Tag Archives: Upolu

Gonna need a bigger lawnmower

Bushboy’s Last on the Card photo challenge for October 2020 (see more responses here) reminded me that I didn’t take any photos on the 31st, but this was the last one taken the day before.

I sometimes see odd things on my daily walks. One time, I saw a TV in the grass. It was there a couple of days, then gone. On this occasion, this lawnmower was sitting by the dirt road. It’s an older machine so it might have been dumped there, but why? If someone wanted to get rid of it, they could take it to the transfer station and leave it there, without having to pay anything. It’s possible it fell out of someone’s truck bouncing along the dirt track. It could be that fishermen unloaded it while organizing their gear and then forgot to pick it up again.

One thing’s for sure – it wasn’t being used to mow anything. Where it sits, a weed wacker would be more useful, or one of those industrial machines the county uses to trim trees alongside the road.

The top photo is the last one I took in October, where I knew my shadow was in the photo. But I had in mind the crop in the bottom photo, emphasizing the lawnmower, the swathe of rough grass, and the bit of ocean in the background.

Monk seal dreaming

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Dreams.’ See more responses here.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out walking along the coast and saw a monk seal I didn’t recognize. As I usually do when I see monks seals, I took photos in an attempt to identify it. Many Hawaiian monk seals have numbered red tags in one or both tail flippers. Some have been bleached with an identifying mark, though this lasts no more than a year as it will disappear when the seal has its annual molt. Some have scars of one kind or another that help with identification. This seal had none of those things.

Its most distinctive feature, apart from being a bit on the small side, was that it was restless. As soon as I saw it twitching and rolling and flexing its flippers I thought it looked like the seal was having a dream of some kind. It finally rolled over completely, in the process opening its eyes and noticing me, up on the cliff, taking photos. No matter. The seal ended up on its belly and found a good spot to rest its chin and drift back into slumber and that rather good dream it had been enjoying.

I sent some of my photos off to Lauren, the Response and Operation Coordinator at Ke Kai Ola, who keeps track of the whereabouts of monk seals around the Big Island. She said the seal was most likely Hiwahiwa (meaning a person or thing greatly beloved). He was the only monk seal pup born on the island this year, back in April. Because of the Covid virus, the shorelines were closed at that time, so access was very limited. This also meant that the pup didn’t get tagged, which explained his lack of identifying marks.

I haven’t seen him since, but a week later I saw another seal I didn’t recognize. That one turned out to be Hiwahiwa’s mother so maybe they bumped into each other again somewhere along the coast.

For more information about Ke Kai Ola and Hawaiian monk seals, go to www.marinemammalcenter.org/hawaii.

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

Dry cow pasture

A couple of days ago I posted an image of an irrigation unit used in one of the local dairy’s fields (here). This is the same kind of field but without irrigation. There were more cows in this field than blades of grass because it’s been so dry in this part of the island.

Ironically, since I took this photo three days ago, we’ve had a couple of days of fairly solid rain and this field is already showing a tinge of green where new grass is coming through. However, the last time it was this dry, after it rained the first things to spring up were weeds which basically choked out the grass.

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

Sheep on the run

On my drives to and from Upolu Airport, it’s not uncommon to encounter groups of sheep on the road. Some of the field fencing is not in the greatest shape and, in any case, it’s primarily there to corral cattle, not that it always works for that either.

When I do encounter sheep, their typical response is to run ahead of me. At some point though, they usually veer off to the side and I can get by. Sometimes they turn and run back towards me. The last group I saw ran off, with several of the leaping into the air, twirling as they did so. I don’t think it was because they were so excited to see me.

A mantis buffet

At Upolu Airport, where I go walking a lot, there’s a mock orange hedge with a passion vine running through it. I check this hedge to see what’s happening on it and lately, it’s been overrun by flies. I don’t know why this is, but I wasn’t surprised when I noticed two praying mantises stationed in the hedge. They were having a field day.

The flies would flit around as flies do, but when one settled, a mantis would strike. Their success rate was quite high, but the flies were easy targets. The safest place to be was on one of the mantises, but that wasn’t a long term solution.

The scene remained the same over three or four days, and then, though the flies were still around, the mantises disappeared. I guess that’s understandable. I mean, how many flies do you think you could eat before you’d start looking for something different?