Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kauai 2012: Return to Waimea Canyon

During this year's visit to Kauai, we decided to take another field trip out to Waimea Canyon; my brother Greg hadn't yet been there, and I'm not one to turn down the chance to take shots like this:

We noticed this waterfall cutting through the rocks to one side of the road as we were driving up to the canyon—I loved the contrast between the water, the red dirt, the green foliage, and the blue sky:

Since I shared quite a few shots of the canyon last year, I thought I'd try something posting different this time along—I selected a few of the pictures I took this year and used Photoshop to stitch them together into a panoramic image (as always, just click any of the pictures to enlarge). I don't think it turned out too bad, if I do say so myself:

While we walked back to the car from the official vantage point area, I noticed these two wild chickens up on the hillside:

As you can see from the flying dirt, the hen was in the process of carving out a nest for herself:

Just as we got to the car, Greg and I noticed some folks walking up and down a footpath just off to the left of where we'd been. Although Mom and Dad opted to wait at the car and cool down a bit, Greg and I were feeling adventurous enough to go check it out. This second panorama, again stitched together from a series of photos, gives you a sense of the view that greeted us:

And a couple of close-ups, courtesy of the pics that served as the basis of the panorama:

It was a good thing our dad opted not to join us; he's a bit leery of heights as it is, and the dropoff, as you can see here, was fairly abrupt and unforgiving:

Good news! I found Elvis:

I tried to do something a little different with this shot, keeping the tree to my left in the foreground to add a bit of depth to the image:

A few shots from the second official vantage point (and by official, I mean there's a paved walkway and a railing between the viewer and the edge of the hillside):

Finally, a couple of images from one of the lookout points I stopped at last year:

All in all, it was another great trip to Waimea Canyon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Goofy Kaylee

I don't really have the brainpower to go through a ton of pics tonight, so I thought I'd search through the folders and find a fun Kaylee shot I hadn't yet shared. This seemed to fill the bill quite nicely:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kauai 2012: Another day at the beach

You know it's not going to be your typical trip to the beach when the first things you see upon arriving are these signs:

And indeed, that day there were more whitecaps than I think I'd ever seen during one of my visits:

These next shots will, I hope, help convey a better sense of what the ocean was like that day:

I really liked the contrasting colors in this one:

After I'd been photographing the waves for a while, I decided it was time to wander down the beach a little; this one is a look back at where my family was sitting (you can catch a glimpse of the top of a beach chair on the right of the shot):

With this shot, I was intentionally trying to have a bunch of different things happening in the foreground, middle, and background. I'm not sure how well it works overall, but at least it highlights some of the foliage in the area:

Two shots of some white flowers and, at least in the first case, the spider webs strung between the plant's large leaves:

A photo I took looking straight up through the trees at the edge of the property we were staying at:

One of these Java Sparrows had definitely seen better days where his plumage is concerned:

Any time I watched the Java Sparrows hop around, I was reminded of the Mynah bird that would randomly hop through the old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons:

A group of Zebra doves taking dirt baths:

And finally, a couple more photos of the male White-rumped Shama, taken as it made quite a racket while perched on a house number marker:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kauai 2012: Back on Shell Beach

Just a few shots I took over at Shell Beach the same afternoon as my epic lighthouse visit... I liked the variety of colors and textures in this one:

Lots of shades of blue in this next pair:

Some more waves:

And a series of pics of some anoles I spotted in the brush as we walked along the path back to the house:

A closer look at an anole as it extends its dewlap:

And finally, a wider shot of the same anole to show how long this one's tail has gotten:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kauai 2012: Lighthouse visit the first, part 3

As if my first trip to the lighthouse this year hadn't already been exciting enough, what with getting to see Great Frigatebirds up close and capturing that extensive 'Iwa/booby chase, I had yet another cool moment awaiting me when I went through the day's pictures. Once again, it was one of those situations where I saw a group of birds and took a bunch of photos to sort through later. In this case, it initially seemed as if I'd caught three 'Iwas fighting over another fish:

However, as I continued going through the pictures, I realized I was looking at something else entirely—rather than fighting over a meal, the 'Iwa holding the fish was actually feeding it to the bird just below it:

Needless to say, I was pretty psyched to have captured something like that. And, to close out the 'Iwa portion of the visit, a couple of shots of the three birds as they went along their way:

I also managed to snag some decent shots of a Nene as it wandered the grounds. As is always the case when I photograph geese, I took full advantage of my zoom lens and maintained a safe distance from the bird at all times:

Finally, a couple of shots of a nicely symmetrical pair of Amaryllis flowers, first spotted by my mom:

And this, at long last, brings the photo record of my first visit of 2012 to the Kilauea lighthouse to a close.