Tuesday, January 31, 2012

C: Can You See It From Here?

I snapped this bird's eye view of the offshore islands from the top of Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail.  In the foreground is Kaohikaipu Island, and rising up behind it is Manana (Rabbit) Island.  Farther in the distance are the Moku-lua, or twin islands as they are also called.  In the background you can see Ulu-pa'u Head with the islet of Mokolea off of its shore.  If you look to your left from this spot the VIEW of the Ko'Olau Mountain Range is equally stunning.  For more 'C' photos, please visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Rains Are Coming

I took this photo right before the rains moved onshore.  If you look closely you can see a faint rainbow touching the water.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Uli Uli

Not the best photo I took on this evening, but still one of my favorites because of their facial expressions - I like the way they just look like they are having fun!   What are Uli Uli, you ask?
The Hawaiian version of a shaker is called the Uli Uli, this type of shake is more of a rattle style of shaker with seeds or beads placed inside the Uli Uli to be used in a similar way to a tambourine to follow the tempo of the dance. The Uli Uli is normally decorated with patterns or flowers around the head of the shaker. The Ul Uli is carved out of wood in a sort of bottle shape hence the rattle sound it produces with the beads and seeds. (from Hula-With-Me).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Top of the World

Well, the top of MY world anyway!  I took this after doing a pre-dawn hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes with my sister in law.  We sat here and watched the sun rise, casting its light onto the black peaks of the Ko'Olau Mountain range and several offshore islands.  Truly a magnificent view!  For more sky images from around the world, please visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sweet-Smelling Pumeria

One of my favorite sights on the island is a Plumeria tree that is laden with fragrant blossoms - whether they be white, yellow, or pink.  The flowers are widely used to make lei.  They are also a favorite among hula dancers, who cluster them together and use them to adorn their hair.   Can't you almost smell them?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

B: Boogie Boarding

For obvious reasons, boogie boarding is very popular in Hawaii.  It's an inexpensive way to enjoy the waves and easy to get the hang of.  However, there are some places - like the wintertime North Shore and Sandy Beach - where the novices should stay on the shore!  This guy was quite good, doing lots of flips and turns in the large surf.  For other 'B' photos please visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in Hawaii - 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.  I had hoped to make it to Chinatown to watch the lion-dancers, but was not able to.  Maybe next year...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

A girl sits on top of one of the World War II Pillboxes at Lanikai and photographs the sun as it rises over the ocean. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sunset Refreshment

There is something so satisfying about a cool freshwater shower after a day in the hot sun and saltwater!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paddling Out

A boy and his board head out to take on the surf at a North Shore beach.  It was a windy day, so the mist blowing off of the crests made the scene more dramatic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A: Albatross

Even though I blogged about the Albatross a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't resist sharing him again!  You can read more about this intriguing bird in my previous post.  For 'A' photos from around the world, please visit ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 7 of 7

There are big black rocks everywhere at Ka'ena point, as you could see in yesterday's photos.  But inside this perimeter of black rocks that forms a boundary between water and land, are thousands upon thousands of tiny pieces of mostly white coral and rock.  In fact, they cover the entire beach, so you don't even see or touch sand, you just walk over these.  It is such a striking contrast.  Nature truly amazes me!

I hope you have enjoyed this little virtual tour of Ka'ena Point!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 6 of 7

Certainly the highlight of this hike (and really, the reason for it) was seeing a monk seal sunning itself at the very, VERY tip of the island.  I couldn't choose just one photo:)  The first one demonstrates how well-camouflaged they are when lying on the rocks.  We knew he was out there - we'd run into one of the Fish and Wildlife workers about five minutes prior and she told us where to look for him because he was quite hard to spot.  Even with her directions we had a difficult time finding him.  I was actually standing up on a pile of rocks taking these photos, and from here he appears to be in plain sight, but from the ground level not so much!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 5 of 7

It was a particularly warm day with little wind, and after our hike I was pretty tired (a five mile round-trip walk over rocky terrain with a 25 pound toddler strapped to my back does that to me!).  What better way to rejuvenate than to sit in the cool sand and watch the waves hit the coral shelf while the sun sinks into the ocean.  For more sky photos from around the world please visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 4 of 7

As I was walking on the trail to Ka'ena Point I started to notice a trend...rock formations that look like creatures!  The top one looks like a dragon, complete with snout and big front claws.  The bottom left reminds me of ET's face.  And the bottom right - I can't quite figure out what it reminds me of.   Maybe a bullfrog with big bulging eyes?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 3 of 7

Yokohama Bay:  it's where the paved road ends and the rugged dirt path begins.  If you want to continue on to Ka'ena point and the westernmost tip of the island, you have to do it on foot or mountain bike.  I snapped this after we'd started down the trail and I glanced back at the bay.  During the winter months after a few good rains, the mountains in the background are a brilliant green, and the water...well I already mentioned earlier this week how achingly beautiful and blue it is!  For more 'Y' photos please go check out ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 2 of 7

Ka'ena Point is one of the protected nesting grounds for the Laysan Albatross, or Moli, as they are called in Hawaii.  I learned some interesting things about them when we hiked there:

- They can weigh as much as 25 pounds, with a wing span of up to 13 feet!  (Hard to imagine when I first saw them nesting, but easy to see once they took flight!)

- They live 40-60 years and often stay out to sea, never touching land,  for up to five YEARS before returning to the island they were hatched on.  Once they find a mate, they are mated for life, and return to the same island each year just long enough to hatch a single chick before taking to the open ocean air again.

- Their nickname "Goony Bird" originated because they are very awkward on land, and have a hard time taking off and landing.  Nonetheless, they are very graceful in the air.

- An albatross in flight can be so perfectly attuned to wind conditions that it may not flap its wings for hours, or even for days, as it can sleep while flying.

Pretty cool, huh?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ka'ena Point: 1 of 7

On the first day of 2011 we hiked to Pele's Chair, on the easternmost point of the island.  We thought it would be fun and fitting to spend the last day of 2011 hiking to Ka'ena Point, on the westernmost point of the island.  I read a description that included the phrase "scenic, remote, with stunning views of the impossibly blue Pacific" to describe the trail.  I agree - the water was a brilliant blue hue on this hot, sunny day!   Much of the coastline we passed looked like the photo here.  I am looking forward to sharing more photos and information about Ka'ena Point throughout the week - it is such a great place to experience natural Hawaii. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

We Decide

Sunrise or sunset?  Beginning or end?  Looking forward or looking back?  We all decide how we are going to see our world.  Happy New Year my friends, and may it be a great one for you all!