Life on the Big Island of Hawaii
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.