Abstracts: Swishing seaweed

I hadn’t noticed these grasses or seaweeds before in an area where I snorkel regularly. But one day, there they were, swishing back and forth with the movement of the water. They weren’t around long, the sea floor soon being returned to its previous mix of sand, rock. and coral.


Green anole stare

A green anole offers a stern expression as it keeps a wary eye on me.

Pueo head on a swivel

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Layers.’ (See more offerings here.) I thought about the layering of bird feathers, in this case of a pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owl) surveying its surrounds, watchful for threats while also scanning for meal opportunities. Its diligence paid off shortly afterwards when it dove down and snagged a mouse (here).

Signs: Just ignore them

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Ignored.’ (See more responses here.) Mulling this over on my drive to work, I thought about speed limits. Like all of you (I’m sure!), I drive at or below the speed limit, but there are lots of people out there who don’t, who just ignore the signs.

For example, in these photos, in the space of a couple of hundred yards, the speed limit drops from 55 mph, at the top of the little hill, to 45 mph, and then 35 mph at the bottom of the hill. There are people who actually slow to 35 mph by that point, and they run the very real risk of being plowed under by all the other drivers who routinely go 45 mph all the way into Kawaihae, and out again on the other side.

The truth is, driving 5 mph over the speed limit is generally considered acceptable here and won’t get you pulled over. Exceed that leeway and you’re taking a chance. And in Hawaii, the police are hard to spot. Most police officers drive their own cars with no markings and only a little blue light on top. When the police car in the bottom photo sped into view there was a blaze of brake lights from the vehicles heading down the hill. But it was on the way to some other, more important situation.

After I took the photos, I got back into my truck and somehow, and I can’t explain it, by the time I got to the bottom of the hill I was going 45 mph. First time for everything I guess.

Goldring surgeonfish

This goldring surgeonfish is so named because of the colorful ring around its eyes. This one came up to take a look at me. I like how it looks like it’s casting a giant shadow, but that’s actually a different fish (another goldring surgeonfish I think) passing behind it.

Orange hibiscus

Hibiscus come in a variety of colors including an unusual blue one. I particularly like the delicate orange shade of this flower.

Fireweed control moth

The fireweed control moth (Secusio extensa) was deliberately introduced from Madagascar in 2012 because its larvae feed on fireweed. Unlike many other introductions, the moth was first confined to a study area to make sure it would not wreak havoc on native species. Having passed that test, it was released into the wild.

I’m not sure how much impact the moth is having on the fireweed, but I think it’s a pretty and quite striking moth.

Nothing on TV

I was walking along the coast recently when I came upon this scene. The TV looked in good shape, but why was it there? I heard voices: ‘Nothin’ to look at here. Is there anythin’ on TV?’ ‘Let’s watch that nature show, the one about coastal wildlife.’ ‘I just love looking at that glossy black screen. It’s the best.’

Next time I went out there, the TV was gone.