beyond the 49th
usa (un)patriot act
who am i?
Sat 19 Aug 2006
not much to say... again
life has changed again since i last posted. after a week and a half working with the kids (with whom i had a lot of fun) i could feel myself getting sick. without health insurance that's a very serious issue, so when the offer for a full-time position came in at goodwill industries of hawaii i had to take the job. i've been there for about a week and a half, and i'm still trying to learn everybody's name. it's a great group of people to work with, and the office ambience is warm and upbeat. in the afternoons when i get home, i spend my time watching the big screen (see the picture here) where the geckos hang out. at night i make sure to turn on the light in the carport so they have a good supply of insects to hunt. it's so much fun to watch them scurry about snatching flying bugs out of the air! there are several types of geckos here, but these house geckos are the most common. the other night i counted at least seven of them hanging out around the light in the carport, and one time i saw a gecko try to catch a moth that was bigger than him! they're amusing to say the least, and it makes me happy to watch lizards. since the people came to wash off the roof and the sides of the house, i've not seen any anoles, but i'm sure they're around still. i'll just have to sit outside one of these days when it's not raining and wait for them to come bob their heads at me.
when mum and i were up on the lava flats near kilauea i saw all these cool red flowers that look like little pompoms. the trees grow nicely in the lava, and i understand that they have the ability to sink their roots deep into the rocky soil, so they're very hardy trees. i'd heard the name lehua but i never knew what kind of flower it was until someone told me. the tree is an ohia tree, and the flower is a lehua flower. there's a neat legend that goes with it about pele and scorned lovers (you can read it on the link a couple lines up). i definitely need to learn more about the legends and lore of the hawaiian culture--it's wonderfully fascinating!
in the meantime, i've been working through the rain. the rain started shortly after mum went back to the mainland, and even though it's usually been raining at night there have been a few days when it was just downright stormy. since i work near the beach (though i can't see it from my office) i can take my lunch down to watch the waves crash on the lava rocks. on the day i took these pictures there were surfers just off the point. the weather, though cloudy and rainy, was warm and i was tempted to jump in the water if i hadn't had to go back to work! this point is where i sometimes sit to watch the cruise ships approaching the port in the morning and wonder why in the world people would want to be stuck on a moving mall with access to land for only a few hours every few days. though i love the sea and sailing, i can't imagine wanting to be stuck on a ship with a couple thousand strangers who want to party. maybe someday i'll take a cruise just to say i've done it, but for the time being, i'm looking for a friend who has a 21- to 45-foot sailboat who'd like to take me along some weekend. i'm not to bad at pulling lines, though my knee is still a bit wobbly! maybe i'll just have to look around for a small boat for sale and take myself sailing, eh? in the meantime, i'll have to content myself with watching from the shore.
so to everyone out there: have a wonderful time, and try to fill your life (and those around you) with aloha. believe me, it's much better with aloha!
Sat 05 Aug 2006
turtles... and more
right, it's been a hectic few weeks since i last posted, but my network connection has been so spotty that i've been relegated to updating from the coffee shop down the road. not a very good excuse, i know, but it'll have to do. due to the number of pictures i've posted on these recent entries, i've decided to reduce the number of entries on this main page to three. if you want to look at previous entries, check out the archives listed at the very bottom.
after looking for work for over six months on the mainland i've had nine interviews in the past week and a half. that and a part time job at a local school have taken up a lot of my time, but i did have the chance to take mum to punalu'u before she left. i've spent much time on beaches in my life…. i've walked on sandy and rocky beaches from baja california, mexico to vancouver, british columbia on the north american coast; a beautiful sandy beach with lots of cool shells near bahia, ecuador; a boardwalk on coney island, new york on the atlantic coast; several beaches and shorelines on the yucatan peninsula in mexico; beaches with european flare in the costa del sol and barcelona in spain. with all these beaches under my belt, i had never walked on a black sand beach… until punalu'u. it was gorgeous, and i hope to go back one of these days. the beach at punalu'u is one of the places where the hawaiian green sea turtles come to eat algae and bask on the beach, and there were at least six turtles in the surf while i was there. the experience was incomparable, spiritual, amazing to say the least. and yes, that is really a turtle head poking out of the water to take a breath. some day i dream of having underwater gear so i can get a decent photo of the turtles in their environment. for the time being, i'll have to settle for the sad pictures i can take myself and the amazing postcards everywhere.
on the way back from punalu'u we drove through the hawaii volcanoes national park and saw loads of lava (the cold kind). there are two types of lava: a'a which is rough and cools quickly, and pahoehoe which is smooth and folded and cools slowly. i never thought that the two types of lava would be so intermingled, but they are. the flows you can see throughout the park are impressive. i've visited several lava flows in the cascades and eastern oregon, but i can't ever recall seeing the pahoehoe that exists here. i tried to take several pictures to illustrate the different kinds of lava, but i don't know that i've done them justice. however, since i won't be going back up to the park for a long while they'll have to do. one thing that i love seeing is the remnants of trees in the lava—i don't know why it's so impressive, but i find it intriguing that the lava actually cools before the tree is completely destroyed leaving a mould of the tree. the lava forest in oregon is neat, but i'd never seen a lava tree quite as cool as this one. i guess the best way to cool lava is to put water on it, and kilauea does that in a very effective way by sending it's lava straight into the pacific ocean. if you're willing to take a long walk, you can approach the site where the lava enters the sea, but as you can probably imagine from my previous entry my knee wasn't really up for a long trek over rough trails. i'm forever grateful for a decent zoom lens on my little digital camera and a beautiful sunny day.
i have several more pictures, but barring severe rambling i've run out of words. i'll try to think of more things to say in the next entry, but for now i'll just let the pictures do the talking.
this is the halema'uma'u crater in the kilauea caldera. it's bigger than it looks here with steam and yellow sulfur-stained walls.
here the two main types of lava, pahoehoe and a'a, are visible. pahoehoe is smoother and lighter than the a'a. it's amazing to see the outer side of the volcano with this huge flow that came over the edge.
there are steam vents along road throughout the park. this one is fenced off near a parking area so people can approach it and look inside. it's hot!
and now back to hilo to look at coconut island in the bay. they've closed access to the island for the next seven months or so to do improvements. once it's open again, i'll go out there to get some more pictures of the bay.
quote of the moment:
Society is always diseased, and the best is the most so.
-Henry David Thoreau
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