What the tide washed in

A collection of items washed ashore at Kiholo on the Big Island of Hawaii

Just above the tide line at Kiholo is this collage of items. Floats, nets, ropes, bits of wood and foam, a plastic jerrycan form a collection that no doubt grows and changes with each passing tide.

Common morning glory

This common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) was twined on a fence alongside the mountain road, overlooking the Kohala coast.

This common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) was twined on a fence alongside the mountain road, overlooking the Kohala coast.

African silverbill

African Silverbills gather on a branchAn African Silverbill perches on a branch

Small flocks of African silverbills can often be seen, flitting from tree to tree, on the dry side of the Big Island. Sometimes they’ll be mixed in with other birds such as nutmeg mannikins, but this group was all silverbills.


Miloli’i swimming entry

A bridge lead to an entry point for swimmers at Milolii

Miloli’i is an old Hawaiian fishing village near the southwest corner of the Big Island. A few miles north is Miloli’i Beach Lots Subdivision, a private community with an undeveloped park. Since the name includes the word ‘beach,’ it will come as no surprise to learn that there’s no beach of any description in the subdivision. There is, however, a reasonable spot to get in the water, at the park, which is accessed by crossing this little plank bridge. If you head straight out from there, in no time at all you’ll find yourself in Taiwan.

Abstracts: Passion flower

A fragrant passion flower in bloom

On a recent hike, I came on several of these passion flowers. I don’t know what kind they are; it’s often very hard to identify passion flowers. The flowers hung down, so this is a view from below. Not only did it have an exotic look to it, but it had a most wonderful fragrance.

Green anole bridge

I have a laundry line strung up between the house and a tall hedge. Besides its intended purpose, it also serves as a bridge for geckos and anoles commuting between the house and hedge. They can scurry across the span in a hurry when they want to, but usually they go a little way, pause and look around, then repeat the process. They’re entertaining to watch, the experience sullied only slightly by the knowledge that this rope bridge could also serve as a freeway for rats.

Pyramid butterflyfish

Pyramid Butterflyfish congregate with other reef fishA trio of Pyramid Butterflyfish swim off the Big Island of Hawaii

I kept hearing about a large school of pyramid butterflyfish that hung around in a particular area where I often snorkel. Trouble is, every time I went there, I never caught so much as a glimpse of one.

By the time I last swam in that direction, I’d forgotten all about pyramid butterflyfish and their alleged presence in the area. Naturally, that’s when I ran into a very large shoal of mixed fish including yellow tang, black triggerfish, filefish and other reef fish. In amongst them were a large number of pyramid butterflyfish, which stood out when the sunlight caught the large white triangles on their sides.


Kiholo fish pond channel

This channel connects Kiholo fish pond and the ocean

About ¾ of a mile east of the parking area at Kiholo State Park Reserve is this channel or ‘auwai. It connects what remains of Kiholo fish pond with the ocean. King Kamehameha 1 is credited with building the fish pond though he may have actually improved one that was already there. In his day, the pond was much larger than it is today, a lava flow from one of Mauna Loa’s periodic eruptions having filled in a good deal of it.

Turtles and, of course, fish go back and forth through this channel, which also flushes brackish water from the pond. While the pond is on private land, it’s always fun to pause on the little bridge and scan the channel to see if anything is on the move.

For more information about Kiholo fish pond, go to www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/hawaii/placesweprotect/kiholo-preserve.xml.