Tag Archives: Beckys Squares

Hawaiian Stilts on golden pond

Hawaiian Stilts in a pond at Kaloko-Honokahau Park

My final post in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

The stilts are odd enough in themselves, with their pink legs and long beaks, but it was the lighting in this image that got my attention. The sun was sinking and the shadows lengthening. But the distinctive lighting in this photo was due to the reflection from a cream-colored trailer parked beside the pond!

Fresh tangerine juice

Tangerines on a tree in Hawaii
Tangerines from a tree in Hawaii
Tangerine fruit juice

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fresh.’ See more responses here.

Here’s a weekly ritual of mine these days. There are two tangerine trees on the property and they constantly churn out fruit. I rarely see the flowers, though I did eventually notice that they do exist (here).

Each week, I pick a small bucket of ripe fruit. Often I can just reach up an pick enough for my needs. Sometimes I use a ladder and rake to snag the higher fruits. Then I take my bounty inside and juice it. I use a hand juicer; I tried a powered one, but it didn’t really work for me. It doesn’t take long to fill my jar. This time I used 29 tangerines, but the number varies from week to week depending on how ripe they are and how juicy.

I could juice them daily for truly fresh juice, but this still tastes pretty good to me.

Also posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

A male and female Hawaiian Garden Spider and a beetle snared in the web

My house has been surrounded by spiders and their webs for most of the winter. One female Hawaiian Garden Spider has a web which angles across the living room window. I can follow the activities there from the comfort of the couch.

One morning, I raised the window blind and found this scene. The large, yellow-backed spider is the female. The much smaller drab, brown spider above her is the male, and when a male is seen on a female’s web there’s only one reason – he’s looking to mate with her. I’m not sure what the third character in this scene is. It might be a mango beetle, but it was securely trussed to the web.

What happened can be seen in the gallery. The male tried his mating moves, the female remained largely unmoved. Much of the time the male stayed on the relatively safe opposite side of the web to the female, but to mate he must venture to the other side. When he did, sometimes the female swung into action. Mostly, she seemed responsive, but one time the male disappeared in an instant. Then I saw him climbing back up the thread he’d dropped on. Something must have gone awry, but no harm done. Through all this activity, the beetle looked on, waving its little legs and antennae.

The presence of the beetle seemed to affect the delicate negotiations going on between the spiders. Sometimes, the male went over to the beetle and sort of prodded at it, but nothing more. In the early evening, the female lost patience. She straddled the beetle, shot out strands of threads, and rebound the beetle as she spun it with her legs. It turned like a rotisserie chicken in overdrive. I didn’t get photos of this as the light was fading.

Next morning, nothing much had changed. The female was still the central figure, the male still holding his position. The only difference is that the beetle had managed to push its legs and head through the engulfing threads and it was back to waving its little legs and antennae. Later that day, the male appeared to successfully mate with the female and escape alive. I last saw him wandering over to the next web along where he positioned himself carefully on the opposite side of the web spun by another large female.

The next day, there was still a female on the web but I think it was a different, smaller one than the one in these photos. The beetle was still there, still waving its little legs and antennae. That evening, the new female did the rotisserie chicken move on the beetle and retrussed it. Next morning, the beetle had freed its legs and head again and was waving its legs and antennae again.

The following day, only the new female spider could be seen!

Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

Signs: Working together

An unusual sign in Hawaii

I’ve posted about this sign before (here), but recently I was walking along the coast, noticed this view, and it struck me how odd this must look to anyone coming from this direction for the first time.

Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

And finally, a heads up for those of a sensitive nature. Tomorrow’s post features spiders and an unfortunate beetle!

It’s BIG

The landing area for Big Island Gravity Skydivers

Another view from Upolu, this time of a portion of the airport. But why is there an area of long grass, blowing in the wind, with the letters B I G mowed into it?

The reason is that this is where Big Island Gravity, a local skydiving operation, is based. This area is where the skydivers touch down after their jumps. A couple of days later, and the grass had been mowed again. The letters were still visible, but the long grass was gone.

For more information about Big Island Gravity, go to http://skydivebig.com/.

Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

Misshapen Milo

A milo tree shaped by the wind at Upolu Airport Hawaii

This Milo tree was planted at Upolu Airport several years ago to provide shade for those visiting the area. The picnic table was positioned around the same time and chained to the tree so that no one would nick it!

Fast forward a few years, and the tree has grown and does provide shade, but it’s not what one might think of as a typical shade tree. The robust trade winds that blow here have given the tree its odd shape, a 90° bend not being typical of Milo trees growth. However, it still produces the most lovely blooms that I’ve posted about before here.

It will be interesting to see what it looks like in another five years. Probably a somewhat larger version of this photo, unless the winds get the better of it.

Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.

Oddities in the water

A manta ray in the waters off Hawaii

Today marks the start of the last week of this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here. The ocean is full of oddities so I thought I’d include a few here.

Above: A Manta Ray encounter is always something special, but there’s no getting away from their odd appearance. This one has the added wrinkle of one of its cephalic flaps being damaged.

Top left: Bluespine Unicornfishes not only have a horn protruding from their foreheads, they have dayglow blue scalpels at the base of the tail and an array of expressions that are mostly odd.

Top right: Who knows how many scorpionfishes I’ve swum past? Masters of disguise, I could stare at a spot where one is perched and not see it. Even when I do see one, it’s not always clear that it’s not just a rock, as this Titan Scorpionfish illustrates.

Bottom left: Nudibranches are inherently odd looking, and this Clumpy Nudibrach is no exception. It suggests to me some top chef’s idea of an exotic entrée, but one that keeps sliding off the plate!

Bottom right: Blennies are indisputably odd, but absolutely endearing. The Hawaiian Zebra Blenny is no exception and, in addition, has an uncanny ability to launch itself into the next tidepool if someone disturbs it.

Home away from home

An old couch and bathtub abandoned on the coast of Hawaii

Who wouldn’t want to relax here a while on the couch before taking a soak in the tub? Alas, the tub wasn’t hooked up and sitting on that sofa might be an unpleasant experience. Truth is, these were dumped here by someone. It happens more often than one would like to think it does, and this area is a favorite spot for it, possibly because no one lives around here.

The tub disappeared quite quickly. I suspect someone took it to use as a cattle drinking trough, but it could have gone for other uses. A bit of effort by the person who dumped it could easily have made this connection without the eyesore interim. The couch, however, just sat there.

Recently, I was walking along the coast here, after not visiting for a week or two, and I noticed another pile of trash next to an existing one. A bit farther on was an old boat filled with tires. It’s getting worse, I thought. But I saw that the dirt road had been graded and, on a subsequent visit, saw cleared areas, and the boat and sofa were gone. This wasn’t a surge in dumping, but the start of a cleanup effort. So a big hooray to whoever is responsible.

Posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.