Category Archives: Marine Invertebrates

A walk from Spencer Beach Park to Hapuna

On the Ala Kahakai Trail between Spencer Beach Park and Hapuna
The beach at Mauna Kea Resort.

A few days ago, I posted here an image from a recent walk along the coast to Hapuna beach. I thought I’d post more photos from that walk for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme of ‘Paths and Trails’ (more responses here), and for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (more responses here).

The trail crosses beaches large and small.

Of course, besides the views I was on the alert for anything moving on the beach or in the air.

Other parts pass through trees and other vegetation.

Red Reef Lobster molt

A Red Reef Lobster molt in the waters off Hawaii

I saw this scene almost immediately after getting in the water, the bright red catching my eye. At first I thought it was some kind of garish fishing lure, snagged in the rocks. Then I saw other details and figured it must be some kind of marine invertebrate and probably a molt.

When I got home, checked the photos, and consulted my marine invertebrates book, I realized it was the molt of a Red Reef Lobster. Its sensory hairs can clearly be seen on the claw. These lobster are active at night and so rarely seen, but they can live in shallow waters and they molt every 6 weeks or so.

I doubt I’ll ever see a live Red Reef Lobster, so this is probably as close as it gets.

Abstracts: Tahitian Prawn

A Tahitian Prawn in a stream in Hawaii

I was taking photos of Tahitian Prawns in the stream at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, but when I looked at them later, I mostly liked the abstract effect of the light and water. But, yes, there is a Tahitian Prawn in this photo.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to

Ruby red images

A crown of thorns sea star
Two Kona Brewing Company beer taps

This week’s Sunday Stills color challenge theme is ‘Ruby Red.’ See more responses here.

The top photo shows a Crown of Thorns sea star, which feeds on coral, though not to a problematic extent in Hawaii.

The second photo illustrates a definite problem. When I stopped by the Harbor House restaurant at Honokohau, these were the only two Kona Brewing taps available. I was told the company has discontinued their Castaway IPA, which, if true, is a sad state of affairs, it being by far their best beer in my humble, but completely correct opinion.

The bottom three show a Gold Dust Day Gecko on a torch ginger, a Budweiser (not my beer of choice) sign at the Harbor House, and what I think is a Western Blood-red Lady Beetle.

Solstice photos

A Royal Palm in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Again the Solstice.’ See more responses here. I didn’t have any good ideas for illustrating the solstice so, instead, plumped for photos taken on the solstice.

The top photo, I’ve run before in 2019, but who doesn’t love a grumpy cat? The second photo, from 2021, is of a royal palm amongst other tropical foliage. These palms can grow to 70 feet tall and look very stately when planted in a row. This one was quite a bit smaller.

The bottom two photos show a Fiery Skipper butterfly on a Mesembryathemum flower in 2020, and a Pacific Day Octopus hunting in the company of a goatfish back in 2018.

A’ama Crab on a rock

An A'ama Crab by a pool in Hawaii
An A'ama Crab by a pool in Hawaii

The top photo looks like a regular shot of an a’ama crab on the edge of a tide pool with the ocean blurred in the background. But the second photo shows that the ‘tide pool’ is actually a depression in a large rock, one of several placed along the edge of a parking lot, to stop people driving into the ocean (yes, they would, in case you’re wondering.).

For some reason, this encounter reminded me of the incredible climbing ability of these crabs even though I often see them skittering up or down vertical walls, in rolling surf, when I get in the water.