Tag Archives: Bushboys Last on the Card

Sidewalks these days

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘City Sidewalks.’ See more responses here. The Big Island is a bit short on cities, but we do have a few sidewalks, even up here in North Kohala.

For many years, Hawi had a Saturday farmers’ market, which was held on a green space, under the banyan trees, near the heart of the community. The Covid virus shut that down and after a while, it was announced that the market wouldn’t return. Instead, once restrictions were eased, a Saturday morning market appeared on the sidewalks downtown. This wasn’t a problem since pretty much all the businesses were closed.

Yesterday’s market was quite busy, with the added boost of the approaching Christmas season. In the top photo, the Kohala Coffee Mill was open for business but still had room for a couple of vendors out front. In the second photo, the space in front of the Bamboo Restaurant is fully occupied. The restaurant has been closed since March, and while limited seating and take out is allowed now, the restaurant has not reopened. A lot of their trade was from tourists so I suspect they’re waiting to see how that develops. They do, however, appear to be planning on reopening.

The third photo, taken farther down the street, was taken a few days earlier and reflects how things are without an event like the market. This building, at street level, was occupied by a gallery and a popular restaurant. Both have not only closed, but aren’t going to reopen. The spaces appear to be in the process of gaining new tenants, though I doubt they’ll open soon since there are still relatively few tourists visiting the island, at least compared to previous years.

The bottom photo shows a covered sidewalk, which complements the street sidewalk. There are several active businesses in this building, but it’s still much quieter than it used to be. I suspect that this year might have reminded old timers of how this part of the island used to be in the days before the tourist boom happened.

The bottom photo is also posted in response to Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge for November. See more responses here.

Gonna need a bigger lawnmower

Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge for October 2020 (see more responses here) reminded me that I didn’t take any photos on the 31st, but this was the last one taken the day before.

I sometimes see odd things on my daily walks. One time, I saw a TV in the grass. It was there a couple of days, then gone. On this occasion, this lawnmower was sitting by the dirt road. It’s an older machine so it might have been dumped there, but why? If someone wanted to get rid of it, they could take it to the transfer station and leave it there, without having to pay anything. It’s possible it fell out of someone’s truck bouncing along the dirt track. It could be that fishermen unloaded it while organizing their gear and then forgot to pick it up again.

One thing’s for sure – it wasn’t being used to mow anything. Where it sits, a weed wacker would be more useful, or one of those industrial machines the county uses to trim trees alongside the road.

The top photo is the last one I took in October, where I knew my shadow was in the photo. But I had in mind the crop in the bottom photo, emphasizing the lawnmower, the swathe of rough grass, and the bit of ocean in the background.

Cliff ladder

My regular walk around Upolu Airport almost always occurs in the afternoon when I walk along the coast towards the east. This usually puts the sun at my back and the wind in my face. Last Friday, I went out in the morning and so walked in the other direction with both the sun and wind at my back. I was surprised by how strange it felt to do this. Approaching spots where I tend to stop and look for things in the water felt weird. I guess it shows what a creature of habit I’ve become.

One other oddity was this ladder propped halfway down the cliff face. I’d never noticed it before. Now, it might be a recent addition, but it’s also possible it’s been there for years because it is somewhat hidden when walking in the opposite direction.

The ladder was probably put there by someone who goes down onto the rocks to harvest opihi. The opihi is an edible limpet that is something of a delicacy in Hawaii. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Some people eat them right after they pry them from a rock. It’s a dangerous business though. They’re found on rocks right at the water’s edge and an opihi picker can easily slip or be swept into the ocean by big, breaking waves.

When I got home, I noticed the figure at the top of the photo. I hadn’t seen him at the time, but he’s an opihi picker who I ran into a little later on my walk.

Posted in response to Bushboy’s Last on the Card challenge. See more responses here.

New moo and deadly cows

Two days ago, while driving home after my daily walk, I was thinking it must be almost a week since I actually took a photo (Never mind that when I got home I found that I’d taken a couple of photos earlier, during my walk!). Then I saw a patch of white in the grass beside the road, realized what it was, and thought that I should at least get a photo of that.

The nearest of the cows was some distance away, but this was the pasture of the local dairy and these cows are pretty mellow. I’ve seen other calves, seemingly abandoned, but actually just resting in a quiet spot while mom catches up with some grazing.

This was a marked contrast to my last cattle encounter, which was that almost-a-week-previous occasion of taking photos. I went for a hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a. This is a public trail, but the land is also used for grazing so there can be cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and even a donkey or two sharing the area with hikers. Bear in mind that these cattle are being raised for beef so they’re big. Also, the cows among them are there to produce future beef cattle. They’re not giving milk to anyone other than their calves.

On this day, the first part of the trail, an old road, was littered with cattle of one kind or another, including several small calves. I grew up on a dairy farm and I’ve walked through many a field of cows and the occasional bull. I’m used to them, so this array of cattle didn’t bother me. As I walked up the trail, the herd thinned out. Soon all I saw in front of me were a couple of younger animals. These looked bigger and older than the calves lower down, perhaps yearlings. As I got closer I noticed a couple of full-grown animals grazing in a ditch on the other side of the road. They were mostly obscured by grass so I couldn’t see if they were cows or bulls. It seemed to make no difference as they appeared to ignore me as I passed.

I marched on up the road, and as I got closer to the two yearlings, I realized that one of the full-grown cattle (the large, black one in the photos below) had moved in my direction. This didn’t bother me. Often times cattle run towards me as I pass. Then they pull up and just look, or even turn and run away. I kept going. So did the large animal. I still couldn’t see whether it was male or female, but as it started snorting at me, I began to think female. I looked ahead to the two yearlings, then at the cow. She came closer, still snorting. I stopped. For the first time in my life, I thought I was probably going to get charged by a cow. This might seem silly, but people get killed by cows every year. A cow will charge, especially if someone comes between her and her calf.

By this time the cow was about 10 feet away. I decided this wasn’t the time to get a photo of a charging cow and instead clutched my metal water bottle with a view to swinging it at her snout. But the cow didn’t charge. Instead, she snorted one last time, glared at me as she stomped past, and headed up the road to what was clearly her calf. She was followed by the other large, brown cow.

Once the four were reunited, they just stood in the old roadway. I thought they might amble off, as cows will often do, but they stayed put. I didn’t feel like threading my way through them in case the two big ones were still riled up, so I marched into the scrubland to the side of the road and worked my way around them. The footing was uneven, but it wasn’t hard going and I soon came out on the other side. They’d watched my passage with more typically bovine expressions and once I regained the road surface they lost interest and meandered into the trees on the opposite side of the road.

I watched them go and figured I’d have a drink of water before continuing up the trail. I reached for my water bottle and pulled it out with a bloodstained hand … bloodstained hand? I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Both hands were smeared with blood. My shorts had a giant patch of blood on one side. Just above my wrist, a small scratch continued to gush. Somewhere in my short trek through the underbrush I’d encountered something sharp without noticing, which is fairly typical for me.

I washed the blood off my hands and held a tissue to the cut. It quickly stopped flowing, so I carried on up the trail having rediscovered the wisdom of not getting between a mother and her offspring.

The top photo was my last of April and is posted in response to Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge. See more responses here.
Also posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Covid Discoveries.’ See more responses here.

And if those four cattle ever get together and release a record, perhaps Music To Moooove To, I think the bottom photo would make a great album cover for them.

Seven-spotted ladybug

The latest Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge is for April 3, 2020. (See challenge rules and more responses here.)

I saw this seven-spotted ladybug on my usual walk along the coast (which is still permitted here). Its bright red elytra jumped out against the largely green background. I’m not sure what the weed in seed was that it was clambering over.

The top photo was the last on my card for that day. The other two were taken earlier in the same encounter and have been cropped and adjusted.