Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Foster Botanical Gardens: 2 of 7

I think the Cannonball Tree is the most bizarre tree I've ever seen.  Here are some things I learned about it:

-The fruit (round and heavy, hence the name "cannonball tree") grows directly from the trunk, instead of from branches as other fruit typically does.  When it falls from the tree it makes a loud explosive noise

- The flowers grow in huge bunches up to 12 feet long, and smell very sweet

- The fruit, on the other hand, smells terrible when opened (I haven't personally experienced this!)

- Hindus regard it as the sacred tree because its flower petals resemble the hood of their revered snake "Naga"

A closer look at the flowers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

K: Kahana Bay

Well, I am now 1 for 3 in my quest to post a whole week's worth of photos from Foster Botanical Gardens!  I missed posting last night, and I am jumping to another location tonight for a 'K' photo.  Oh well, back on track tomorrow...
 Kahana Bay is an uncrowded beach with calm water and a wide stretch of sand that is shaded by ironwood trees in the late afternoon.  I love the way the mountains loom large here, casting shadows over each other.  For other 'K' photos please visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Foster Botanical Gardens: 1 of 7

After a recent stroll through Foster Botanical Gardens, I decided to devote a whole week in pictures to it.  This is the trunk of one of the palm trees - and yes, it is really that green (I did not edit the photo).  It's a variety called Roystonea, or "Royal Palm".

To see some great close-ups and macros, please visit Macro Monday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

View From My Paddleboard: Number Six

Paddle boarding is one of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities - sadly this is one of those Sundays when I was not able to go, so I had to pull this one from the archives :)  And for my friends, don't worry, I'm not as far away from land as it looks like I am!  I am in Kailua Bay so there's also beach to my left.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Small Lonely Boat

Like a small lonely boat
sails on the Pacific.
no waves, no wind,
on all the sky-line.
Great is this peace,
calm, tranquility.
The silence so deep,
that one starts to dread.
Realizes how close
the opposite are joined.
The peace and unrest,
the joy and sorrow
the laugh and cry.
They do not fight
against one another,
they keep together,
always coexist.
Cannot you know
the one side of it,
cannot value
the WHOLE like One.
-Marie Shipka 

It's Skywatch Friday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye Summer

We don't experience the great temperature changes associated with summer and winter like many places do. However, the seasons do bring other changes, especially in the waters surrounding us.  Summer on the north shore means snorkeling in bays that are as calm as swimming pools on good days.  During the winter those same bays are extremely dangerous to set foot in due to swells.  World-championship surfers replace vacationing (and local!) snorkelers.  Winter also brings the return of the majestic humpback whale to Hawaiian waters!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

J: Jump!

The letter J is a challenge.  The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters, and J isn't one of them!  Since there aren't too many J things around here, I had to get creative.  I took this photo of my dear friends Jumping for Joy at Kailua Beach (look how high her daughter is!).  I love Kailua - it is my home.  I love Kailua Beach.  As I walk up the hill that is just big enough to obscure the turquoise bay that lies in front of me, the mere anticipation makes me want to jump for joy too :)
For other 'J' photos please visit ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I've had this photo for quite a long time - wanted to make sure this anonymous bride's wedding was long past by the time I used it!  It was taken on the dramatic rock overhangs between Halona Cove and Hanauma Bay.  It seems like I come across a wedding in progress or wedding photos in progress at least once a week here on the beaches of Oahu. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Macro Monday: Orchids

Orchids one of my two favorite kinds of flowers in the world.  I love that there are hundreds of varieties of all different sizes, colors, patterns, and petal shapes.  Though they are treated delicately and presumed to be very hard to grow in many places, they flourish here in Hawaii with little care.  To see interesting macros and close-ups, please visit Macro Monday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Doesn't this store look like a little girl's dream?  CaraMia is filled with Hello Kitty items (VERY popular in Hawaii), jewelry, and other girly stuff.  It is tucked away in a back corner of Manoa Marketplace.  After visiting here with my daughter, we walk over to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - they have great treats, like haupia chocolate cupcakes and mochi ice cream!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

White-Rumped Shama

Getting this guy on camera was tricky - this is the one and only photo I was able to take.  He was one of two White-Rumped Shamas that kept darting in and out of the shrubs in a corner of Foster Botanical Garden today.  These shamas can be identified by their orange underbelly - unfortunately you can just barely see a sliver of the orange feathers here!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Despite the fact that the clouds in the background look like smoke, there was no fire on this day.  The Honolulu Fire Department was doing a demonstration for some school kids - and I have to say, I never appreciated how high (and skinny!) these ladders are until I saw one up close!  For other sky photos from around the globe, visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Friends

Snapped this at the zoo - notice the little girl in the middle has an appropriately-themed plush hippo purse :) 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What's in a Name?

As I took this photo, I noticed the names of some of the boats - Rachel K., Captain Morgan, okay.  But Argo Navis, what does that mean?  Now some of you may already know this but since I didn't I decided to google it!  Here's what I found:

"Low on the southern horizon lies the crown jewel of spring equatorial skies. There are now six constellations among these stars.  These six constellations are the dismembered parts of a much larger constellation outlined by the ancient Greeks. They called it the Great Ship Argo Navis." (Pam Eastlick)

So there you have it, the Argo Navis.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pie in the Sky

You know what these clouds remind me of?  Stiff peaks of meringue on a lemon-meringue pie!  Check out other sky images from around the world HERE.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

H: Halona Blowhole

Located on the southern tip the island, Halona Blowhole erupts with water when the surf surges underneath the lava shelf and forces spray through the hole in the rock.  It's cool to see, but much more beautiful (and usually overlooked by the tourists stopping here) is Halona Cove, just to the right.  Because it is not visible as you are driving by and a short but steep descent is required to reach it on foot, many people bypass it.  If you do decide to climb down, you will be rewarded with a perspective that's just not possible from the parking lot!  For other 'H' photos please visit ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gone Fishing, Number Two

A woman on a remote North Shore beach baits the hook of her cane fishing pole.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Prop Shot

I got a close-up look at a U.S. Navy plane today (sadly I do not recall what kind it was, but it had four propellers).  This one was taken as I was looking straight  into one of the propellers.  It sort of reminds me of a face with the two eyes and a nose...

To see other close-ups and macros, please visit Macro Monday.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Family Saturday Series: Number One

This is a photo of my own family at the Waikiki Aquarium.  The aquarium is certainly small compared to others I've visited, but it is a great place to spend an hour or so with young kids.  Afterward, you can take them right outside to the beach, have a picnic at Kapiolani Park, or let them swing from the hanging banyan tree roots (my daughter's favorite!). 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Into the Sunset

If I was a passenger on this Hawaiian Airlines plane - that is literally flying off into the sunset - I would be even sadder to leave the island behind.  For sky photos from around the world, check out Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preserving What's Left

We live on the most developed and populous Hawaiian Island (Oahu) so the impact humans have on the land is even more evident here.  Ka'ena Reserve is located at the opposite end of the island from Waikiki / Honolulu, and the two places could not be more different.  The reserve is isolated, quiet - in fact you may find yourself alone on long stretches of beach there.  It is home to nesting Nene birds, Laysan Albatrosses, Monk Seals, and native vegetation, among other things.  It is not accessible by vehicle - the road ends at the entrance and you must walk three miles to get to the tip of the reserve.