This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Again the Solstice.’ See more responses here. I didn’t have any good ideas for illustrating the solstice so, instead, plumped for photos taken on the solstice.
The top photo, I’ve run before in 2019, but who doesn’t love a grumpy cat? The second photo, from 2021, is of a royal palm amongst other tropical foliage. These palms can grow to 70 feet tall and look very stately when planted in a row. This one was quite a bit smaller.
The bottom two photos show a Fiery Skipper butterfly on a Mesembryathemum flower in 2020, and a Pacific Day Octopus hunting in the company of a goatfish back in 2018.
The lovely blue color of this Walking Iris caught my eye when I was last at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Not only was it striking in its own right, but it was also a distinctive splash of color against a predominantly green background.
For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Meaningful Memories.’ See more responses here.
This seemed like an opportune time to revisit my first visit to Hawaii, back in 2010. My wife and I stayed in a vacation rental near Captain Cook, overlooking Kealakekua Bay. The sky was hazy with vog from Kilauea Volcano, but the place was awash with colorful flowers. Just down the road was the Painted Church and at the foot of the hill, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park celebrates Hawaiian culture and history with its wooden ki’i and towering palms.
We traveled the whole island from the black sand beach at Pololu (even if we had to pass the carcass of a dead whale twice) to the black sand beach at Punalu’u, dotted with resting green turtles, and rocky surrounds. There were waterfalls big and small, and roads lined with tropical foliage leading to the active lava flow at that time.
There, signs warned that flowing lava is dangerous (who knew?), but we were still able to get within 10 feet of oozing tongues of red, and saw small fires still burning in nearby brush.
There was even a house for sale: ‘Buy now before it burns!’ We didn’t, though that house still stands while others, much farther from that scene, have since been consumed by subsequent flows.
It was this visit that prompted us to return permanently two years later. Hawaii isn’t paradise – it has its pros and cons like any place – but we haven’t regretted the move and are looking forward to the next 10 years.
I had to go back more than a week to find my last photo for Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge (see more responses here). It might not be the last photo I took, but it is the last I saved, and I’d already processed it for posting later this week. There’s really not much difference between the original (above) and the adjusted version (below). I cropped the photo a bit and lightened the shadows a bit to bring out the anole more, but it works pretty well even without that.
Rampant tropical foliage can cover a multitude of sins, including abandoned vehicles. The cost of getting rid of an old vehicle is relatively high here, so many are abandoned. Some are left on the edge of the highway or, more often, on undeveloped private property alongside the highway.
If a vehicle is on private property, the owners have to be contacted first. Often they don’t respond because they’re big corporations or investment entities and an old car or two is not worth the bother.
Those on the highway can be posted and then cleared by the highway department, but even this is not a speedy process. Recently, a Prius, of all things, was parked by the highway a few miles south of Hawi. It looked in decent shape and I assumed it had broken down. However, it sat there for more than a week, untouched. After that, an official warning notice appeared on the window. Police post these to let the owner know their vehicle will be towed and disposed of, in theory at the owner’s expense. Another week or so passed. One day I saw a policeman by the car making some notes. A couple of days later, when I went by, I saw the windows had been smashed and a couple of wheels removed. The next day, more damage had been inflicted. It was a couple of days later that the now useless wreck was removed.
Another disposal option is to shove the vehicles into a gully and let nature do the rest. These three vehicles, and there were others down there, are on the owner’s property, so that’s some consolation.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Leaves.’ See more responses here.
This gave me an excuse to post more photos from Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, which is still closed at this time. For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.