This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Wildlife.’ See more responses here. I thought I’d go with a couple of photos from the air, on land, and in the ocean.
First up, a couple of native Hawaiian birds, a palila above and a pueo below.
Next, a group of goats blocking a trail in South Kona, above, and a wild pig snaffles a mango and runs off with its prize, below.
Finally, a pod of spinner dolphins that I encountered in the wild while snorkeling. This scene was made more poignant for me by having recently seen dolphins in a small pool doing their thing for tourists at one of the resorts here. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of that.
Conditions have been terrible for snorkeling lately. There’s been one swell after another barreling in from the northwest, which is good news for surfers, but which churns up the water and makes it hard to see anything.
Despite this, there can be clear patches and it was passing through one of these that I saw this school of chubs swimming by me, nicely illuminated by the sunlight.
Moorish Idols are one of the most easily identified fish around here, with their distinctive colors, markings, and shape. These juveniles lack the long filament on their dorsal fins, but otherwise have typical appearance. Moorish Idols are considered of the smartest reef fishes.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘2021 in Your Rear-View Mirror.’ See more responses here. I’ve gone with a favorite photo from each month of 2021, with a caption and link to the post the photo first appeared in.
I was snorkeling yesterday, when I looked up and saw this green turtle coming towards me. It was near the surface and heading up so I thought it might be about to take a breath. Instead, the turtle, which was quite small, leveled off and kept coming my way.
Usually, in the water, I have a bit of zoom on my camera since that’s often needed. In this instance, I zoomed out and found myself leaning back to keep the turtle in the image. It came within a foot of me and I thought we were going to butt heads, but at the last moment it stopped, veered, then swooped down and away.
It wasn’t until I got home and processed my photos that I noticed the slender remora on the turtle’s shell, behind its head. Remoras, which don’t harm their hosts, attach themselves by means of a sucker disk on their heads, so what can be seen on this turtle is the underside of the fish.
I don’t change my desktop image often, but the top photo makes me so happy I popped it up immediately, so I’m posting it in response to Clare’s monthly Share Your Desktop challenge (see more responses here).
This crocodile needlefish swam up to check me out one day when I was snorkeling. These are large fish and sometimes, when I see them, I mistake them for great barracudas. A somewhat disturbing fact about crocodile needlefish is that, if they become alarmed, particularly at night, they can turn on whoever has frightened them and drive their beak into that person. The wounds inflicted can be very serious and deaths have been recorded. Mostly though, when I’m snorkeling, they just cruise by and take a non-threatening look.