Category Archives: Maui

Cattle Egret

Maui (1380 of 2119)

I had been photographing Hawaiian stilts, coots and ducks when a flash of white caught my attention, from the thicket of tree across the pond. The sunlight and the shadows from the tree’s branches played on that magnificent bird, highlighting it from its surroundings.

It turned out to be a cattle egret, with its bright yellow to reddish sharp bill, red legs, bright white plumage accented by a red or brownish patch on its forehead. I had no doubt it was aware of my presence as it continued poking around the base of the tree for some insects. Eventually, it strolled away, hidden by the long grass and bushes.



Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Maui (959 of 2119)

We stood high above the clouds
Surrounded by silence
Until a soft whisper of wind
Pulled us from our reverie
Drawing attention to a scene far below
Where, at the foot of the volcano
Raindrops mixed with bright sunlight
Creating this indelible image
A soft ribbon of diaphanous colours
For a moment, if you listened closely
You could hear a familiar island refrain
Carried by the unique melodic twang
Only a tenor ukulele could make

Hawaiian Coot (ʻalae kea)

Maui (1330 of 2119)

The Hawaiian coot is an endangered species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, with a population estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 birds. I came across this coot at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Its distinctive bright white frontal shield (sometimes with a red patch) and its deep red eyes are quite striking. A member of the rail family, its feet are not webbed, but it is a good swimmer.


Splashing Around

Giant of the sea
Mighty elegance in flight
Just splashing around

Privileged to see
Humbled by the spectacle

This is a sequence of a humpback whale breaching by a fishing boat, with the slopes of Kaho’olawe Island in the background. I caught these from the beach at Kamaole II in Kihei, Maui HI, and I would estimate the distance to be at least 2 miles from the beach, but maybe as much as 5 miles (not sure). Shot with Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 55-300mm lens.

Koholā (Whale) Festival Parade, Maui. Strike up the band!

Maui (657 of 2119)

Everyone gets up early in Kihei (I may be generalizing a little, but not much), which explains why I wasn’t surprised to see South Kihei Rd lined up with a crowd by the time the parade got under way, at 9:00am. Most favoured the south side of the road, taking advantage of the shade afforded by the trees and buildings, as the early morning sun already warmed things up.

Maui (600 of 2119)

Everybody loves a parade! Colourful performers, impressive floats, dignitaries and pageant winners, boats, dogs, roller skaters, mermaids and even a whale! The music of pipe bands, drums and marching bands imparts their rhythm to the parade. The Whale Day Parade was no exception. The Isle of Maui Pipe Band led the parade; Seabury Hall Middle School Marching Band played on in the middle of the pack; Chestermere High School Concert & Jazz Band—from Alberta, Canada of all places!—brought up the rear.

But one distinctive sound could be heard wherever you stood along the parade; its magic made you tap your feet. As the sound drew nearer, bodies began to dance under its spell. The echoes of the drums reverberated on the structures along the way. Seated on the sides of a pick-up box, the drummers beat their drums with abandon, hands moving quicker than the eye could see, hypnotizing those spectators brave enough to watch without blinking. Their smiles seemed to outshine the sun, their energy communicated to everyone along the way. They were Drum & Dance of Passion. Groove. Sound waves of Happiness.

Kukuluae’o (Hawaiian Stilt)

Maui (1329 of 2119)
The Hawaiian stilt (Kukuluae’o).

Much is said about the endangered Kukuluae’o, the Hawaiian stilt, at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Stilt(s) seems like a most appropriate description for its red legs that look disproportionately long and at times awkward for the size of its body. I kept expecting to watch them tip forward, head first into the water, but that never happened.

As if dressed formally in a black tuxedo with a bright white shirt, this skinny-legged bird tip-toes through the shallow water in search of food, which it catches with its sharp long black bill. The bird’s call emitted from a mouth that seems spring loaded shut, consists of a series of unmistakable loud shrieks that are sure to get everyone’s attention.

Makena (Big) Beach; A Ka nāpo’o ‘ana o ka lā (sunset) story, Part 3

Maui (805 of 2119)

The few white puffy clouds provided little respite from the mid-afternoon sun. When I started to sizzle, literally, I ventured out into the salty Pacific water to brave the strong shore-break waves of Big Beach at Makena State Park, on Maui’s southwest tip. I was surprised at how warm the water felt. I swam, I floated, I let the powerful waves carry me back to the shore, again and again. The turquoise water so clear, I could see my feet.

A little later, the young lady sitting on the beach a few feet from us went for a swim wearing her wide-brim straw hat, never losing it, not even once. Her long, powerful, even strokes propelled her down the beach; she swam gracefully, gliding across the water, all the while keeping that large hat on her head. She smiled at us on her way back to her spot in the hot sand. A connection. Kindred spirits for a short while, enjoying the hot sand, the refreshing water, the beat of the surf, and later the sunset.

I set up my tripod on the dune at the edge of the brush, getting ready for daylight to give way to dusk. I returned to my beach chair.

— Getting some good shots? the young lady asked, shielding her eyes from the bright sun.

Caught by surprise, a little, I snapped a couple more of the beach, and of my wife sitting on her beach chair.

— I did, thanks! How about you? She waved her smartphone with a thumbs up.

It seemed people left the beach too soon, like fans flocking from the arena when the outcome of the game is already decided; the home team won’t come back. Maybe that’s how beachgoers felt as the clouds moved swiftly across the sun, convinced the game was out of reach. I could count on the fingers of both hands the remaining faithful bystanders who weren’t keeping score. The bright red ball appeared to slide down the Kaho’olawe Island slopes, into the jagged edges of the darkening ocean.

— Good luck with those beach chairs! she said, as we walked away with the chairs still open (I had fussed with them a few minutes—the bad news bears—and capitulated, afraid to break them), the connection about to be broken.

A few hundred feet up the beach, I managed to “unlock” the chairs and fold them, letting out a scream of victory, pointing my fist to the sky. A wave. Goodbye.

Maui (816 of 2119)