Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Banyan Tree Branch

An enormous banyan tree branch spirals upward and outward into a dizzying maze of smaller branches, twigs and leaves.


Japanese Glass Fishing Floats

It’s still possible to find glass fishing floats on the beach…I think.  I only found one in my life, in California almost 20 years ago, but that was the highlight of my beachcombing career.

I don’t know the providence of these, but I photographed them in Hawai’i, so it’s very likely that they were found on the islands.

Regardless, I thought this pair made a lovely subject, sitting on a windowsill and backlit by the early morning sun.

Pu'u O Hoku-6

This is the Pu’u o Hoku Ranch store.  Located on the east end of Moloka’i, it’s the last place you can pick up snacks and drinks before heading on to Halawa Valley.

Pu’u o Hoku means “Hill of Stars,” and indeed the stargazing is nothing short of phenomenal if you find yourself on this side of the island on a moonless night.

two plumeria

I didn’t arrange these blossoms;  in fact, I shot them with a 400 mm telephoto lens through a window screen!  They were laying on a lana’i roof, and therefore inaccessible to me.

But something did arrange them (gravity, the wind) into a pretty juxtaposition:  the flower on the right boldly facing the camera, and the flower on the left demurely turning away.  Between the two views, you can see how a plumeria blossom is constructed, appreciate the graceful cupping of the petals,  their delicately “airbrushed” edges, the bright yellow center in the front of the flower, and how all five petals merge together in a fusion of deep pink in the back.

I couldn’t have arranged these two blossoms more perfectly myself.

palm tree watercolor

Palmistry is the art of reading palms to foretell the future.  I looked at these palms and predicted warm weather and tropical breezes.  And I was right.

See, palmistry is easy.  If I can do it, anyone can.

yellow hibiscus

There’s yellow, and then there’s hibiscus yellow.  The color is loud enough to be borderline gaudy, the blossom is a good six or seven inches in diameter, and then there are all those ruffled edges and that crazy stamen…this tropical bloom is truly one wild flower!

pink flame cloud

If you were to show me a painting of this sunset, my first question would be “What was the painter smoking?”

But since I’m the one who saw and photographed this sunset, with nothing stronger on board than a couple of sips of wine, I can assure you that it was for real.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Sometimes I feel that outdoor photographers get more than their fair share of these moments.

I’m happy to be able to share this one with you.

green sea glass heart

Once a shard of broken glass, most likely from the bottom of a beer or soda bottle, this chunk was sculpted by waves and rocks into a sweet heart shape.

I’ve collected sea glass most of my life, but have never found a piece like this.

Once a piece of garbage, and now a keepsake…

An emerald glass heart!

hawaiian snail

This is the shell of the Achatina fulica, or giant African land snail.  This species has become a problem in many areas of the world, including Hawai’i.  It is an invasive species that has pushed the native species of tree snail to endangered status.

It’s on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of 100 Most Invasive Species Worldwide.

It competes with the native snail species for food, and is highly destructive to the native vegetation.

As if that isn’t bad enough, did I mention that it can kill you?

There’s a nematode that lives on the snails that can give you eosiniphilic meningitis.  The nematode is rat lungworm (angiostrongylus cantonensis), and it can cause thousands of tiny worms to hatch in your brain!

And you thought I was kidding about the “deadly” part of the title.


halawa cemetery

An old cemetery behind a long-gone church is being taken over by trees and vines.  Few tourists even notice it, and most of those that do are discouraged from exploring it further by clouds of ravenous mosquitos, and huge spider webs–most housing huge but harmless spiders–that seem to have been deliberately constructed across anything remotely resembling a footpath.

How said mosquitos manage to avoid said spider webs is a scientific mystery.

This intrepid photographer managed a few smart phone shots…there’s no way to set a tripod up here!

I love the contrast between the few, massive cement grave markers and the hundreds of slender, delicate tree trunks surrounding them.

I’d love to come back in 50 years to see how the cemetery has changed.  Will it be a forest, or will it be restored?

Only time will tell…