Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kauai 2012: Settling in

I'm still recovering from being awake for nearly 24 hours straight yesterday, so I think I'll just dive right on in.

This year, my folks decided to rent a house instead of the time-share unit they stayed at in years past. While this means they no longer have an ocean view, it does appear they will get to enjoy more in the way of bird watching. For example, early on in the morning I saw Mynas, Northern Cardinals, and this Japanese White-eye working some flowers:

After breakfast we all went out to do some grocery shopping to stock up on the basics for our stays: two weeks in the case of my brother and myself, and six weeks for my parents. As we shopped, Mom suggested I pick up a bag of birdseed. I did so, and shortly after we returned home I opened it up and spread a bit out along a few of the railings of the lanai that wraps around the house. Within 15 minutes, my brother and I were photographing a pair of Java Sparrows through the plate-glass window:

Holding a bit of seed by the tip of its beak:

I liked how the background came out in the photos of the second of the two birds:

 And a shot I snuck outside for:

When we arrived late last night (10 p.m. local time, which meant it was 3 a.m. for our bodies and brains), we soon discovered we weren't the only house guests—we spotted a number of geckos up on the walls, along the edge of the ceiling, and, in my case, on the other side of the decorative pillow on my bed. By the time we got up this morning, the geckos had gotten shy on us, at least inside the house. So in the afternoon, Greg and I tried to photograph a few that were hanging around (pun intended) outside on the walls and along the beams bracing the bit of roof overhanging the lanai. They definitely seem to like the darker nooks and crannies, which made getting a decent photo a challenge, but I ended up with a couple I thought came out halfway decently:

Finally, a couple of spiderwebs we saw hanging between a tree and one of the adjacent houses later in the afternoon:

I had to move around a bit to find an angle to shoot from that placed this backlit web against a dark enough background to see it clearly, but I think the result was definitely worth the effort:

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