Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2008

Chinatown in the Morning
This morning, Chelsea, Len and I met at Aloha Tower for coffee before our trip into Chinatown. A little background on my two photography buddies. Chelsea is in the Navy, has been for almost 8 years, and expects to stay in until she can retire. I met her one day when she brought her camera and tripod to Laniakea Beach while I was on Turtle Patrol. We got to talking about, guess what, photography AND turtles. I told her about the MeetUp group I belong to and that day she went home and joined. She was pretty excited to finally have connected with some other photographers who could help her learn more about her hobby.
Len is married and lives on the windward side of the island. They've been here for about 18 months, and they plan on staying for at least 3 1/2 more years. It's part of their "5-year-plan". Len did construction back in Ontario, Canada, and his wife, Andrea, is a nurse. When they moved to Hawaii they applied for green cards, but they haven't received them yet. Andrea is a nurse, so she was able to get a job, but Len can't work till he gets his card. Awww!
I had a hard time trying to settle on just a few images to post, and I wound up with quite a few, so this will be mostly photos, not text.
This is some kind of fruit--looks more like flowers to me.

Okay, as we were walking along the street, I was concentrating on the buildings and the street vendors, mostly looking up in the air to see the architecture. I finally paused and looked for Len and Chelsea, and there was Len taking photos of a stroller, and what I assumed was a cute baby. When I went over to see what was up, I discovered these adorable dogs.

The owner came out of the store while we were going ga-ga over the pups. She was a hoot. She told us she didn't have any children so these were her "babies". When she first got the one with the sunglasses, he would constantly walk into things when she had him outside. After taking him to the vet several times to see if he was blind, the vet said, "maybe it's just too bright for him". So she got him sunglasses and he's been fine ever since. She told us he has many pairs of glasses at home, including a studded pair like Elton John.
She pushes them around in the stroller when they get too tired to walk or the street is too busy.

We kept walking and got to the outskirts of Chinatown. There was a little pond and waterfall as part of the decor outside one of the buildings.

I started taking photos of the people across the street waiting for TheBus. This gentleman was looking around, but when I focused on him, he looked right at me and for once I didn't flinch. I wanted his picture.

Looking at this guy taking a rest, all I could think of was "If it's Wednesday, it must be nap-time" Okay, so it's a pretty pathetic take-off of an old movie title, but I like it.

When I took this one I was a little annoyed that the bus was in the background, but then when I saw it on the computer, I liked it alot, especially since the bus is showing movement.



to cast a reflection=Noho ke aka

good afternoon/good evening= Aloha ahiahi

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008

More Waves and More Turtles

Yesterday (Monday) morning I headed up to Laniakea Beach to take my turn with the turtles. It was another excellent day, not only weather-wise, but turtle-wise. There were 7 on the beach at once. The tourists were having a great time. And I took way too many photos of the creatures again. They so seldom move that when they do I feel like I have to document every fraction of an inch, whether they just raise their head for a minute, or a flipper, or actually scoot themselves along the beach. It's like every time I see a deer at home, I act like I've never seen one in my life before.

One lady who stopped by for a while said that she used to live in Florida and she did volunteer work with the turtles there. That was an area where the turtles mated and laid their eggs, so she got to see them laying and burying the eggs and also got to see the eggs hatch. How awesome!

I took this infrared shot about a week ago, but it's at the same beach so I thought I'd include it here.

It was glorious day weather-wise, as I mentioned before, and I wasn't in any hurry to leave. Kristine needed a ride to the airport and we had to leave by 5, so by 2 I packed up and made a quick trip up the road to the beach where they hold the Pipe Masters competition. I had been there once before, but not for a while. The waves were beautiful. No swimming allowed because of the rough surf, but there were surfers out there waiting for "THE" wave.

I didn't get any good shots of the surfers, but this one is passable as long as I keep it small. I like it because it shows the perspective of the surfer and the wave. I know it's not the wave or the photo of-the-year, but I think it gives you a good idea of nature vs. man.

I haven't posted an Hawaiian lesson lately so here goes:

kamakane=male child, boy, son

ohana=family (think I posted this back in Jan)




hiwahiwa=precious, beloved (one of the turtles is named Hiwahiwa)

Aloha for now...
By the way, every post gives you the opportunity to leave a message or comment. Just click on the "leave a comment" at the end of the post. I check regularly, so I can reply if necessary to any comments that you leave.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saturday, Feb 22, 2008

Today I discovered that there really is a 5 o'clock in the morning! Who woulda thunk it. No seriously, I know there's a 5 a.m., I just don't particularly like being awake at that time. But because several other photographers and I deceided to do a sunrise shoot today, being awake and ready to go by 5:30 wasn't an option.

I stayed overnight at Leah's place since she is 30 minutes closer to our meeting spot than I am. We watched a little TV, then she went to bed and I tried to go to sleep. As usual, the minute I laid down on the fairly comfortable, but way too short couch, I woke right up and my mind started running 100 miles/hr. What's that all about? (I know I'm not the only one that happens to.) I kept thinking I should just put the TV back on, but again, I persevered. I eventually got into a somewhat comfortable position and fell asleep.

Leah's apartment is right in the city. The streetlights and the lights from the other apartments, plus the almost full moon made it seem like daytime. Then there were the inevitable trips to the bathroom. Yesterday, when I was doing my honu volunteering, I managed to stub one of my toes pretty badly, so by the time I was trying to sleep it was throbbing a little. Every time I got up to use he bathroom, I was hyper-careful not to stub in on the furniture, and that concentration woke me up a little more than I normally would have.

So, at about 4:30 (mind you, my alarm was set for 5, and there's always that little niggling concern that the alarm won't go off, and after all the preparation you won't make it to the event after all cause you'll then fall soundly and blissfully off to sleep until some ridiculous time like 8 a.m.), the roosters started their noise. Honestly, it's like living in the country. Even in Glen we don't have roosters. Well, then a few minutes later the dogs in the neighborhood began their chorus.

By then I was thinking that I should just get up because I didn't want to fall asleep and miss the alarm and not meet up with everyone--like that could really happen--but I just waited. Sure enough, the alarm went off, I did hear it, I didn't fall back to sleep and I arrived at the meeting point about 20 minutes early because I had misjudged the traveling time.

So here's the really amazing thing. At 5:45 a.m., in the pitch dark, 5 other people showed up ON TIME! We can't get people to arrive for Church on time, or a church dinner, but there were the 6 of us, freezing our little shutter-release finers off, I might add--it's was darn chilly this morning--ready and waiting to go. So we got in our cars, drove to the sunrise spot and started shooting.

The light was really beautiful. I haven't done a sunrise in a long time, so I was pretty psyched at the results I was getting.

Below is the root section of a palm tree. Pretty interesting.

Framed in the tree below is a small island called Chinaman's Hat because of the shape of it.

So by the time the sun had been up for a few minutes, we were all ready to go to our next spot. Once the sun gets above the horizon, the light is nowhere as pretty--we wanted to be on our way. The next stop was a Japanese Temple, located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. According to the brochure it was "established on June 7, 1968 to comemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaiil. The Byodo-in Temple was built entirely without the use of nails." It's a replica of a temple in Japan that was constructed more than 900 years ago.

Inside the building is an 18 foot Buddha, which is said to be an original work of art carved by a famous Japanese sculptor. "When the carving was completed, it was covered with cloth and painted with three applications of gold lacquer. Gold leaf was later applied over the lacquer finish.

This photo doesn't really give a good idea of the size of it, since I zoomed in close. But besides being 18 feet high itself, it was located on a raised platform of about 5 feet.

This is, obviously, the group.

This bell was "cast in Osaka, Japan from a mixture of bronze and tin, by permission of the government of Japan. ...The resonant sound of the bon-sho (sacred bell) creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teaching s of Buddha."

There were a few streams around the property as well as the pond directly in front of the temple. They were well stocked with beautiful koi. They were almost tame, and in one spot they kept coming to the surface, almost like they were waiting to be fed.

Yesterday, while I was busy stubbing my toes on the beach, I was also busy trying to photograph yet another sunset. But this time I had the idea to make an image every minute or so and then put them together as a slide show. If you'd like to see the results, go to my website, click on "galleries", then click on "sunsets" and then "slide show". It isn't the most exciting sunset ever, but it's kind of cool to see it progress through still images. The website address is . You should be able to click on the address. If that doesn't work, you'll have to cut and paste the address.

Aloha for tonight

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008


I've found my avocation while I'm here on Oahu. I'm officially a volunteer honu guardian--not so sure about "naturalist", but that's what the badges say. I attended my training session, and I did two sessions where I "shadowed" other volunteers, and now I'm good to go. The funny thing is I feel like I don't know anything, but in reality, the information I do know is more than anyone visiting the beach knows.

Yesterday when I was at the beach there were 6 turtles basking. Hadn't seen that many at once before. These two stayed snuggled the entire afternoon. The other four were scattered around in various places. I left at about 7:30 pm and none of them were showing any indication of wanting to head back into the water.

This other volunteer isn't sleeping, honest. He wanted to get some close-up and personal photos of that turtle--guess he's a new guy and Patrick wanted to document the patterns on his face, since that's how they often identify the turtles if there're no other markings.

So once the sun began to go down, it was hard to resist taking some more photos. There wasn't much sky/cloud action, so I only took a few shots of that. I didn't have my tripod, so I knew it wouldn't look too good anyway.

Leah called me this morning and asked if I'd like to come spend some time with her while she was recovering from the flu. Oh sure, I had nothing better to do than "share the germs". She was up all night throwing up and called in sick to work. By the time I got there around 11, she was feeling better. I made some chicken soup and we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's and ate soup. (Neither of us could figure out why that movie was such a hit...) I left around 2 so she could rest some more. She was planning on going to work at Brew Moon this afternoon since she was feeling so much better.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday, Feb 17, 2009


Although it's Sunday, today's blog is about this past Friday. I'm just about recovered from it--and since it's still daylight, I have the energy to write about it.

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I was supposed to meet up with some other photographers and hike to Kaena Point, but no one showed up. I think I know why now. A friend and I decided to do this hike Friday, and planned to meet up here in Mililani (since it's on the way for him). He got lost!!! I was so happy to know that someone other than me gets lost. And he's been here for 18 months. The reason I even mention it is that we were supposed to meet at 9 am, but didn't meet until after 9:30 and by the time we got to the trailhead it was about 10:15.

Well that doesn't sound bad--not for hiking on the cool, tree covered paths of the Adirondacks, often accompanied by the soothing sounds of nearby streams. The opening photo of this blog shows you exactly what we faced. Not a cloud in the sky and not a piece of shade big enough to cool a hand, let alone an entire body.

Okay, so the admonition is: bring plenty of water, use sunscreen, wear a hat, don't hike in the middle of the day. I guess one out of four isn't bad. I had water, but not enough and at least I remembered to take an orange with me. One measly little orange. So there we are, beginning the trek around 10:30. I knew the walk would take about 1 1/2 hours (the guidebooks and other people said so), but neither of us knew exactly how far the walk would be. I found out after the fact that the trail is 2 1/2 miles each way. Our impeccable timing meant that we would be 2 1/2 miles away from anything at exactly HIGH NOON. Good planning.

The walking was pretty easy since the path was well-packed dirt. Not much elevation to deal with either. The ocean on our right was downright beautiful especially where it was crashing up against mounds of lava rocks.

Yes, the image above is the same as the image below. I accidentally uploaded it twice and for some reason this blog site won't let me delete anything.

Along the way we saw many tidepools. Some of them had tiny fish swimming in them, but otherwise there wasn't much that was outstanding about them. I decided to try and be creative with one, so here's a little zooming action. Conditions were so bright that I couldn't slow the camera down enough to get more zoom than this. At least I tried--before I got too hot and tired to care.

We also encountered several small groups of people fishing. Did I take photos of them? No! Why not? Beats me! These people drove in in 4-wheel drive vehicles. Now even though I said the walking was pretty easy, it was not exactly smooth going for vehicles. It reminded me of a children's roller-coaster. You know, a lot of little ups and downs and curves very close to each other. Now imagine that these ups and downs and curves were littered with potholes and very deep and mushy mud holes and you can imagine what it would be like for a jeep.

Well, we said hi and kept on going.

Just about 10-15 minutes from the end of the hike we could see a tower of some sort--again no photo--don't ask! We had been told that that was the end, so we were pretty happy. We encountered a barricade of rocks with an opening through which to climb. Guess they want to keep vehicles out. There were signs informing us that the remainder of the walk included protected areas for albatross that should not be disturbed. We did see a few in the grasses, but only their heads and some movement, so it wasn't worth trying to get a photo.

We finally reached the tower, tired, hot and hungry. The tower provided barely an iota of shade in which I sat as long as I could. Once in the shade, it was amazingly cooler. Below is what it looks like standing on almost the last of solid ground looking toward the ocean.

Turning around and looking back from whence we came, below is what we saw.

Someone or someones had the hutzpah to carry paint to this isolated spot of earth and paint this rock. Good for them.

After about 30-45 minutes of taking photos and trying to rest, we decided to head back. It was a pretty daunting thought for me. We had no choice but to get started putting one foot in front of the other. The wind was now at our backs so it wasn't as cooling as it had been before. We decided that we'd taken enough photos and that we wouldn't pause to take any on the way back. Sometimes we talked and sometimes we just truged along.
When we had walked about an hour, I decided that I was going to beg a ride from the driver of the next vehicle that came by. I said so to Len but I think he thought I was kidding. I wasn't! I was really beginning to fade fast--light-headed, queasy, etc. So, seeing a small truck approach, I got right in the road--he stopped--"Do you think you could give us a ride to the parking area, we'd be glad to give you some money". "No. I don't think I have enough room. " I was speechless. I said, "okay, thanks anyway." I didn't know whether to laugh at the absudity of it, or cry out of frustration. Both Len and I thought he was kidding when he first said no, but guess he wasn't.
The next vehicle that came by (something like an SUV) was driven by a young couple who had been fishing. The back seat was filled with all their fishing gear and a cute dog. So I asked if they could give us a ride, they looked back at the filled back seat, I started playing with the dog through the window and the guy got out to clear out the back seat. Awesome. Angels in disguise. As I was smooching over this cute dog, I asked what kind it was. Only a pit bull. Okay! So here we climb into the back seat with a pit bull. You know that saying, "beggars can't be choosers"? Pretty true!
I was never so glad to see my car and sit down. That didn't end my day. But the rest of the story is for another posting.