Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
|The "Divers Down" flag went up on the boat at around 9:00 this morning.|
First three groups of divers got in the water, then me, the lone snorkeler.
|A school of pilot whales were the biggest animals we saw today.|
We joined the whales during the surface interval when divers stay out of the
water for safety reasons. Quite a few people snorkeled above the whales.
|The next-biggest thing was this tiger shark, which Len saw while diving|
at Crescent Beach. Meanwhile, I snorkeled there in quite shallow water.
|I saw many schools of fish swimming among the jagged lava rocks.|
|A starfish on the rocky cliffs.|
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Ferns are among the first plants growing on the cinder and ash fields after the volcano erupts. As we walked around Volcano National Park trails, we enjoyed seeing the many shapes and forms of ferns, especially the fascinating spirals at the tips of growing leaves and stems. Hawaiian ferns include the Kupukupu, the Palapalai, and the Hapu'u pulu.
|Kupukupu fern: sprouting stem and leaf|
|Palapalai fern -- another Ohi'a lehua rises above it.|
In the older forests, these trees are very tall and are buzzing with birds
eating nectar from the flowers.
|Hapu'u pulu has a woody looking growth tip.|
|Ferns surrounding an old lava tube|
at the bottom of a steep indentation in the ground.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
|Audrey, sitting in the grass near the trail to the Douglas Monument|
|Len and Peter at the monument to David Douglas who died near this spot in 1834.|
He fell into a trap for wild cattle, which unfortunately already had trapped a wild bull.
Gurney was a convict, born the same year as Douglas, 1799. Some years earlier he had been convicted of a minor crime and transported to Botany Bay in Australia. Gurney had been assigned as a ship-builder and sailor in Australia. He eventually escaped from a ship built with his and other convict labor in Australia and sold to Hawaiians. When he found Douglas's body, he arranged for it to be taken to town, and he explained what had happened -- so there really seems little chance he had been guilty of murdering Douglas. Though never charged or accused by the authorities, he was accused in the public mind of this crime.
The monument dates from 1934, when members of the Burns Society in Hilo decided that there should be a memorial to a fellow Scot who had died 100 years earlier. They also planted some Douglas fir trees nearby, where they still stand in a most picturesque and beautiful wooded area around a 10-minute walk from the very rutted road.
|On the Monument|
|We were enveloped in the clouds for much of our trip, and|
saw the wisps of mist drifting past the trees as we looked for native birds.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
|Our dive boat left Honokohau Harbor this morning around 8,|
carrying all the gear for 8 divers and me, snorkeler.
|Jeff, the captain, not only drives the boat and helps the divers, but also puts in a couple of fishing lines when time|
permits. In the top photo, you can see the skyline of the Big Island. At right: a fish farm near the dive site.
|The dive briefing: dive-master Kerry (owner of Kona Diving Co.)|
gives details on what fish the divers could hope to see.
|Len about to plunge in.|
I saw beautiful sun-lit coral heads while snorkeling, and one really crazy pink & yellow parrot fish that kept popping up from the coral and swimming in circles or darting at other fish. We returned to the dock around 1 PM. Everyone seemed happy except the one dry-suit diver who had an equipment failure and had to wait out the second dive.
Update: one of today's fish pictures from Len's dive:
|For more pictures, see Len's photo stream on Flickr.|
Sunday, June 15, 2014
|Dinner on the grass before the performance of "As You Like It"|
by the Shakespeare in the Arb company.
As in former years, we brought a picnic.
|Walking through the peonies to get to the first location: the|
performance moves among the woods, glens, and fields of
|Touchstone the Fool, the French maid, Rosalind, and Celia:|
all played by fantastic actors.
|The wrestling scene|
|The audience (musicians way in back).|
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I'm also practicing other iPhone skills. Keying in the password fast enough to answer the telephone. (Update: Evelyn reminds me that you can answer the phone without entering the password. I knew that. Silly me.) Sending and receiving messages on the itty bitty keyboard. Reading mail while in formerly impossible places -- yes, I read my mail while walking through the park. No, nothing was urgent, though I did get a few new messages that I was glad to see. It's quite different from my old dumb phone: that would be the one I washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer. I'll try not to do that to the iPhone.
|A family of sandhill cranes were making their way past the basketball|
and tennis courts as we walked by. These nearly 5-foot tall birds are now
residents of several of the Metroparks around us.