Ah, confession time! I’m experiencing a lack of motivation to shoot pictures now that we’re home…after spending 2 glorious weeks in Hawaii where there are so many spectacular things to photograph, I’m struggling here to find stuff!!!! But then again, I’ve been pretty busy since we’ve been back and really haven’t gone looking for anything to shoot.
So, by the wonder of hard disk drive storage, we are going back to Hawaii tonight for today’s picture, but it could have been taken anywhere. One evening I went down to Hanalei Bay to shoot some pictures and I found this rather large pile of moss-covered logs at the edge of the beach where the Hanalei River flows into the bay. I thought that they were rather interesting with the moss and surf swirling among them and I took quite a few pictures of it. Some were including the sky and mountains on the western side of the bay (the mythical Bali Hai from the movie South Pacific) but opted to show this one for the moss.
So, if you would call me a “stick in the mud” for not being more motivated to shoot something around here since returning, well, maybe it’s because I’m thinking about these logs in the sand at sunset on a faraway, tropical beach!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1964, the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Prize was notified that they had won the award. The man’s name: Martin Luther King, Jr. King didn’t keep the money ($54,000 then – which was a lot of money in 1964) but donated the money from the prize to help promote civil rights in the United States.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In 1552, Mary Queen of Scots became the first woman to play golf at St. Andrews (where golf is still played to this day!) It may have had something to do with the fact that she was the club’s founder…and queen!!!!
A few days back, I posted a shot taken from the boat off the Na Pali coast in Kauai. I said that, if requested, I’d post at least one more of the place, and there were some requests, so today, through the magic of hard disk drives we are revisiting Na Pali again.
Let me tell you the reasons I like this picture. First, I like the colors. Second, I like the rugged wildness of it. Third, I like the clouds obscuring the tops of the razor-edged ridges. And fourth (I wouldn’t realize this until after I looked at it after I got back), the roots of the ridges where they enter the surf remind me of the feet/toed claws of an immense dragon. Can you see it? If you look closely, you can even imagine the claws coming out of the toes of the fearsome creature! But fear not…I vanquished the dragon and all is safe and well!!!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1969, the BBC broadcast the first episode of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, as show that would go on to claim a huge world-wide cult audience, and which introduced people such as John Cleese to audiences.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In Breton, Alabama, there is a law on the books banning riding down the main street in a motorboat. To top that, in Chico, CA, it is against the law to detonate a nuclear device in the city limits. Go figure!!!!
Today’s picture isn’t particularly pretty…nor is the subject. Don’t worry…we are doing just fine. But when we were on Kauai, we learned about a very sad custom that the ancient Hawaiians practiced.
The picture today is of the remains of a heiau. Heiau’s were places of worship for the ancient Hawaiians and they built rocky enclosures to mark out the boundaries of these holy places. Just a short distance off the main north/south road around the eastern side of Kauai is the heiau in today’s picture. A tour guide had described this practice the day before, and we went back to take some pictures.
In today’s picture, towards the middle bottom of the photo you will see a stone slab. This slab was used by the queen of the high king to give birth. The king lived high up in the mountains (probably because of some superstitious belief that he was a god-like character), and when his wife was ready to give birth, she would come down to this particular heiau, lay down on the stone slab and have her baby.
If the child was a daughter, all was fine. If the child was a boy, however, things could be difficult. In order to determine if the boy was worthy to be the son of the king and to eventually rule in his father’s place, the umbilical cord of the baby boy would be wrapped in ti leaves and left outside the door of the little hut that used to surround the birth slab. If, during the night, no rats came and ate the umbilical cord, the baby was considered worthy to follow in his father’s footsteps and to be king. But, if the rats did come and eat the cord, the child was considered unworthy – and he would be killed.
Here’s the photo of the heiau and the stone birth slab:
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1957, the first earth satellite, Sputnik I, was launched by the Soviet Union and circled the earth every 95 minutes at a speed of 2000 miles per hour. It fell from the sky on January 4, 1958.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Some sloths, possums and armadillos spend up to 80% of their lives sleeping. (I think I know some people who may be part sloth, possum or armadillo!)
Ah! Connectivity! I’m glad to be “back in touch!” Isn’t it strange how dependent we become on technology? I remember when there were no such things as laptop or notebook PC’s, cell phones, etc., and when you left work at the end of the day, you literally left work behind!!! Sure, you could do paperwork, but nothing “automated.” Now, we just can’t get away from it, can we? And, if as has been the case for me the last couple of days, we are out of touch virtually entirely, we get antsy! ‘Nuff said.
On Kauai, one of the sights we saw was Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” It is located in the heart of the island, way up in the mountains where deluges often take place. We were so blessed to find a clear (well, mostly clear) day to see it.
Here’s a shot of the canyon – and I think that you’ll be able to understand why they call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is a beautiful place – not quite up to par with the real Grand Canyon, but worth a look:
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1906, “SOS” was established as the international distress call. It replaced “CQD”, which meant “all stations – urgent!”
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The language of Taki, spoken in parts of French Guinea, consists of only 340 words.
When we came to Kauai, part of my hopes were to see Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The story goes that Mark Twain gave it that name, but over here I learned that Mark Twain never set foot on Hawaiian soil, so I don’t know where the name comes from. The last time Laurel and I were here (about 29 years ago) we drove up the long, winding road to try to see it, but it was dumping rain and you couldn’t even see 10 feet, let alone see down into the canyon. (Kauai got its nickname of “Garden Isle” partly because it gets so much rain and things are lush and green in the mountains and all along the north coast. In fact, up in the mountains in Kauai, Mount Waialiale holds the unofficial world record for rainfall in a single year – over 700 inches, with an average of 444 inches each year!!!) So, my impressions of it were formed on what I could see in photographs that others had taken. So, my hopes were high that this time we’d have good weather to see it. And we did.
You may have noticed that I’ve not yet posted a picture of it, and I’m not posting one today. I will – I promise! Probably tomorrow (Friday.)
On Wednesday, we splurged and took a dinner cruise starting from Port Allen on the south shore of Kauai around the west end of the island up along the Na Pali coast. One of the crew noticed that I was toting my Canon and engaged me in a discussion about cameras and photography (that seems to happen a lot!) He asked if we’d seen the Waimea Canyon yet and I told him we had. He said that it is so beautiful there, and that perhaps the Na Pali coast is the only other thing on Kauai that can rival it for beauty. I thought to myself, “Well, Waimea Canyon was beautiful but not stunningly beautiful” (I know, I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!) “so I hope that Na Pali isn’t a disappointment!”
Well, it wasn’t. In my humble opinion, Waimea Canyon totally pales in comparison to the Na Pali coast. I’d seen photos of it before, but seeing it in person was breathtaking!!!! So today’s picture was taken on Wednesday. A few comments before showing the photo. Bear in mind that we were on a bobbing (really bobbing!) boat out in the ocean – and to top it off, it was overcast and raining for much of the time that we were off the Na Pali coast. In some ways that was disappointing, but in other ways, it made for many great pictures of the pinnacles of the Na Pali mountains as they soared and disappeared into the misty clouds. It did make for interesting exposure challenges, though – between the movement of the boat and brightness of the fog, the darkness of the shadows in the mountains and occasional peek-a-boo doses of sunlight!
Some of the cliffs at Na Pali (the name means “the cliffs”) rise to over 4000 feet above sea level, and some are sheer drops of over 1000 feet straight into the ocean. Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, formed by volcanic activity long ago.
I wish I could bring the west coast of Kauai home with me. If you like this picture, let me know (you can post comments below and they are automatically emailed to me) and I may post some more in the future. I have a hunch that when God wants a vacation (not that He gets tired because He never sleeps or slumbers!) I think He must go to the Na Pali area. In fact, I thought I could hear Him passing by…
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: The best thing that ever happened on this day is that my oldest granddaughter, Kailani (what a lovely name and lovely young lady!) was born in 2002! Happy birthday to Kailani, who stole my heart on the day she was born and never has given it back.
In 1955, James Dean, the brooding film actor who won acclaim in “Giant”, “East of Eden” and “Rebel Without a Cause”, died in a car crash in Cholame, California, a tiny farm town. Dean, was killed when his Porsche Spider ran into another car, head-on at 75 miles an hour. Dean’s mechanic also died in the crash.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Halle Berry turned down the role of Annie in the 1994 film, Speed. The role was taken by Sandra Bullock, playing opposite Keanu Reeves. The movie did great things for both actors and catapulted Sandra Bullock to super-stardom!
One of the things that made me excited about coming to Hawaii was to try to capture some sunsets. I’ve never done much sunset photography before, and I must admit, it’s more of a challenge than you’d think! So, after scouting around for what I thought might be a good vantage point, on Tuesday evening I settle for the eastern end of the horseshoe-shaped Hanalei Bay. It looks westward, directly towards the setting sun.
There is, however, one complication right now. The north shore (where we are) has been getting hammered with large waves. You don’t see them inside of Hanalei Bay that much, but they throw up salt spray into the air, causing a hazy appearance. Our tour guide on Tuesday told us that when really big waves hit here (in the winter – we’re just on the cusp of the Hawaiian winter in October), the spray can rise as high as 1000 feet. So, there is a hazy appearance to most pictures that shot with a low angle of light as is the case in this picture.
So, back to the story of this picture. There’s a little park at that end of Hanalei Bay and cars park in a lot and also right on the beach. In order to get this shot, I had to shoot from inside the park, not right from the beach. I would have liked to have more of the ground in the foreground of the picture, but if I’d done that, you’d see cars there, so I cropped them out.
Still, all I can say is, “Ah, Hawaiian sunsets!” I hope you enjoy!!!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1975, PLO chairman Yassir Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, signed an accord which was intended to give control of much of the west bank to the Palestinians. Sadly, history shows us how well it worked…
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The government of the country of Finland is in charge of manufacturing all of the nation’s vodka, something it has done for centuries, even though Finland is a democracy.
The thing that really strikes one about Hawaii is the color of blue. Here on Kauai, there’s plenty of green, too, but blue is far and away the predominant color. The sky is a richer blue than on the mainland, and the ocean is an unbelievable blue. Just when you start to think you’ve seen the prettiest blue there is, then another blue vista opens before your eyes. It is paradise for someone who loves the color blue…as does Laurel.
This picture I took Sunday afternoon as we were driving along the north shore towards the end of the road. We just pulled off the road and fired off a few shots. Again…this picture is pretty much right out of the camera. I did have the circular polarizing filter on to cut down glare, but other than that, it’s a straight conversion from a RAW image from the camera (which is the way I shoot most of my pictures) to the jpeg you see here.
We saw more today, but a picture from today will be in tomorrow’s post. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the roar of the surf and the trade winds as they caress you! Let the picture transport you to this tranquil place.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: On this day in 1825, the first locomotive to pull a passenger was operated by George Stephenson in England.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY:Boredom can lead to madness in parrots. When caged by themselves and neglected for long periods of time, these intelligent, sociable birds can easily become mentally ill. Many inflict wounds upon themselves, develop strange tics, and rip out their own feathers. The birds need constant interaction, affection, and mental stimulation; some bird authorities have determined that some parrot breeds have the mental abilities of a 5-year-old human child. Should a neglected parrot go mad, there is little that can be done to restore it to normalcy. In England, there are “mental institutions” for such unfortunate creatures.
Saturday afternoon, after eating lunch surrounded by the trade winds and watching surfers glide over the ocean, we drove up to Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” It’s located on the inside of the island of Kauai, and they tell you that it was formed by three rivers. When Laurel and I were last here about 29 years ago, it was dumping rain and we couldn’t even see over the edge. But Saturday looked like a promising day to venture up to the canyon, so we headed off.
We were not disappointed. There are numerous places you can stop to see the canyon, and it was indeed beautiful (I’m sure I will share a picture of it before much more time passes), but the sight that took my breath away was past the main overlook for the canyon at a place called the Pu’u o Kila Lookout. This is not a canyon lookout at all. The valley associated with it is the Kalalau Valley and is the largest valley on Kauai’s Na Pali coast. It is a breathtaking view of sheer mountains, a lush valley and the shimmering Pacific beyond. At this point, I believe the elevation is 5100 feet – give or take a bit.
At the top of the picture you will see clouds that are actually reflected in the surface of the ocean. I could have sat at this spot the rest of the week and not felt that I’d wasted my time in the slightest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Believe it or not, this shot is pretty much straight out of the camera. I was using my 28-135mm telephoto lens with a polarizing filter to cut down glare, but other than that, what you see is what we saw.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1887, Emile Berliner filed for a patent on the “gramophone”, the predecessor to the record player. He built on the work of Thomas Edison.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: In the ’60’s, actors from the Andy Griffith Show, Green Acres, and Gomer Pyle served as spokepersons for Jello brand instant jello pudding.