would have to be unlucky or unwise to be on the receiving end of them. They’re intended for use in encounters with other fish.