For the past three weeks, this praying mantis has been a fixture on this spider lily. The downside of this location is that the plant is a favorite spot for gold dust day geckos. The geckos would no doubt like to eat the mantis, but have so far not made a move that I’ve seen. I suspect that one reason for this is that the geckos have learned that, while the mantis looks like it never moves, when they do, they move fast. A few futile sorties against a mantis would make any gecko decide to seek easier prey.
Tomorrow, I’ll post about the upside of this location for the mantis.
The northern mockingbird arrived in Hawaii in 1928 and is quite common now. It is most easily seen when it perches at the top of a tree and sings, as in the photo to the left. Later, this one descended into the heart of a kiawe tree where it looked out from the tangle of branches and thorns.
The last time I visited the Palila Forest Discovery Trail, on the southwest slopes of Mauna Kea, I didn’t see too many birds, but did enjoy looking down on the cloud layer covering the lowlands between Mauna Kea and Hualalai.
This tree sat on the slope of Mauna Kea at the point where the top of the clouds swirled around it, giving it a very ghostly appearance.
The ohia flower is the official flower of the Big Island. It’s an appropriate choice for the volcanically active island since the ohia is one of the first plants to get a foothold in lava flows. When the bright red flowers are in bloom they give a splash of color to the otherwise black lava flows.
This week’s WordPress photo challenge is to choose your favorite photo taken in 2017. I’m going with a photo that I haven’t posted before (though below I offer a few of my favorites that have run).
This is Sriracha, a female Bengal tiger and cousin of Tzatziki, a white male tiger. Both can be found at Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo in Hilo. What I like about this photo is those huge paws, the quiet movement, and the sense of great power that could be uncoiled at any moment.
For more information about Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens, go to hilozoo.org.
As far as favorite photos already posted are concerned, I offer a few here:
Left. A gold dust day gecko drinking from a bird of paradise flower is a blaze of color (posted here).
Right. This photo captures the awesome spectacle of the lava firehose from Kilauea Volcano pouring into the ocean (posted here). Currently, while the flow is still active, lava is no longer entering the ocean. Left. I was happy to snap the moment a passion vine butterfly laid an egg (posted here). This was taken on the same day as the gecko photo above, so a banner day for me.
Right. I like all the photos in this post for their color and how they capture something of this most Hawaiian of dance (posted here).
Finally, I love this gargantuan blenny for its name, and was very pleased to get this photo, since the fish is apt to dart away and the shallow water was rocking (posted here).
One thing I love about tropical foliage is how lush and varied it is. It can be so dense that it gets quite dark passing through thick cover, but when light penetrates, it creates a striking contrast. Here a shaft of sunlight catches a hanging vine or possibly the tendrils of some kind of epiphyte.
A green anole keeps a wary out from the stalk of a ti plant. This is a popular spot for anoles in the winter months. Often, the dominant male spends a good deal of time running around and puffing out his dewlap to let all and sundry know who’s boss. This year’s dominant male seems positively mellow by comparison. So far I haven’t seen him get ruffled by anything, including my intrusive behavior.