Monday, December 30, 2013

Kauai 2013 day 9

Lots of pics for this entry, so I'll get right to it.

It was a gorgeous day, perfect for taking photos of the equally gorgeous Hanalei Church:

And a closer look at some of the stained-glass windows:

A couple of different views at Lumahai Beach, taken from different lookouts:

 The big event of the day, though, was when we headed on over to our usual beach spot for the afternoon—the small lagoon area was being visited by several sea turtles:

The turtles would just kind of cruise back and forth across this somewhat deeper section of the shore, occasionally surfacing for a quick breath before going back underwater:

You can just barely see the tip of a turtle's head along the edge of a wave:

Loved the various colors of the water in this one; the two dark blotches in the middle are turtles:

I believe there's at least five to six turtles in this shot:

Definitely five turtles in this one:

A lucky catch of two turtles surfacing at the same time:

Not the clearest shot, but I liked how you could see so much of this turtle's body in the rising wave:

One of my better head shots:

Caught this one blowing a bubble:

And a few more closeups I thought came out pretty well:

The turtles were still there when I decided to move on down the beach and focus on some waves instead:

I cranked the shutter speed way up to better freeze the water splash in this one:

So, so pretty.

And on this day, extremely windy, as you can see in these photos of some waves out in deeper water:

And to close out this post, a very striking hibiscus growing near the house:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kauai 2013 day 8, part 2

And the second part of the day, beginning with a shot I took of a taro field as we waited in traffic:

A palm tree with some interesting foliage hanging from its trunk; you can see a bit of the car in the lower left corner:

For a bit of perspective, that's a myna sitting on top of the white stuff:

A look at the reason why we had to wait: construction crews were busy shoring up this hillside against future washouts:

Not the best pic, but I thought it worth sharing because it features two birds that are both endemic to Hawaii and on the endangered species list. The dark bird with the red on its head, seen towards the left side of the image, is a Hawaiian Moorhen. The dark birds with white on their heads are Hawaiian Coots:

Some shots of the gorgeous Anini Beach, which I was seeing for the first time:

That white structure out on the point you can see in this photo? That's the Kilauea Lighthouse. 

I had a hard time choosing between the next two shots; they're similar, but different things appealed to me in each. In the first, I really liked the look and color of the waves:

And in this one, I liked the contrast of the beach against the blues and greens:

Zoomed right in on the lighthouse:

With this one, I was trying to include a variety of elements: the foliage in the foreground, the ginormous piece of driftwood in the middle, and the shoreline/lighthouse in the background:

We spotted a whale breaching quite close to shore as we drove along, but by the time we pulled over, parked, and got over on the sand, this was the only really decent shot of the whale I ended up getting:

Since the level of travel congestion can be hit or miss when going to Kapa'a, where our dinner destination was located,  we ended up being plenty early for our reservation. I decided to wander along the sidewalk a ways, and ended up spotting this green anole during my travels:

Climbing up a step of a nearby building:

I offered a tissue, but the anole seemed to have little interest in wiping its latest meal off its nose:

Dinner was at Kintaro's, a Japanese restaurant that features both sushi and a teppanyaki area, where you get to watch the chef prepare the meal on a smoking hot iron griddle. While the surface was warming, Dad and I enjoyed some terrific seared tuna:

One of the highlights of the teppanyaki experience is the onion volcano. The chef slices an onion half, stacks the slices on each other in a cone, then pours a trail of some sort of flammable liquid between the onion and the side of the grill. He lights a separate section of the liquid, then uses his finger to drag the flame onto the trail leading to the volcano. The result can be pretty spectacular:

And a look at my finished meal, teriyaki chicken. Great stuff.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kauai 2013 day 8, part 1

I had trouble narrowing down my photo picks from day 8 to a reasonable number, so I decided to split the day into two parts instead. As I'd gotten myself a wicked sunburn the day before while at the beach, I spent most of this day in and around the house, wearing long sleeves and staying out of the sun as much as possible. Fortunately, there was still plenty to see and photograph from the protective shade of the lanai, starting with this pair of Japanese White-eyes working some flowers along the edge of the property, which I happened to spot not too long after I'd gotten myself out of bed:

This female White-rumped Shama, like myself, stayed in the shadows during a brief stop on the lanai railing, but I thought her silhouette still made for an interesting image:

A look at the same bird perched on the roof corner of a nearby house:

A male Shama. Despite his bright orange breast, he still was not the easiest bird to spot when he chose to sit in this tree:

A good look at the female Shama as she sat on one of the stumps at the edge of our rental property:

She was even kind enough to pose so I could get a nice image of the white patch that gives the bird its name:

Shortly afterward, a male Shama did the same:

Giving me a beauty shot while he was at it:

And a final look at a female through some foliage:

A female Northern Cardinal:

An upside-down Japanese White-eye working a hibiscus blossom:

Loved how this one turned out:

A pair of White-eyes take cover underneath the large leaves of this plant:

Although they clearly didn't mind perching on top of it either:

When I noticed some movement on a plant in the middle of the lawn, I cautiously ventured forth to see what I might be able to photograph. Fortunately, I was able to find a few shady spots to take pictures from, and ended up with some good shots of the various Anoles exploring the branches of the bush in question. Leading things off, a brown anole relaxing on a limb:

The same anole with its dewlap on full display:

A gorgeous green anole:

A closer look at that same anole giving me the side-eye:

A look at the green anole's dewlap:

I just liked the composition of this shot, accidental as it was on my part:

Some shots of an anole as it peered over the edge of a leaf:

Finally, some closer looks at the green anole as it kept an eye on me: