Critters of Hawaii

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Although I’ve posted several pictures of Hawaiian flowers and a few animals, I thought I’d share a few more pics of critters now that we’ve been back a week. I just can’t seem to stop reviewing all the fascinating images of flowers and creatures found on the Big Island. With apologies to anyone who saw similar photos on Facebook and earlier, here are a few of the more interesting  Hawaiian critters.

This little Gold-Dust Day Gecko crashed our lunch in Waimea hanging out just waiting to slurp up a few tastes of ice cream and whose tongues work like dogs do. These shy little guys love pollen, fruit and nectar but will take risks to sneak a taste of human sweets. Fast as lightning, they invariably scare the dickens out of you when they race by just out of direct view.

One afternoon we took the grand dogs to a dog-friendly beach. My son’s dog, Kono is a pro when it comes to swimming with her peeps and seems to enjoy it (she and Sam will NEVER be BFF’s because of it). Crazy Nala on the other hand, wanted no part of the water and wasn’t all that sure about Hawaii’s Green Sea Turtle either. That’s her barking in the background. Had to stop filming to keep her from attacking that old fella…well that and to stop laughing at that dingbat dog-you should have seen her raised hackles…at a turtle. Good grief! These creatures are quite remarkable and protected in Hawaii, where people are repeatedly instructed to stay at least 3 feet away from them. Green turtles, also known as Honu, should never be touched and are considered a threatened species by National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The tiny coqui tree frog is rarely seen, but you will hear its shrill whistles ALL. NIGHT. LONG. This non-native, nocturnal pest had the misfortune of showing up at my son’s house which means this bad boy is invading areas not previously known. Smaller than a penny, they’re a scourge marching across the Big Island and who is now ‘residing’ in my son’s freezer (which is the most humane way of disposing of them).

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This Jackson Chameleon stuck like glue to my grandson’s face and arm, then scrambled on top of our hats. While it wasn’t painful, I was particularly taken by the strength of his grip-he wasn’t easily separated from either of us.

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Of course anyone who has been to Hawaii’s Big Island knows of the wild turkeys and feral goats, both of whom were too elusive to capture either on video or by pic. I did however manage to photograph some of the countless chickens, finches and thieving opportunistic red crested cardinals that live on the island.

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Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the many fascinating critters of Hawaii as much as I did sharing. Vastly different from creatures around my neck of the woods but intriguing nonetheless, proving again that Hawaii is such a terrific place to visit. Aloha.

Live, love, bark! <3

Tuesday Travelogue

Today is my last day on this incredible island. While I’m ready to rescue my poor lonesome hound from his prison kennel stay, I will miss spending time with my son and his family and seeing the amazing sights this island has to offer. It has been a remarkable trip. As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh the places you’ll go. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.” So with those words in mind, here’s what else we managed to visit.

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We drove up to Waimea to check out the Parker Ranch. Nestled below the slopes of Mauna Kea, the ranch is one of the largest (and oldest) in the U.S. at nearly 250,000 acres. Founded in 1847 by John Palmer Parker, it is the second largest private landowner in Hawaii. The two homes photographed below are now museums. The Parker Ranch has a fascinating story with a number of up’s and down’s, but it has become a success story in Hawaiian history. It is now run by a charitable trust. This trip has been amazingly remarkable and I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting some of these irresistible sites as much as I did.

DSC01400But first…we had to pick up a hitchhiker on the way to the ‘big’ house. This Jackson chameleon was the exact color of the biggest Cook pine tree (often called Norfolk Pine)  I’ve ever seen (encircled by the family tree huggers). And because it’s Tuesday, here’s a little trivia about the Jackson chameleon – their tongues are one and a half times the length of their bodies!

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The grounds had spectacular gardens and a nearby pasture with several horses and their new foals  (it was nearly impossible shooting them as they galloped past too quickly before I could even focus). Here are some pics including a gorgeous Jacaranda tree I was finally able to capture and dozens of ginormous Allium, and lovely Bird of Paradise blooms.final

 

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In addition to incredible gardens, there were many tools, saddles and pieces of gorgeous koa wood furniture and period clothing, all far too handsome not to share.

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Lunch was crashed at the nearby brew house by a gold dust day gecko who loved my Brownie a la mode as much as I did. final

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I could go on and on, there’s so much beauty and far too many unusual sites on this fascinating island but I’m rushing off to catch a plane soon to rescue the hound. The owner of the kennel called to tell me poor Sam was on a hunger strike. I can hardly wait to try to make it up to him but wonder what that’s gonna cost over the long-term? Time will tell, so stay tuned.

It’s been such a terrific trip and I want to extend my warmest thanks to my son and his family for their graciousness and for making it so entertaining. Know I love you all to the moon and back and look forward to my next visit to your beautiful island home. Hopefully by then the newest fur-kid will have out grown the annoying puppy stage and the neighbor won’t be such a douche.  Nala…you are a goofball; and I will miss you and your family very much. <3

Conner got lei'd at graduation.
Conner got completely ‘lei’d’ at graduation.

Live, love, bark! <3