Tag Archives: Hualalai

Fishing float

An inflated bag, used as a fishing float, on the waters off Hawaii

I saw this floating bag while out snorkeling. It looks like flotsam, but people fishing use such bags to get their hook and line out far enough to where it won’t get snagged on rocks and coral. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see such bags, deflated and abandoned, left behind in the water. That’s because they do sometimes get caught on rocks or because the line broke leaving them to drift, just one more bit of drifting garbage.

Later that same day

A view towards Hualalai volcano
A view towards Hualalai volcano, obscured by vog

I took the top photo on my way to work one early morning. It’s a tranquil scene (the reason I go down there) shot from the beach below Pu’ukohala Heiau in Kawaihae. The second photo was shot on my way home in mid-afternoon. It was taken from the same beach in roughly the same place and looking in roughly the same direction.

Astute observers will see past the similarities in the photos and notice something is missing. Hualalai Volcano has disappeared. Now, it’s not unreasonable to think that those puffy white clouds in the second photo have something to do with this, but that’s not really the case. True, they might mask the upper reaches of the volcano, but the whole thing? No, the culprit is the fuzzy band between the clouds and the land – vog!

The latest eruption of Kilauea Volcano, which began on September 29th, is churning out vog, which forms when volcanic gases interact with sunlight, air, moisture, and dust. Two days later, when these photos were taken, it was having a visible effect. I’d noticed the vog drifting up the west side of the island during the morning and by afternoon visibility was greatly reduced. But it’s not just visibility that’s affected. Vog is especially troublesome for people with breathing difficulties, but can also irritate the eyes and skin of just about anyone.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Time.’ See more responses here.

Red-masked parakeets

Red-masked parakeets at Kohanaiki Beach Park.
A Red-masked parakeet at Kohanaiki Beach Park.

I’ve lived in Hawaii for more than nine years now and had previously never seen any of those most tropical of birds, the parrots. One reason for this is that parrots aren’t native to Hawaii, but a variety of different parrots have become established here.

Red-masked parakeets were first seen here in 1988 and are probably the most common parrot on the Big Island. They’re natives of Ecuador and Peru, but are now fairly well established on the Kona coast, which is where I saw this a pair, in Kohanaiki Beach Park. While they forage along the coast here, they roost high up on the slopes of Hualalai Volcano.

The great outdoors

A view of Hualalai from the water
Hualalai from the water.
A sailboat enters Kawaihae Harbor
A sailboat returns to harbor.

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

In Hawaii, people spend a great deal of time outdoors. It’s common for people to have an outdoor kitchen, sometimes their only kitchen, sometimes a second one where a barbecue is the featured cooking apparatus. Carports often feature chairs and tables with cars parked elsewhere. The lanai, or deck, is as well-used as any room in the house.

Outdoor activities are popular here, too. Many involve the ocean and its inviting water: swimming, snorkeling, paddling, and of course surfing. Plenty of people go fishing and hunting, longtime sources of food for the table.

For me, experiencing the great outdoors primarily involves hiking and snorkeling. Hiking isn’t especially popular here, especially along the coast where it can get quite hot. I get strange looks when I hike the length of popular beaches togged out in hiking gear, including shoes, hat, and fanny pack loaded with water. For most, the beach is a place for stretching out and broiling in the sun, not actively working up a sweat.

The vast majority of photos on this blog are taken in the great outdoors. These photos are a small selection of things I’ve seen while out and about, from sweeping views to birds and bugs.

A view of Kohala Coast from Koai'a Tree Sanctuary
A view of the south Kohala Coast from Koai’a Tree Sanctuary
View of Mauna Kea from Pu'u Wa'awa'a bench
A view of Mauna Kea from Pu’u Wa’awa’a.