Tag Archives: Kiholo

A walk around Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay sits midway between Kailua Kona and Kawaihae on the west side of the Big Island. There are two main access points to the bay. One is via a gravel road south of the Kiholo Scenic Overlook on the main highway. This road takes you down to Kiholo State Park Reserve where there’s a campground and access to the beaches. I usually go that way, but on my last visit I wanted to try the hike from the main road.

There’s an unmarked parking area north of the scenic overlook. From there it’s about a mile to the coast, along a dirt and gravel road. This passes through scrubby trees where it’s likely goats will be encountered. They’re abundant in this area. The private property alongside the road is well marked, as is the public trail through to the beach. This trail comes out near a funky building decorated with things the tide washed in.

I headed to the right, along the beach towards Wainanali’i lagoon. There are a couple of houses along here, a palm-circled pool, and usually a canoe or two under the trees. Beyond the houses, a small bridge traverses a channel which connects the ocean to Wainanali’i fish pond. This is believed to have been built by King Kamehameha I, as part of an extensive fish collection and farming operation in the bay.

A bit farther along, a blue Kiholo Bay Fisheries Management Area sign marks where the trail forks. To the right, inland, it follows the old King’s Trail to Keawaiki. To the left, it hugs the shoreline heading north alongside Wainanali’i lagoon (top photo). The trail is loosely marked with white coral and/or cairns, but it’s not vital to follow them. I stick to the shoreline.

The lagoon is the remnant of a much larger fishpond, which was around 2 miles across and protected by a 20-foot wide lava rock wall. Much of it was destroyed by a lava flow from Mauna Loa’s 1859 eruption. Today, the lagoon is a prime area for seeing green turtles. They haul out on a rocky island marking the mouth of the lagoon and on the spit that separates it from the ocean. This is where they rest so it’s important not to get too close and disturb them. I also usually see turtles in the water. They putter along the edge in blue-green water, which can give them a wavy appearance. Small fish are abundant here and are often seen.

Once at the head of the lagoon I watched humpback whales splashing and slapping offshore. It’s possible to walk down the spit (not disturbing the turtles), and if it’s calm you can wade or swim across the lagoon entrance back to the trail. Following the coast northwards will take you to Keawaiki, but I retraced my steps until I got back to where I first reached the coast. Then I carried on along the beach.

The waves were rolling in, good news for surfers. The beach here is sandy and vegetation borders it. If the tide’s in a bit of paddling is required. On the other side of this, some private houses border the beach including the Bali House and a sprawling, yellow structure.

Farther along, behind the beach, is Keanalele waterhole, also known as Queen’s Bath. This is a collapsed lava tube, filled with a mix of freshwater and saltwater, where it’s possible to take a dip in the manor of Hawaiian royalty of yesteryear. The parking area for Kiholo State Park Reserve, back in the trees, is followed by the Loretta Lynn house and the campground.

Here, along with several places along the walk, a fair number of birds can be seen including black-crowned night herons, wandering tattlers, Pacific golden plovers, yellow-billed cardinals, and northern mockingbirds.

The southern end of the park is marked by Waia’elepi anchialine pool. Anchialine pools form in volcanic rock and are connected underground to the ocean. The water is brackish, but the pools can be home to a wide variety of species. I saw goats drinking here as well as a variety of birds and insects flying about.

From there, I headed back to the car on the gravel road which parallels the coast and connects to the trail I came down on. My walk was about 5 or 6 miles, but I took more than 4 hours to cover that distance since I do tend to stop a lot!

For more walks worldwide, see Jo’s Monday Walks. Also posted in response to the current Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘On The Way.’ See more responses here.

Backhoe on the beach

The traditional tools for playing on the beach are a bucket and spade. On my recent walk down at Kiholo, I saw this person going several steps better. Name me one kid who wouldn’t love to have a backhoe at the beach.

The reason for this particular piece of equipment is made evident in the bottom photo. Beach sand, from winter storms, had piled up against the edge of the property here. The backhoe was clearing it from the edge of the property and creating a berm in the optimistic hope of preventing the problem happening again.

Fallen

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fallen.’ (See more responses here.) Usually I respond to these challenges with a single subject, but this month I’m taking a different approach, so here are some ‘fallen’ images.

The top photo, taken earlier this week, is of a bus shelter that had fallen off its base. It got that way thanks to some strong westerly winds that blew here for a couple of days.

The second photo also owes its origins to those winds. The mango tree in the yard has another batch of fruit and the wind dislodged a fair number. Pigs and chickens got some of the fallen fruit, but I was still able to gather a considerable number in good condition. However, as the photo shows, there are still more on the tree.

The third photo shows fallen coconuts at Kiholo. While a lot of coconuts are harvested, there are also many that simply fall off the tree and either rot, or sprout to start another palm. Coconuts were brought to Hawaii by the ancient Polynesians, but they might also have arrived naturally as they’re capable of drifting large distances across the ocean, and then sprouting on making landfall.

Wandering along with a wandering tattler

When I was down at Kiholo recently, I saw this wandering tattler at the shoreline, hunting around for a bite to eat. I followed it for a while, from a distance.

It snagged a katydid at one point (second photo), but I didn’t see it catch anything else. It spent a fair amount of time around one particular rock (third photo), which caused a good deal of consternation for the a’ama crab that was there. I think the crab was a bit too big to fall into the category of prey for this particular bird.

Loretta Lynn house at Kiholo

A couple of weeks ago, in her Squares challenge, Becky posted about a set of semi-circular steps here. That same day, I went for a walk down at Kiholo and took these photos of a similar set of steps there. These steps, though, don’t go anywhere, at least not right now.

The steps used to connect to the house, which was built by (or more accurately, for) country singer, Loretta Lynn. But the house hasn’t been used in many years. In 1999, a landowner in the area bought it, and he subsequently traded it to the state for some land behind his property, where he wanted to build a caretaker’s house. He didn’t get as much land as he wanted because the state considered the house, not just worthless, but also a liability, because it had no water, electricity, or sewer connections. Since then, the house has sat empty.

More recently, Hui Aloha Kīholo, a non-profit organization with the goal of protecting and perpetuating the natural and cultural resources at Kīholo Bay, has reached agreement with the state to take over the house for use as its headquarters. The group hoped to raise the funds to start work on restoring the house in 2020, but we all know what happened to everyone’s plans last year. Perhaps, in the none too distant future, those steps will be reunited with the house, and it will come to life again. It’s certainly a wonderful location.

For more information about Hui Aloha Kīholo, go to https://www.huialohakiholo.org/.
For an article about the organization and its plans for the house, go to https://www.konacoffeeandtea.com/blog/hui-aloha-kiholo-giving-tuesday.

To be turned into corruption

I’m a big fan of movie director Peter Weir and I’m a big fan of his 2003 movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (and I’m not just saying that so Russell Crowe doesn’t lash out at me on Twitter).

In the movie, there’s a scene of burials at sea where a standard prayer for the times is used. It features the words, “We therefore commit his body to the deep, to be turned into corruption.” These days, we think of corruption as being about perfidious politicians, crooked cops, bent businessmen. But another definition is that used in the prayer: the process by which dead organic matter separates into simpler substances.

But how to illustrate that? A photo of a compost bin is an obvious option, but I don’t currently have one. Then I saw this scene when I went down to Kiholo last week and thought it fit the bill. An array of downed coconuts, palm fronds, and other organic matter, which in due course will break down and return to the earth.

Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.

Green turtle coming up in Kiholo

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

We’re a little short on glaciers here on the Big Island, but the color description made me think of Kiholo Bay, where fresh water intrusion gives the water a different look to most places around here. The bay is also a great place to see turtles, which can be seen in the water and hauled out on the shore to rest.

This turtle was swimming in the bay where the gently rippling surface gave it an abstract appearance as it came up for air.

Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.