A recent visit to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, otherwise known as Place of Refuge, included this encounter with a herd of goats. The goats were passing through and stopped to get a morning drink in the ponds. These anchialine ponds are connected to the nearby ocean through underground channels. Because of this, the levels of water in the ponds vary with the tides.
In the ponds, fresher water floats on top of saltwater from the ocean, which is why they’re a good watering hole for the goats. Back in the days when Hawaiian royalty lived on these grounds, the ponds were used to hold fish for future consumption by those living here.
A herd of goats mill about on a trail in South Kona. In any sizable gathering of goats I usually see younger ones butting heads as they tussle with each other. This is practice for when they’re older and the jousts become a more serious contest for position within the group.
The sheep bot fly (Oestrus ovis) is also known as the sheep nose bot fly or sheep nostril fly. That’s because larval stages of this fly move into the nasal passages of sheep and goats. So not only is it good looking, but it also resides in the best of neighborhoods.
I like how, in the top image, the fly appears to be bigger than the fair-sized town of Waimea, on the map, though it’s actually about half-an-inch long. Then, in the lower image, the large eye casts a quizzical look.
There were no sheep for miles where these photos were taken, but there’s no shortage of goats in the vicinity, so that probably accounts for the presence of the fly.
I noticed these two young goats interacting on a little-traveled road and watched them for a while. They seemed to be having a good time. I think the captions say it all, at least they’re my interpretation of the exchange.