This post showcases photos from late June. The flowers are all from the Maka’eo walking path at the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area. All other photos are from where we were then renting, Casa de Emdeko.
As usual, click on a photo for a larger version, or go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE for better and larger versions of the same photos.
One other thing . . . this is yet another many-photos-many-words post. If easily distracted, I suggest planning multiple sessions to get through this post. Or, you know, you can look at one or two photos, ignore the writing, and be done with it. It’s what most readers do, so don’t feel bad about it.
Sure, I will be emotionally scarred, potentially fall into a deep depression, and forego the joys of future creative endeavors. OR, I’ll be driven to writing even longer posts, building the endurance of a few loyal readers in preparation for them tackling my epic magnum opus, a 2,500-photos/100,000-words post.
Sitting on the balcony at Casa de Emdeko, camera at the ready, one has surprisingly few choices when picking photographic subjects.
One can take photos of all the boats that criss-cross these waters, or one can take photos of birds constantly foraging.
Wait . . . why were those boats stopped?
Do you see them? Every morning, the dolphins swim over to the bay I wrote about before. Every morning, boats full of tourists try and intercept them so that said tourists can get in the water and watch these aquatic mammals do what they do best.
Sorry for the poor quality of the shots. These were made with my Nikon 80-400mm lens, and while I like the lens, it’s not the sharpest tool in my arsenal. It is, however, the one that gives me the equivalent of a 600mm zoom.
To give you an idea of how far away they are, the following photo is roughly at 3x zoom, or 150mm equivalent lens zoom
You can see all the boats rushing to get ahead of the dolphins, giving the swimmers time to get in the water before dolphins swim by.
This guy is late to the show . . .
The lens is also good for shooting waves from the comfort of the balcony’s shade.
Why do I mention shade? Because on that day, June 27th, we decided to go walking at the Old Kona Airport. Specifically, I would carry my camera gear (all 15 pounds of it) and snap flower photos as Melisa walked the footpath to get her daily miles in.
That was the last time I decided to go out shooting in the middle of the day, the sun shining — more like hammering — down on us.
I think I would not have been any drier had we been caught in a downpour and I had sought refuge from the rain by jumping into the ocean. These days, we walk early in the morning, when the sun has barely crested the active volcano on whose slopes we live.
Our pace is 3.4 miles per hour (per the handy app that Google — jerks! — saw fit to deprecate but that still gives the metrics for the walk). That means we get done with our four miles in a little over an hour, at which time sweat is dripping off me.
Helpful hot weather walking hint: actually, I don’t know if this is good or not, but we do it: the previous night, we soak four rags and put them in the freezer. In the morning, we carry them with us in the car to where we walk. We walk one mile, then grab one of the rags each and wrap them around our neck (they are still semi-frozen). We grab the second rag at the end of the second mile and use the first rag to wipe sweat from face and arms as we wrap the still frozen ones around our necks. We also check which way the wind is blowing and make sure we walk such that the last leg of the walk is done facing the wind.
But, back to the flowers.
Of course, Plumeria be all over the place. But, lots of other plants as well. Now, if people were really interested and actually looked at all these photos, I would make the effort to name all these plants and flowers. As it is, anyone who is interested would likely enjoy doing their own research. To that end, HERE is a decent resource.
Of course, it’s not just flowers that caught my eye. It’s also foliage, especially if sporting vivid colors or interesting geometry, as seen in the above photos.
But, Flowers is what I was there for . . .
And guess what other flowers were present in their usual abundance? That’s right . . . Hibiscuses!
As much as I like them, I was looking for flowers I don’t often see . . .
Even stuff that I see at every turn can still attract my attention . . .
But, elation ensues when I see the rare Squid Plant!
This next flower reminded me of wildflowers I might see in Colorado.
. . . and then, Plumeria . . .
This next plant/flower also reminded me of groundcover we used in Colorado and Michigan.
There’s also grass . . . I mean ornamental grass, not lawn grass.
I still plan a grass shooting trip, especially grass growing on old lava fields. Lots of grass on the island.
We are not even half way through the photos, so I thought I might do a quick intermission. This is a chance for you to stretch your legs, rest your eyes, and maybe go grab a snack or two. Go ahead; I’ll throw up a few cartoons while you’re gone.
This expresses simply and with great accuracy the current state of information in this great country of ours.
Oh, I should put up something currently relevant to me . . .
Now, “man-buns” are not new to some cultures and ethnic groups . . . unfortunately, they seem to have taken hold across ethnic groups. I see more man-buns on a given day here than I see waves.
Personally, I really don’t care nor do I normally have a reaction when I see strange manners of dress or — in this case — grooming, but man-buns crack me up. Also, there is an immediate and probably irrevocable assessment about the character and the mental acuity of the person in question (hint: it’s not flattering). It’s wrong, I know, judging a person based on their choice in hair style. But, judging is what we constantly do when we meet or interact with someone. We don’t act on that judgment, of course.
I’m sure people sporting these “buns” are perfectly nice and possibly smart individuals, and so I resist the natural impulse to point and double over laughing.
Note: I am fully aware a whole slew of people are tempted to point at me and laugh about any number of things. That’s fine; I often encourage it. However, I don’t think people wearing man-buns are doing it for the comic effect. I’m assuming they are trying to be “cool” which, of course, makes me want to laugh even more.
So, back to flower photos.
Which do you think looks the better flower?
I admit I am often more attentive to an offering in orange than one in pink. This is not a guy thing; it’s just that there are a lot of pink flowers around.
The Maka’eo walking path is a 0.7 miles loop surrounded by cultivated areas. Each area is distinct, and it looks as if people and/or groups take care of individual areas, customizing them to their tastes. Sometimes, ornaments are added as a way to augment or personalize the specific areas.
One area uses the above pig statues. The statues “move”; sometimes they are near each other, and sometimes one might look out from behind a plant while another is next to the walking path. It’s an interesting dynamic adding to the attraction of the plants themselves.
This one is a little strange and I wonder if it’s a tribute to a long-lost pet.
The area sports a lot of mongooses and a lot of cats. The cats are fed daily by a group that also solicits donations. The money is used to capture the cats and neuter and spay them before returning them to the park. The mongooses profit from the generosity of humans and can be seen feeding right next to the cats. I assume the cats have learned to leave them alone.
I mention the two because there are also . . .
I don’t know how fierce a chicken can be in a fight. Obviously, fierce enough so that they are not bothered by the cats or mongooses. But I also wonder if that’s the same for their eggs or, for that matter, any chick that might be born.
This guy certainly looks the part of a fierce protector . . .
Hey, look . . . more pink flowers!
But, also this . . .
That’s right . . . cacti. Flowering cacti, at that. there is quite a large area sporting nothing but cacti, some like I had never seen before (no, I’m not looking them up).
Some look like cacti I’m used to . . .
. . . but, what’s up with these?
I thought mullets went out of style back in the late 80s . . . or, maybe the early 80s. The point is, sometimes in the last century. Oh well . . . still not as bad as man-buns.
Anyway, here are a few more cacti . . .
We now know where Cousin Itt ended up . . .
These next succulents and these . . . other flowering plants were mingled with the cacti.
There is a particular palm that I quite like because it’s flat . . . meaning, the plant is arranged like a fan; wide when looking perpendicular and thin when looking on edge.
I’m not sure about the evolutionary advantage of such an arrangement . . . a good crosswind would put a lot of load on the trunk.
I mentioned decorations. Here’s an example that caught my eye.
Here are more chickens . . . the hen was quite shy. She kept hiding behind plants and this is the only good shot of her that I got.
This next plant surprised me . . . I had seen it before, but never with the grape-like fruits on it. At first, I thought perhaps someone had added the grapes on there, but no; they are the actual fruit of the plant.
Here are a few more conventional flowers before we look at the beach offerings.
The Old Kona Airport is right next to a beach. And I mean, the old tarmac is less than a hundred yards from the edge of the water. I showed this next photo before . . .
. . . but here are a few more offerings from the beach . . .
By the time I snapped these, we were ready to retreat to the relative semi-comfort of our rented condominium.
Sitting on the balcony, sipping some cold water, I snapped this sequence of one wave breaking . . .
Then, even though it was not quite sunset time, I went down to the shore to snap this shot . . .
So ended June 27th . . . at least as far as photos are concerned.
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