Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hawaiian Monk Seal at Kaloko-Honokohau

This lovely 12 foot long monk seal was resting on Honokohau beach as I took my walk today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving, plus, a scoop!

Managed to avoid Wal-Mart today, although I did get my tree at Lowe's. After a somewhat frantic Thanksgiving (turkey brined and coated with herb paste, buttermilk mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce with mandarin oranges, stuffing, sweet potato/haupia pie, mushrooms, corn and salad) it was hard to get motivated to work, so I took off to get my tree, rest, and walk.

And speaking of walks, here's an Aaron Stene-style Kona scoop: Kaloko-Honokohau NHP will be opening (at some point) this lovely ramp and elevated walkway to view petroglyphs:

OK, admittedly, as scoops go, this is pretty lame, but still, stretching the definition almost to the breaking point, it's "news."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving/ Makahiki

This is a good time of year to hike up in Kaloko Mauka. Today I walked in from the highest point, at the end of Huehue Street, altitude 5075'. A misty and short hike, since I needed to get back to start the turkey. But I got one nice picture. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is where I do my 3.3 mile walk 4-5 times a week. I use the entrance by the harbor berm (that big long pile of rocks):

Today a large flock (at least 20) of Ae'o, Hawaiian Stilts was feeding at low tide:


They're an endangered species, but the population seems to be getting larger. Last year two of them made their nest right next to one of the trails and attacked when I got too close. But I feel affection for them. They're wonderfully graceful fliers. Two mini-flocks of seven birds each flew up and down the coast in constantly changing formations formations, squawking as they flew by, while I finished my walk.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the Beginning of Makahiki

Started brining the turkey for tomorrow. I'm trying, for the first time, not plain salt water, but salt water flavored with bay leaves, rosemary, sage, tarragon, brown sugar and apple juice. I panicked when I realized that the turkey and brine container wouldn't fit in the refrigerator. Decided to use the big cooler and ice, but then I needed some kind of bag to keep from diluting the brine. Googled "brining bags" and then found them at Chef's Kitchen Supply . As I drove past the Target construction site, with lots of guys working, I wondered about the rumors that Target was gonna cancel. Depressing. But turning from Kaiwi Street into the new dedicated turn lane on the new four lane Queen Kaahumanu Highway was very cool, speaking of things to be thankful for.

Tomorrow, by the way, is not just Thanksgiving. It's the New Moon, and therefore, according to this Star-Bulletin article, the beginning of the makahiki season:

On Thursday we will see a new moon that has special significance to Hawaiians. It will be the first new moon since the constellation Makali'i (Pleiades) rose in the eastern sky at sunset last Monday. This signaled to Hawaiians of old that it was time for the makahiki -- and it speaks just as loudly today.

The full Hawaiian name of this celebration is makahiki na o Lono -- "time of the coming of Lono" -- a religious occasion welcoming the return of the god Lono, known for bringing wind and rain. It appears we're getting a head start.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Post: Hiking before the storm

Mauna Kea was visible from 5800' up on Hualalai, despite the incoming clouds.

As all of Kona waited for the expected storm, waiting for the clouds to sweep in from the sea and give some relief and moisture to our arid land, I decided to hike at the top of Huehue Place in Kaloko Mauka. At 5000' I was above the storm soaking Kailua until I was on my way back to the car.

One of the best things about hiking mauka Kona in winter is that the lehua put on a show: