Tuesday, January 22, 2013

13-01-20 OPMUG Kaena Point Sunset

On Sunday Don, Ginny and I went for a hike with the OPMUG photographers to Kaena point for the sunset.  We all met up at 3 and began hiking around 3:30.  We made it to the security gate before five and began the final trek following the path laid out by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. 

"Ka`ena Point, the westernmost point on O`ahu, is the site of one of the last intact dune ecosystems in the main Hawaiian Islands. Here, beyond the end of the busy roads of O`ahu, is an area known since ancient times as leina a ka`uhane, the leaping place of souls, where the spirits of the recently dead could be reunited with their ancestors. Today, you can walk there among the living: Hawaiian plants and animals that have made the rugged ancient shoreline their home for thousands of years."

Because this was a three day weekend, there were throngs of people hiking in.

 "The volcano that created the Wai`anae Mountain Range last erupted over three million years ago. On the narrow western point, the hard volcanic rock shows the mark of a millennia of pounding waves - the carved sea cliffs of Mokule`ia that rises above Ka`ena. In the warm surrounding ocean waters, reefs were gradually built up by the countless coral animals, adding to their limestone skeletons, and replacing the parts broken by the thundering surf of Pacific winter storms. The waves churned the broken reef into sand, and created the pale dunes of Ka`ena. 

Dunes such as these were once found on the main Hawaiian Islands, and on them developed ecosystems unique in the world. The plants that found their way from other continents and islands to Hawai`i did so only very rarely - scientists estimate that one successful colonization occurred every 100,000 years. Those fortunate colonizers found a land of warm, mild climate and many ecological opportunities, and they gave rise to thousands of species. The intense sunlight, low rainfall, strong winds, and salt spray created a challenging environment at Ka`ena. Yet, many plants and animals were able to thrive here.

Unfortunately, these dunes and the native species that live on them have almost entirely been lost to 1500 years of change. This is how long humans have been in the islands. Intact coasts are only found at remote sites, and these last glimpses of the ancient past of Hawai`i are precious. It was in recognition of this that Ka`ena Point Natural Area Reserve was established in 1983."

I have no idea as to what kind of bird this is, but he was really friendly and walked right up to us.  He's been banded so someone is keeping track of his species.

"The reserve provides refuge and a nesting area for the Laysan albatross, and is a potential nesting site for the green sea turtle and Hawaiian monk seal. 

Moli - Diomedia immutabilis

During the proper season, usually middle to late fall, pairs of Laysan albatross begin their elaborate mating rituals at Ka`ena Point. These large, graceful seabirds nest in the open among the native shrubs; vulnerable to pests such as mongoose, feral cats, and dogs."

Farther up the mountain is a small cave in which lies the memorial for my friend Les Merrell.  Les passed away last year in a hiking accident.

Are we lost?????

Umbrellas work better than hats.

The light house and bunker.

A great place to reflect.

The light green color of the water is so cool.

The waves were powerful.

I think this was a mother and daughter.

The fury of the waves.


The lighthouse.



13-01-19 OPMUG Paiko Lagoon Sunset

Sunday evening Richard, Don & I joined up with the OPMUG folks to take pictures of the sunset from Paiko Lagoon (actually Moanalua Bay just off Paiko Drive).  Because parking is tight, we initially met up in the parking lot of Moanalua Bay Beach Park, then car pooled it to Paiko Drive.

One of the cars wasn't able to find parking so they decided to park elsewhere and walk back.  I went back out to Paiko Drive to wait for them.  While I was waiting I walked down the road and checked out Paiko Lagoon for birds.

Found a duck and a heron feeding.

There was no wind so Moanalua Bay was like a mirror.

The sun is setting just to the outside of Diamond Head.  The piece of land sticking out is Black Point, possibly the most expensive real estate in the islands.

Due to the lack of wind we were getting wonderful reflections off the water.

Sun disappeared into the cloud bank.

The few clouds we had exploded in color.

One of the photographers brought her daughter with a camera.

So she became our model.

The parting light of the blue hour.

13-01-18 Round the Island

The prediction was for 20 foot and larger waves to hit the north shore.  Richard, Don and I decided to go see the waves and take pictures in the hopes of getting some good shots.

Our first stop was Laniakea Beach.  We were hoping we would find the turtles (Honu) and/or the monk seals resting on the beach.  No such luck, it was much to rough and they all stayed away from the shoreline although we did see a turtle swimming around.

The chickends were there...

Next stop was Waiamea Valley Park in the hopes of finding parking for Waiamea Beach Park.  Since we were there we decided to check out the gekkos.

I was really lucky to see this Majiro (Japanese White Eye) land on a bush near by.

Lately it's been cold at night so the gekkos were unusually cooperative about staying in view as they soaked up the morning sun.

Monkey Pod Tree

Can you guess why this beach is called Three Tables?

Waiamea Bay, this is what happens if you make a mistake.  His board broke in two.

A little scenery at the Turtle Bay Resort's beach.

 Luckily the waves were breaking on an outer reef.

We stopped by the resort to make use of their amenities.  They were kind enough to have three glass containers of water, each infused with a different variety of fruit and vegetable.  It was really good...kudos to the resort for doing this.

Puka (Hole) Island just off Laie Point.  Can you see the rainbow in the crashing wave?

This is how powerful the waves were.

Pounders Beach...waiting for his master's return.

13-01-14 to 16 Around the Yard

Just puttering around looking to keep myself occupied and out of trouble.

We had a little rain...

The plants loved it!

The recyclables trash can got wet. 

We're beginning to see flowers and fruit on the Ume aka plum tree.

Monday, January 14, 2013

13-01-12 OPMUG Hamama Falls Photo Hike

I have not been to Hamama Falls since early last year.  So I joined the OPMUG photographers in a photo hike to the falls.  The sky was overcast with occasional sprinkles but no major showers.  That was good but it also meant that we would not be getting the spectacular waterfalls on the Koolaus. 

This is the perfect group for me to hike with.  Everyone's so busy looking around that so we end up hiking at a relatively slow pace.

That's the Board of Water Supply's pumping station in the background.

 I'm always fascinated with the detritus found on hiking paths.

Occasionally one comes upon a fern patch.

I came noticed a small field of these flowers in bloom.  Then I realized there were grasshoppers all over the place.

Can you guess what that is?

More detritus.

The stream flowing away from Hamama Falls.

Hamama Falls looking past the Board of Water Supply's pipeline.

This flower is so cool.

 These leaves just fascinated me.  I like the texture and the rigidity of the spines.

White Christmas Cactus flower...

Red Christmas Cactus flower.