A day of stuff

I like the word “stuff” . . . it offers an easy out when I can’t come up with a title for a post. It also sports a nonchalantness that speaks to confidence and aloofness while at the same time connects with the ordinariness of life, especially when referencing July 28th, a well known ordinary day. 

They call those “helmet urchins” and sometimes “shingle urchins” and they’re found at the boundary formed by immovable rocks clashing with dynamic oceans. These guys know something about holding on for dear life as powerful waves assault the shores of this island. 

. . . er . . . actually — at least on this side of the island — waves have been mighty scarce. We’re now on our sixth or seventh week without significant waves. No waves, no surfers . . . it’s been a long spell — a powerful long time — since I last snapped a photo of a surfer. Every day, the water sports a slight chop but is — for the most part — surprisingly calm. 

Anyway, on this ordinary day, I walked the shoreline near Casa de Emdeko, the place where we usually stayed when visiting the Big Island. I was hoping for some tidal pools dispersed along the rocky shores, but I came away somewhat disappointed. I mean, I saw some interesting things. Things like, for instance, my old friend Elephant Log . . . 

. . . and yet another bleached coral looking like a face (tilt your head sideways; if you don’t see it, try the other way) . . . 

In fact, everywhere I looked there were faces . . . 

By the way, that’s blatant false advertising . . . that object was easily identifiable; it’s a parasail . . . I could see the people hanging from it . . .  

Yes, all of these shots are from the Nikon P900. It was a very hot day and I didn’t feel like lugging around 15 pounds of photo equipment in a black shoulder pack. As it was, after forty minutes, I was literally drenched from dripping sweat. 

Here are some shots of the helmet urchins on shores caressed by gentle swells. 

I might have left you with the impression that I didn’t see much by way of tidepools, and that is correct . . . but I did see some. I’ll show most of the photos, but all of the photos are both in the gallery below and in the SmugMug Gallery HERE

A couple of things with those photos . . . those little black fish — they range from half-inch to as long as 4-5 inches — are very quick at hiding whenever you near the pools. You then have to stand there, not moving, for a little while before they venture out again.

The other things to note are all the shells. You can see it in a couple of instances, but those are all hermit crabs. 

Something else amazes me about these fish . . . they jump from pool to pool. I’m talking a couple of feet and occasionally more. So, for instance, it was common for me to walk up to a little pool and have the fish take running . . . er . . . swimming leaps into the next pool over. Sometimes, they jump two or three pools in quick succession.

So, here’s the thing . . . how do they know? How do they know about the other pool, where it is, and how far to jump? The explanation I have is that they “learn” the lay of the land — so to speak — when its underwater and then remember it when the tide recedes and all that’s left are the pools. 

Still, it seems like a leap of faith because they have no way of knowing if there’s water in the next pool over or — if there is — how much. Leap of faith . . . get it? They jump . . . nevermind, it’s not important. 

Anyway, I’m impressed. They always seem to know which way to jump and land in the middle of the next pool. I’ve never seen one jump and land on dry lava.

You might have noticed the water is limpid . . . 

Overall, the ocean is pretty clear . . . except, you know, for all the fish excrement, microorganism, and FSM knows what else swims around in there that we cannot see. It also helped that I was shooting with a circular polarizer, thus eliminating most of the reflection from the top of the water.  

As usual, lots of crabs around . . . 

Most are small, but a few — like that last one — were a good size. They also blend in pretty well.

. . . and they are quick, hence why some of the shots are blurred. Yeah, that’s right. It’s not the photographer’s fault; it’s the subjects that screw things up. 

But, back to the pools . . . 

It sure looks like there’s not much happening, don’t it?

Don’t you envy them? A pretty simple life, completely unaware of two idiots threatening nuclear destruction on each other. 

Oops! . . . I really don’t want to go there. Maybe I’ll do a post about the human condition and the assholes who actively diminish its quality. But not today. 

Today, we watch these little suckers — literally.

Here’s another short clip . . . 

For them interested, the above — save the limpid water shot — are all from this one pool . . . 

A microcosm all onto itself, roughly four feet by one foot wide. 

This next shot is of the Kona Body Glove, one of Kona’s tour boats, coming back from an excursion. The photo is grainy because it was at maximum zoom; the boat was about 150 yards or so from my position on shore. 

I’m only showing it as an intro to the video of it . . . 

I find it interesting that the videos appear better than the still photos. Then again, the videos are seldom shot at maximum magnification. 

Let me show you a few more things you see when walking with your eyes looking down.

Something that looks like a potato stuck in the lava . . . 

. . . a sea slug in a shallow pool . . . 

. . . a very interesting collage of broken coral along with a larger piece that must have been worn smooth by the wave action . . . 

Here’s a closeup of the broken coral pieces along with a mixture of shell remains . . . 

But, that grapefruit-sized piece of coral really held my interest. I very much wanted to grab it and add it to my 10-20 pounds worth of samples from beaches around the island. Except, I don’t know what I would do with it . . . still, I now regret not grabbing it. 

If you click on the photo, you can see its interesting texture. I think it would have made for an excellent macro subject. 

These next three shots were snapped because I plan on using them for some of the Deep Dream combinations. Plus, you know, they look interesting. 

Same area with a progressively longer zoom. If the sequence seems to get darker, that’s because the sun decided to hide behind a cloud as I was shooting. 

I’ll end with a series of shots of a gate. That’s right; one of them rolling gates that keep people from coming into your driveway. 

There are three gates I’ve been meaning to photograph, and this is one of them. You got to admit it’s pretty cool.

The waterfront house sits on a small private lot. At 1,400 square feet, it’s larger than most, and it looks well maintained. It can be yours for a mere $1,999,900. A bargain, really; I mean, it looks much better than many of the homes along Aliʻi drive, including some of the shacks directly opposite it  . . . plus, you get the neat gate with it. But, you know, it must cost a lot to insure for even a small tsunami will do some damage.

Here are a few close-ups of some of the features. There are a few more photos in the gallery below. 

And that was a day of stuff. Well, really, only a few hours of it. The rest of the day we were back at the condo, sitting in front of multiple fans and trying not to move too much.

Here is the gallery of all the photos from July 28, 2017.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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