Entries Tagged as 'Nature/Scenic Sites'

Life can be as fragile as glass

Sometimes you just need to do something mindless.  My girlfriend, Coco, suggested, well, actually coerced me into going to look for beach-worn fragments of glass.  She said, “it would be bloggable.”  I told her that was hitting below the belt!

This whole thing started when she posted a note on Facebook that said,

“Good and bad news: There has been a major decrease in littering off the shores of Hawaii. No more glass being thrown off shore or from boats. As a result, no matter how hard you look, there’s no more sea glass.” 

What is WRONG with her?!?

Coco was on the hunt for sea glass and another friend of hers told her about Sand Island. Sand Island?  Where the auto junkyards are?  No, where the ships have gone by and dropped their garbage and glass along with it.  Huh?  You can imagine where my mind went.  Ick!

Not too long after we spoke of broken glass and this blog-worthy adventure, when reality got a little bit too hard for me to handle, it was time to search for the simplicity of a unique and relatively-mindless distraction.  Few things provide that kind of distraction as well as the shores of O’ahu.

People enjoying the shore.

Of course the “icky” idea of things being discarded made me wonder if I needed to wear rubber boots but, on the contrary, the water was beautiful and very clean.  So don’t worry, no rubber boots required.

As we drove around trying to find this mystical repository of glittering sea glass, we stumbled on to this interesting looking place.

La Mariana sign.

I am sure I will investigate that one a bit more and talk about it later.  My blogger friend, Karen, has already discovered La Mariana and she has already shared it with her blog readers!

We were looking for glass.  We found the shore and we found some boats but we were still not quite where we needed to be.

US Coastguard ship.

I had to get a photo of this U.S. Coast Guard ship for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was my past inability to get a decent photo of these ships from Aloha Tower.

Still searching for this glass, we asked some people if they knew the spot we were looking for to see if they could help us with our search.  We did get one rather strange reply.  One gentleman said something like, “You mean where the haoles go looking for glass?”

Uh, excuse you?!?  This guy looked more like a tourist than anything else!  Coco and I must have both been wondering, “what the heck?”  At least he pointed us in the general direction.

Glass bottle on the grass.

Were we getting warmer?  This is not exactly the kind of glass we had in mind.  It just happened to be the first glass we found.

Coco searching for sea-worn glass.

We found it!  Our devoted search for pieces of sea glass is finally able to begin!  Now we will see what we can find along this interesting stretch of rocky beach.

What we actually found was even more interesting, even a bit freaky.

Concrete block molded into the rock.

Items were molded into the rock.  Stuck!  Somehow these things had become part of the shoreline.  I guess this peculiar process of fusing things together resembles the man-made reef idea, except it was not man-made.  We provided the materials and it seems that nature did the rest.

Broken glass molded into the rocks.

Some pieces of glass we attempted to collect were not to be removed. It looks like you can pick them up but they have become part of the rocks — you might be able to get a piece of them if you took a hammer and chisel to them but that would just not be right.  Besides, the edges would just be sharp again rather than worn by the sand and surf.

More glass joined with the rocks.

Hmmm, remember that quote posted above about the lack of glass being tossed into the ocean?  Apparently I failed to notice this additional comment from Coco’s friend, Lisa, who said, Oh yes! And due to the heat of decomposition, the glass is sometimes melted together! Have fun!

Man!  It seems that the “heat of decomposition” along with the heat of the sun have done a stellar job of melting everything together!

It is really amazing to see how the whole area has adapted to all of this and actually absorbed these things right into its little ecosystem.  In a fascinating way, this little area has taken in a strange culture of chemicals and embraced it as part of its own.  Sound familiar?  Are the islands not famous for doing the same thing with the cultures of people?  We absorb them and make them fit!  I could go “out there” with this idea!  I’m just saying.

There was more to discover here besides these pieces of glass, and other things we could not pick up.

Shore fishing on Sand Island.

So many people were enjoying this quiet little area.  There was even some fishing going on.  I would never have expected there to be people fishing here.  Well, why not?  Where there’s water, there’s fish!

Storm drain cover in an odd place.

I liked the look of this quiet little corner, except for the storm drain and that great big pipe.  These were certainly another unexpected curiosity.

Giant pipeline.

I will not wager any guesses or make any assumptions about why this is here or what it is for.  There is still no need for rubber boots so we can relax!

Another bottle left behind.

Oh no, not more of this kind of glass!  This bottle will probably get broken and become sea glass someday, but not anytime soon.  For now it is, shall we say, less than collectible, even without being stuck to the rocks!

Below is our collection!  There were a couple of shells that were interesting but the bulk of the collection was pieces of worn glass, no longer sharp and dangerous to touch. Some of these are, of course, molded together.

Collection of beach glass.

The pieces that could be removed from the rocks and/or sand were interesting, although not as colorful as I kept hoping for — I wanted more blue.  But, we did help to de-litter the beach just a bit!

My supposition is that the glass aficionados who use these interesting pieces of ocean art to create little table tops, etc., have already discovered this place so the pickings were slim for us.  Then again, there will be even less for them the next time they go!  It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.

View of Honolulu from Sand Island.

It was a beautiful day and I could not help but snap more shots.  I never get quite this vantage point from other venues.

Viewing Downtown Honolulu from Sand Island.

I did manage to get some otherwise impossible photos!  I do love my island.  Can you tell?  The island and its variety of ecosystems can often be as fragile as glass, but it can also be as tough as nails when it needs to be.

Foundationally Plantastic!

The Hot, Loud and Proud meme is up for this month.  You can check out a beautiful garden and get the instructions on how to participate in this meme by following that link!

I have been increasingly fascinated by the foundations of our local flora so this month I have included a few, kind of fun, photos to share.

Sometimes what holds up the plants and trees can be very mesmerizing.

Sometimes the foundations of plants are just as fascinating as what grows on their branches.

What hangs under those trees can be interesting.

Sometimes what hangs from underneath a tree can be just as fascinating.  I love banyon trees and things of that nature — anything that looks even remotely like it has vines is the coolest!

How can you not marvel at this fascinating network of roots?

As much as you might think the photo above is a painting, it is not.  It is an actual photograph.  The roots of that tree do indeed look that awesome!  The ones on the right side come up to about half a calf in height — about ten inches.  Amazing!

Older roots can look like fossils!

Then you have the interesting roots like those above that look like fossils, but they are obviously still functioning.

That’s not to say they can’t look strange!I don’t know what to make out of this tree trunk over here to the left that looks like it has the elephant man’s disease.  I’m not sure what kind of trauma could have caused the strange bulby-looking growths on the bark.  Anyone in the know is welcome to comment on this!

I was very puzzled — it  looks like the tree has massive warts or something.

Most people would just walk right on by without giving it a second glance and not find anything interesting to say about it — I just couldn’t stop staring.  I guess when you have your camera in hand it makes you more observant.  If anyone needs that, I do!  As a general rule, I am not observant at all!

The barks and roots of these trees and plants seem to have quite a mind of their own.

Catch a tree before it falls!Survival of the fittest?  This little darling on the left caught my attention and pulled at my heart.  This little root seems to have reached for the ground to hold up the tree that actually does look like it’s about to tumble down the hill.

I actually found my mind wandering and wondering if they really can contemplate such a thing — “let me put a hand down here before we fall.”  I do that.  It even looks like little fingers!  I’ve gotta keep an eye on that one!

When they fall, they look like what’s pictured in the photos below.  The City & County has to come and cut them up into smaller, movable pieces.  In some cases they have to move them off the middle of the road so traffic can continue on its way.

The pieces of this fallen tree seen below look like coffee and end tables just waiting to happen!  They are so beautiful and natural.  It broke my heart to see the tree fallen but my oh my.  I hope a wood carver or two get their hands on some of these pieces.  I wonder if they would have to pay for them.  Hmmm…

What happens when a tree falls.

Look at the grain!  These are just natural pieces of wood.  Nothing has been nothing done to them except to cut them into manageable sizes.

Here’s a coffee table waiting to happen!

The one above looks like a beautiful table-to-be to me!  I wish I could put that in my living room!

It’s larger than you think!  A human foot just makes a mark on the edge.

Just to gauge the size of the trunk of this fallen darling, I took a picture of my foot to get an idea of the size of this thing.  This was certainly no twig, far from!

Plants are great, and they can continue to be great!  There is a craftsman that works on the fallen trees at Moanalua Gardens.  What beautiful work he has done!  I’ll share some of those pictures in a future post!

Taking part in the Hot, Loud, and Proud Meme

For those of you unfamiliar with the word, meme, YourDictionary.com defines it like this:

meme (m?m), noun

a unit of cultural information, as a concept, belief, or practice, that spreads from person to person in a way analogous to the transmission of genes

Interesting definition.  I just never bothered to look it up.  In a nutshell a blog meme is a sharing of like information between bloggers.  It’s similar to a blog carnival but not quite the same.  A meme is more focused.

Noel over at A Plant Fanatic in Hawaii brings us this meme.  I fell in love with the idea because I take pictures of the craziest things simply because they’re beautiful.

I don’t have my own garden but our local flora is always an attraction and now I have something to do with those photos that I couldn’t stop myself from taking!

Here’s how it works:

IMG_2817

Show us your tropicals and exotics, your hot mediterranean colors and wild combinations, amazing discoveries and unusual variations. Or how about something exciting you just saw, a crazy garden,  amazing garden art or design, an inspiring visit or hike?

This meme is open to all (you do not have to live in an exotic location to participate)  and will be on the last day of each month…so mark your calendars and lets do something fun on the hot, the loud and the proud meme. I’ll have the link available early, east coast time (USA) to catch you early birds and even earlier for those of you in other countries.

Here is the most recent edition put together by our Plant Fanatic friend, and what follows is my participation in this meme.

White ginger with a beauty matched only by its sweet fragrance

White ginger is so delicate but smells so wonderful and makes the sweetest lei!

Red torch ginger seen around more often these days but still used at graveyards for its longevity

We’ll use this hedge as a divider between the ginger and some of my hibiscus pictures. 

Looks like a mock orange hedge but its color is diluted green instead of forest green

The hibiscus go along with what our meme host, Noel, has done with his meme article this month!  Hibiscus seem to cry out to have their pictures taken!  I’m always on the look out for that perfect hibiscus, no matter what color it is.

A little yellow hibiscus from the grounds at Aloha Tower.

It’s interesting to see how the same overall color hibiscus can still look so very different!  

Beautiful, full, yellow hibiscus from the top of Nu’uanu

I wonder how much of this is soil content and/or environment.

Same yellow hibiscus but this one is from Mililani

While the yellow hibiscus is our State’s flower, there is certainly no faulting the beauty of the other colors!

Perfect pink is hard to find but this pink hibiscus came very close.

Again, we still see variations, albeit some are only slight differences.  

Bright pink hibiscus doesn’t have the perfect leaves but oh my the perfect color!

I’ve discovered that the hardest hibiscus to find in perfect shape seems to be the red one.  They are very alluring but perhaps the bugs and birds think so too.  They are often a bit beaten up.

Cattle egret stepping dangerously close to an oleander hedge

I’m using my darling bird friend here as another divider between the hibiscus and the bougainvillea.

Pink and orange bougainvillea

 Another bright and beautiful flower, the bougainvillea can sometimes be a challenge to maintain and keep tidy.

Lavendar bougainvillea are beautiful and the photo does not do them justice

They do create a lot of leafy trash. 

Bright magenta bougainvillea

There are a lot of bougainvillea all over the place and they are used for decoration and another favorite hedge-type plant.  They don’t always cooperate with the hedge idea and may require a few more trimmings.

These little yellow flowers are always eye-catchers

These little yellow guys are often used as ankle-high hedges and are being used here as a divider between bougainvilleas and the other miscellaneous oddities that I have found.

Pretty yellow and white flowers are actually weeds

These pretty little things are actually weeds.  All weeds should be so lovely!  

This spider lily looks oh so fragile

The spider lilies are always very pretty and so interesting. 

My favorite in this post has to be this little confused t-leaf plant.

Green t-leaf plant with red streaks

I can’t help but think this t-leaf plant was just trying to fit in and keep up with its neighbors!

This was fun!  Thank you, Noel, for letting us share the various forms of beauty that catch our eye and make us pull out our cameras!

The Birthing of Hawaiian Royalty

I have wanted to get to this place for the longest time!  I rarely get out to Wahiawa or beyond so, after I got my safety-check sticker, I made sure to take full advantage of this rare and infrequent opportunity!

Over time, the writing of this blog has created a much greater sense of aloha for Hawaiian culture and it has ignited a thirst for knowledge about that culture’s history.  Up until now, Kukaniloko was known to me only as “the birthing stones.”   When I found my way there, I was lucky enough to find a rather interesting group of people.

Students from a University of Hawaii, Manoa Geology class

This was a class of Geology students from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  Apparently, Kukaniloko “is the geographic center of O’ahu…” thus making it geologically important.  They were actually there with their geology professor!  Talk about a stroke of luck!

I tried to get closer so that I could eaves drop on part of what the professor was saying to the class.  I have to admit that I was a little taken aback listening to Dr. Scott Rowland as he told his students how an alii was birthed.  “They did what???” I was thinking to myself, relatively horrified.

I’m not going to get into it but, let’s put it this way, the State of Hawai’i’s flyer about Kukaniloko says, “The birth of a child at Kukaniloko was witnessed by 36 chiefs.”  This stunned me a bit because that is not the kind of birth-giving experience that I would care to deal with while bloody, sweating, and in pain.

Of course there are women today that have an audience during the birthing process.  The whole visual of the process being described by Dr. Rowland just caught me off guard, I think.  Of course, if you’re in that much physical distress, perhaps your only focus is on getting past that pain!  Mothers can weigh in on this.  Seriously, please do!

Dr. Rowland did remind everyone that, back then, this area did not look like it does now.  It used to be a forested area and hence much more secluded and private.  “Good point!”  That made it a little better.   Today, as you can see by the photos, it is wide open to the world!

The group of stones at Kukaniloko

I was quite impressed by how well-maintained this site has been kept after all these years!  Before the class departed for its next stop, Dr. Rowland was kind enough to share a copy of his handouts.  Part of the handout that had been put together for the class stated that Kukaniloko,

“is one of only two locations in Hawai’i where children of chiefs were born (the other was on Kaua’i).  Kukaniloko may have been established as a royal birthing place as long ago as the 12th century.  Fortunately, W.W. Goodale of the Waialua Sugar Plantation as well as the Daughters of Hawai’i made sure that this place was protected and not plowed over for agriculture.”

Thank goodness!  That would have been an archeological and culturally-historical disaster!

Well-kept grounds at Kukaniloko

As I surveyed the area I became curious about the slightly-elevated area pictured above.  Was it ever used for rituals or halau performances or something?  It sort of looked like a hula mound.  Anybody in the know can share your knowledge on this too!

Any woman living in those times would have appreciated the honor it was to actually be giving birth to a chief!  Hawaiians had a great deal of respect for the alii, as they do to this day.  The birth of a new ruler was certainly an event to be celebrated!

Heiau at Kukaniloko

It was really comforting to see how the grounds are so well kept.  I was very pleased but I wanted to know more about this heiau.  Again, anybody in the know on this is welcome to comment!

Close-up shot of the birthing stones

Dr. Rowland indicated that one of these stones was the main stone but I wasn’t close enough to the group to hear which one it was.  The one in the center of the picture above may have been the one but I’m honestly not sure.  I knelt down and touched the surface of the stones — they were unusually smooth and even soothing to the touch.

Kukaniloko sign

This sign posted by the DLNR shows that the land here is protected, as it should be.  The sign has taken a beating over time but the simple message it carries is essential — “Please respect this sacred area.”

I came away moved by the beauty and serenity of this simple site that is listed on both the National and State of Hawai’i Registers of Historic Places.  While feeling a little more educated about this little tidbit of our historic culture, I still remain overwhelmed by the very complex history of our State.  There is still so much to uncover and talk about.  And you thought you were going to get off easy!

Magic of Community and Majesty of Nu’uanu Pali

So many times while headed uphill I have the uncontrollable urge to just take pictures of the mountain side — so green, so majestic.

The mountains as seen form Pali Highway.

Even with the vog it is still a beautiful sight! The foliage is always so green and the variety of trees makes it interesting.  Some of the trees are so old and regal that they add to the historic charm of this area.

Fallen Trees Can Be Fascinating

The trees, while charming, can also be very dangerous.  It is fortunate that nobody was around when this one cracked and fell!

Fallen tree that caused a road closure on Nuuanu Pali Drive.

One of those very old, and large, trees actually closed the street and made the news.  This one required some heavy equipment to move it all out of the way.

State workers do some logging as they cut up the fallen tree into manageable pieces.

Ultimately, it required some cutting to clear it off the road.  I must admit that the pieces of this once lovely old tree held my attention and curiosity for quite some time.

Location of the break in the fallen tree.

What made it fall?  Wind, with what I believe was the assistance of termites.  I’m not sure what a termite-eaten tree looks like but maybe a termite expert can help us out with this.  I’ll see if I can connect with one of our friends at Terminix to fill us in with some of their knowledge.  Sounds like another post to me — I’ll keep you post-ed!

Smaller tree and vines fallen across Nuuanu Pali Drive, again.

This was an interesting find while I was driving very early one morning.  A relatively smaller tree wrapped tightly by a very thick and leafy vine.  I moved what I could off the road just in time for the driver of a Mercedes to fly by on their way to work.  Whew!  I realized that I couldn’t do it by myself and called 911 (non-emergency, of course).  While I waited and watched for speeding cars, a father trying to get his kids to school came by and stopped to lend a hand.  We were able to move more of it off to the side.

Debris partially cleared to allowing passage of cars on one side of the road.

It was interesting to see who would stop and help with something so small yet so obtrusive.  There is a sense of community here.  Another exercise enthusiast came by and we were able to clear away just a little bit more!

Road blockage cleared away without heavy equipment.

Officers finally arrived on the scene and between three or four people, we managed to drag and/or push the rest of it out of they way.  We did it!  No equipment needed.  Well, the City & County guys will have to clean the trash off the side of the road eventually I suppose.

What follows is another example of that sense of caring for the neighborhood.  I’ve been waiting for a way to share this and I think a door just opened!  This is the same street, just about a half mile down the road, different day, I walked past this gentleman standing on his car trying to clean graffiti off of a road sign.

Gentleman cleaning graffitti off a street sign.Keeping the neighborhood clean.

I asked him if it was working and, yes, it was.  Passing by and thinking about it, I knew I had to turn around and get a picture!  Obviously there are others who feel the same way that I do about our little community.  Even a speed limit sign is not something we like to have defaced!  I have forgotten his name now and I can only hope that he sees this and leaves a comment to share his name with us.  🙂

Historical Firsts at Hanauma Bay

This wonderful tourist attraction has come a long way.  Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is like swimming in a giant, salt-water aquarium.  There’s just something about snorkeling with all of those fish!

Hanauma Bay just before sunset

I remember the feeling, especially as a young child, of being in another world while swimming with those fish.  At that age you’re so taken by the underwater world that you forget you’re actually just floating at the surface of the water like a big fat jelly fish.   A kid’s imagination can fill volumes.

Of course, at that young age, we also thought we were immune to danger and we heeded few warnings.  We would make that trek around the rocky perimeter to get to the “toilet bowl.”  Do keep in mind that this is based on an approximately 35-year-old memory.

YouTube Preview Image

It wasn’t the flushing part we wanted so much, it was the fast rising to the top that was the fun part. The videos on YouTube seem to be mostly of teenagers and adults, or so it seems. I was about 8 or 9 years old (stop doing the math). Like I said, we were immune to the dangers and fearless. 🙂

This particular video had a comment with it that said, Old stomping grounds… Can’t wait to go back!!!” and I can certainly relate to that statement. Thank you mtnbiker04 for capturing this great memory.

It was great fun to have that natural bowl of lavarock and coral throw you back up. Maybe they should have called it the “vomit bowl” or something. Okay, that name would not have been quite so attractive; “toilet bowl” is not the most attractive name either. Over the years, it seems that the waves have made the rim of the bowl smoother than it was back then.

Other things have changed, too.  When we frequented Hanauma Bay all those years ago, there was no building with all of this great educational information.  Suddenly, okay maybe not so suddenly, there’s a whole meeting room with exhibits to see and share.

Tile wall at entrance

This building appeared out of nowhere, it seems, and they even took the time to install this lovely ceramic-tile mural.  This is the Hanauma Bay Education Center.  Where was I?  I’ll admit that the East side of O’ahu received little to no attention from me over the 80’s and 90’s but I was a little busy with college, growing up and figuring out how to earn a living, and other boring stuff like that.

Hanauma Bay TimelineA walk through this Education Center will give you a quick lesson about a portion of the history of Hawai’i while getting a detailed history of Hanauma Bay.  There is a tremendous amount of information here that I found quite amazing.  In 1950 the City & County of Honolulu set aside $150,000 to dig up three swimming holes (I thought these were natural occurrences) and make improvements to the park which quickly became one of Honolulu’s most popular places for residents and visitors.

The next to the last picture on the right-hand side of this photo of the timeline shows some kind of blast.  No, it’s not World War II!  If you get close enought to read the text you find that it’s actually a blast to put us in contact with the rest of the world.  In 1956 a channel was blasted through Hanauma Bay for the installation of the very first transpacific telephone cable reaching from Hawai’i to California!

It sounds so destructive but it created a wonderful place for us and a very welcome environment for the most colorful fish and other marine life!  Another important tidbit of information to be found here is that Hanauma Bay became Hawai’i’s first Marine Life Conservation District in 1967.  Based on these descriptions and my own time line, I would have to say that this is the Hanauma Bay of my past.  This is the one that was created for the enjoyment of the generation that would follow — my generation.

The educational material certainly does not stop with the time line.  There are exhibits of different cultural items related to life in Hawai’i and how the ocean is so much a part of that life.  There are displays of woven fishing baskets and the hooks that were used for fishing so very long ago.  Then we get to one of the most important aspects for this venue, a great amount of detailed information about what helps make Hanauma Bay the bay what it is — coral!

Coral exhibit

The education doesn’t stop here.  The best part is that efforts have been made to further educate the public with talks, films and guest speakers.  The UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program, managed by the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant College Program, has put together these educational films and quest speakers to share their knowledge and information about the jobs they do.  Here is a calendar of events to help you plan your Thursday evenings.

For more information, interested parties can either call (808) 397-5840, visit the Hanauma Bay Education Program website, or ask about being added to Shawn Carrier’s email notification list.  Shawn is an Outreach Education Specialist with the UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program and he’s always willing to add you to the list.  My experience in this area has always been good.  He’s going to love me for doing this but I think he’ll get over it.  The more people we can educate the better.

Yes, Hanauma Bay is on the map for travel guides and yes there is much to learn, protect and admire about this natural treasure.  But for life-time residents it’s part of the history of our home and, for some of us, the history of our lives.  We’ve lived part of the history of our home.  You don’t realize the significance of this kind of thing until, well, until it becomes historical.  Man, I feel old.  I told you guys to stop doing the math!  🙂

When Art Grabs Your Heart

Diana Hansen Young is a very well-known artist in Hawaii.  She is known for her pinks and for avoiding hands in any detail (or so I’ve been told).  I don’t have a lot of her work but this print was given to me a few years ago and I was just consumed with the notion that I had to frame it with a very nice wooden frame and UV-protected plexiglass.  Why?  There seemed no rhyme or reason to my reaction.

Literature on the beach

The photo below, while not necessarily a scenic sight, is of an area that always signaled to me that I was home.  This photo was taken from the little stretch of beach across from 7-11 on Farrington Hwy in Makaha.

Makaha Beach

That’s it — there it is!  That’s the memory the print triggered.  It may not have been what the artist had in mind but art is subjective, right?  It was a corner of home, a girl sitting on the beach with her books, thinking.  Yep, that would be me! Okay, I don’t look like that but the message is still there.  🙂

It was just so Hawai’i and so worth sharing.  I found some of her pictures online but I couldn’t find this one.  There was a note on one of the ones I did find that talked about the book that was in the picture and that made me wonder about the books in my picture.  What were these books?  I can make them whatever I want in my mind but someday I would like to find out where the artist’s mind was at the time this was created.

You guys knew I was strange.  Thank you, Cilla, your gift meant more than I can even begin to tell you.

Great Outdoors and Rambunctious Drivers!

I miss the Jeeps I used to see all over the place.  They don’t seem as popular nowadays.  Maybe that’s because Oahu doesn’t have as many rocky, Jeep-appropriate places anymore.  Sigh.  I used to terrorize my poor little car right after getting out of high school.  I would take the poor thing over the roughest terrain! 

Yep, I was climbing mountains as far as my little car could go.  Jeeps weren’t popular with my parents either.  Shucks!  My poor little Datsun (that’s a Nissan for those who don’t remember the Datsun make of car)  is gone now, but the desire to do the rugged, outdoors thing still remains!  

Black Jeep-like Vehicle

When you think of outdoors you think of hiking, biking, running and waterfalls! Kauai! Kauai would be a fun place to have a Jeep! Wailua Bay Car Rentals has Kauai Jeep Rentals!   Now that’s what you call a sports utility vehicle!  Okay, a bumpy ride but still a fun one!  I would love to drive one again.  Especially since I can’t go four-wheeling with my Datsun anymore.

If I ever move up in the economic world, I suppose my choice of recreational vehicle will have to be a Jeep.  As much as I love the motorcycles, I’m a coward and, I’ll admit it, a not-so-safe driver.  Hey, at least I’m honest.  Besides, you still get the wind through your hair with a Jeep, just with fewer tangles!

Now, if the people over at Wailua Bay ever read this, they’ll be sure to require insurance if I ever try to rent a Jeep from them!   But then, if I’m on Kauai, I be a tourist!  A kama’aina, yes, but a tourist nonetheless!  They do have other Kauai Car Rentals so don’t worry about that.  Of course, they also have rentals on Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Molokai.  Hmmm… Oahu huh?  Do you think they should be worried?  🙂

Okay, now that I’ve scared them, I will share that they also have Kauai Vacation Rentals — right on the beach!   Now they won’t slam the door in my face when I try to rent my Jeep from them.  If you’re venturing to Kauai, call them at 1-800-591-8605! 

Species Preservation and Protection of the Honu

Indigenous to the State of Hawaii, the Green Sea Turtle or Honu, has been a much beloved creature for many, many years. The charm of this gentle sea creature, along with the fact that it is regarded as one of the ‘aumakua from Hawaiian mythology, has made the honu a popular resident.

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

They really do make great neighbors! They’re quiet, slow-moving, and they simply stop over for a suntan and a nap near coastal homes. These herbivores have seen a revival in popularity in recent years. Stores and small shops carry their image on many kinds of goods. There are earrings and necklaces, statues and stationary, and stickers for just about anything you can put a sticker on, including automobiles.

Pretty Shells

They are seen on shore in several places, resting, or basking if you will, and keeping the beaches company. They come close to shore to eat the seaweed found there. It is illegal to disturb or approach them. Well, it was. They were considered a threatened species and have been protected by both the Federal Government and the State Government. The word is out that this may not continue much longer.

Tortoise with a turquoise shell

The good news is, they have recovered! Apparently they have recovered quite nicely because there is talk out there about removing them from the endangered/threatened species list. I have mixed emotions about this. While I’m happy they have recovered in number, it concerns me that they may end up right back on that list before we know it.

Hawaii is not the only place that protects this animal. Places like Honu.org may have more to report down the road but, for now, I haven’t heard anything except speculation by the media. Time will tell and I will keep you posted!

Nature, Warnings and Contemplation

On Memorial Day most normal people do normal things.  They visit the cemetery, they watch news reports about the National commemorations and celebrations, they go on picnics or to the beach, etc.  I, on the other hand, go running and exploring places I didn’t know were there.

Kitty in the Brush

As I meandered around, somewhat tuned out and in a mental zone I found what may have been a feral cat staring at me from the brush along side a rather steep ditch.  He may have just wandered away from home to explore like me, but he looked pretty odd there in that spot, just staring at me.  Oh, oh… not too far away, there might be lunch!

Red Cardinal in the Brush

I spotted this bright fellow in the brush not too far away from the kitty in the brush.  I don’t think the cat saw Mr. Cardinal though.

Pool in the river looks like perfect swimming hole.

Then I saw this — wow! So pretty, so serene, so…. (screeeeeeach)  There’s that sound of the phonograph needle scratching the record again!

Here’s what we have instead:

Health Hazard Warning Sign

I’ve grown to hate the sight of this sign.  As soon as I see something pretty and inviting I always seem to be greeted by one of these warnings!

Oh well, at least someone is keeping us safe.  It’s still pretty to look at — even though it’s very close to the highway.  You would never think there was so much beauty that people speed by every day.  It’s a great place for contemplation.  A great place to think about something, or about nothing.  All this can be accomplished while trying not to get run over or annoy drivers.