Tag Archives: Kaua’i

Wordless Wednesday-Wet & Wild Wednesday

Bicolored Anthius, Convict Tang, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii

Bicolored Anthius, Convict Tang, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii

Convict Tang, Orangespine Surgeonfish, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii


Raccoon Butterflyfish, Koloa, Kauai

Raccoon Butterflyfish, Koloa, Kauai

Raccoon Butterflyfish, Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse, Koloa, Kauai

Orangespine Surgeonfish, Koloa, Kauai

Convict Tang, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, P-K Beach

Convict Tang, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, P-K Beach

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Christmas Day at Polihale Beach

On Christmas Day Eric and I decided to go to Polihale Beach before exploring Waimea Canyon. Polihale is an extraordinarily beautiful and uncrowded beach on Kaua’i’s isolated west side. It is known for its 17 mile stretch of golden sand and hot, cloudless days. You can see the beginning cliffs of Na Pali from the northern end of the beach. I thought it was one of the loveliest places I have ever been.

For the ancient Hawai’ians Polihale was the site of a heiau (temple) from which they believed the souls of the dead departed for Po, the underworld.

The trip to Polihale involves 5 miles down a sandy road which is not suitable for 2-wheel-drive vehicles. We had to assist a group in a sedan which became stuck in the sand. Here are some photos from that day:

Polihale Beach, Kauai

Polihale Beach, Kauai

Polihale Beach, Kauai

Polihale Beach, Kauai

Polihale Beach, Kauai

Polihale Beach, Kauai

I purposely over-exposed a few photos to try to duplicate the effect of a beach painting. What do you think of the result?

Polihale Beach, Kauai

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Kaua’i Sunset

Sunset, Kuhio Shores, Kauai, Hawaii

Sunset, Kuhio Shores, Kauai, Hawaii

Sunset, Kuhio Shores, Kauai, Hawaii

Sunset, Kuhio Shores, Kauai, Hawaii

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Wordless Wednesday

Aloe vera, Agavaceae, Barbados aloe, medicinal aloe.

Aloe vera, Agavaceae, Barbados aloe, medicinal aloe.

Native Yellow Hibiscus Pua Aloalo or Ma`o-hau- hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray)

Hawaiian red hibiscus Kokio, Kokio Ula, Kokio Ulaula, Maku (Hibiscus kokio)

Hawaiian red hibiscus Kokio, Kokio Ula, Kokio Ulaula, Maku (Hibiscus kokio)

Hawaiian White Hibiscus, Koki'o Kea (Hibiscus immaculatus)

Ornamental Ti, Ki ( Cordyline australis).

Ornamental Ti, Ki ( Cordyline australis)

Bromeliad, Guzmania lingulata, Scarlet star, Orange star.

Mindanoa Gum tree (Eucalyptus deglupta)

Orchid.

Orchid.

Orchid.

`Awapuhi Kuahiwi, Wild ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)


Banana, Mai'a (Musa paradisiaca) tree in bloom.


Chenille plant (Acalypha hispida).


Heliconia.


Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa).


Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae).


Unknown lovely shrub


Starfruit (Averrhoa carambola).


Menemerus bivittatus


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Wordless Wednesday-Wild Wednesday

Waimea Canyon Lookout, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Waimea Canyon Lookout, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Waimea Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Waimea Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Waimea Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Kalalau Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Pu'u o Kila Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.


'Apapane, Pu'u o Kila Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

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Sea Turtles, Whales, and Dolphins Oh My!

A highlight of our Kaua’i vacation was a catamaran snorkel cruise that included a trip to the Na Pali Coast. This fifteen-mile stretch of rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kaua’i literally means “the Cliffs.” Much of the Na Pali Coast is inaccessible because of its sheer cliffs that drop straight down for thousands of feet into the ocean. Sailing, rafting and hiking are the best ways to experience the beauty of Na Pali.

We left from Port Allen at 7:30 a.m. It was already almost 70 degrees F, and the trade winds were very light.

Catamaran identical to the one that we sailed on.

Catamaran identical to the one that we sailed on.


Cute tour guides!

The local tour guides were really nice!


Eric Norris, island hair.

Eric enjoyed the view from the bridge of the catamaran.

As we prepared for snorkeling, I saw this beautiful Tropicbird hovering above the swim deck. I did not have a birding lens with me, but this beautiful bird is worth sharing, even if the photo is imperfect.

White-tailed Tropicbird

White-tailed Tropicbird

We spent an hour or so snorkeling in the beautiful coral reefs. The coral and the fish were beautiful, but my underwater camera equipment was totally inadequate. However, the sea turtles stayed around after we finished snorkeling. Chelonia mydas, commonly known as Green Sea Turtles (Honu) are abundant in warm Hawai’ian waters. They feed on sea grasses below the surface.

Hawai'ian Green Sea Turtle (Honu).

Hawai'ian Green Sea Turtle (Honu).


Honu, another view.

Honu, another view.

As we powered toward the Na Pali coast (the winds were too calm for sailing) we passed abandoned sugar mills.

Abandoned sugar mill in Waimea, Kaua'i.

Abandoned sugar mill in Waimea, Kaua'i.


The sugar industry has gone through a dramatic transformation in the past decade following previous decades of decline. It dropped from 55 farms producing 6.5 million tons of cane in 1990 to only two farms producing 2.1 million tons of cane in 2002. Sugar production has been largely replaced by corn seed production. Corn represents the core seed product in Hawaii, representing $214 million of the industry’s value last year.

We could see the Forbidden Island of Ni’ihau in the distance.

The forbidden island of Ni'ihau.

The forbidden island of Ni'ihau.

As we continued past the Pacific Range Missle Facility and Barking Sands beach we saw our first Humpback Whales. I was able to photograph parts of whales.

Humpback Whale seen off Barking Sands Beach.

Humpback Whale seen off Barking Sands Beach.


Humpback Whale seen off Barking Sands Beach.

Humpback Whale, another view.

Not long afterwards we were approached by a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. We enjoyed watching them as they swam alongside the catamaran.

Bottlenose dolphins swimming toward the catamaran.

Bottlenose dolphins swimming toward the catamaran.


This Bottlenose Dolphin came right up to the boat.

This Bottlenose Dolphin came right up to the boat.


The initial views of the Na Pali coast were breathtaking.
View of the Na Pali Coast.

View of the Na Pali Coast.


View of the Na Pali Coast.

A closer view of the Na Pali Coast.


As we admired the wonderful scenery, the captain of the boat spotted a pod of Spinner Dolphins directly ahead. Their antics were totally enchanting, and they put on a marvelous display for us.
Spinner Dolphin

Spinner Dolphin flip.


Spinner Dolphin

Spinner Dolphin dive.


Spinner Dolphin

Spinner Dolphin acrobatics.

After some additional time out on the ocean we began our return trip. The sun on the Na Pali cliffs was beautiful.

Cliffs on the Na Pali Coast.

Cliffs on the Na Pali Coast.


Lovely waterfall on the Napali Coast.

Lovely waterfall.


We were fortunate to see more migrating Humpback Whales on the way back to Port Allen.
Migrating Humpback Whale

This migrating Humpback Whale …


Migrating Humpback Whale

… begins its dive …


Migrating Humpback Whale

… and waves good-bye.


It was a perfect end to a wonderful day.

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Limahuli Garden

While we were on vacation my son Eric and I drove to Ha’ena State Park in Kaua’i, which is located almost as far north and west as you can drive on the island, to visit Limahuli Garden National Tropical Botanical Garden. It is a beautiful, peaceful place and an excellent place to see many native Hawai’ian plants as well as some spectacular scenery.

The 700-year-old rock terraces of the Kalo (Taro) garden were very beautiful.

These rock wall terraces in the Kalo (Taro) garden at Limahuli Garden are 700 years old.

700-year-old rock wall terraces in the Kalo (Taro) garden at Limahuli Garden.

Kalo (Taro) at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i

Kalo (Taro)

Peaceful waterfall feature in the kalo garden at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Peaceful waterfall feature in the kalo garden.

View up the mountainside at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

View up the mountainside.

‘Uala (sweet potato) was brought to Hawai’i by the Polynesians as a food crop.

'Uala (sweet potato) at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

'Uala (sweet potato)


There were Mai’a (banana) plants and Ki (Ti) plants in many colors in this part of the Garden too.
Mai'a (banana) tree at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Mai'a (banana) tree.


Ki (Ti) plants, Limuhuli Garden, Hae'na, Kaua'i.

Ki (Ti) plants.

The Pua Aloalo (hibiscus) blossoms were spectacular. Here are some of them:

Hibiscus flower at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Hibiscus flower at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Hibiscus flowers at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Hibiscus flowers at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Hibiscus flower at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

There were other beautiful flowering trees and plants as well.

Royal Poinciana flowering tree at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Royal Poinciana flowering tree.

`Ōhi`a lehua flower, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

`Ōhi`a lehua flower


Ko‘oko‘olau plant Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i

Ko‘oko‘olau


Heliconia Caribaea at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Heliconia Caribaea


'Awapuhi (shampoo ginger) at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

'Awapuhi (shampoo ginger)


Gardenia at Limahuli Garden Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Gardenia

This beautiful spot for contemplation showcases Hala trees in the background. The leaves (lau) of the Hala tree were woven into useful items by native Hawai’ians, and it is still woven into useful items today.

A lovely contemplation spot with Hala trees at Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

A lovely contemplation spot with Hala trees.

The Makana Mountain ridge makes a beautiful backdrop for the garden. This is the mountain that was popularized as Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific.

Makana Mountain ridge, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Makana Mountain ridge.

Fiddle-head Fern, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Fiddle-head Fern.

When I reached the top of the trail I could see the ocean as I looked past Makana.

Looking past Makana to the ocean, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Looking past Makana to the ocean.

There were many lovely, fragrant Queen Emma lilies on the path back to the visitor’s center.

Queen Emma lily, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Queen Emma lily.


Even though the Plumeria branches were bare for the winter, they still had beautiful blossoms.
Plumeria plant with winter bare branches and flowers, Limahuli Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Plumeria plant with winter bare branches and flowers.

As I sat under a mango tree in one last contemplation area near the end of the trail I saw a flash of red. I saw a Northern Cardinal foraging in the bushes. Northern Cardinals were introduced to Hawai’i in the late 1920’s. I did not have a telephoto lens with me, but I was able to get close enough to take a photo of him with a portrait lens.

Northern Cardinal, Limhule Garden, Ha'ena, Kaua'i.

Northern Cardinal.


Limahuli Garden and Preserve received the 1997 American Horticultural Society’s award as the best natural botanical garden in the United States. It is a wonderful place to visit.

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