Archive for January, 2015

Okolehao Trail (Kauai-Part 2)

January 29, 2015

“De Plane, De Plane!”

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As Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island would say in his suave Mexican accent, “I believe that is the mountain plateau the plane flies alongside to land in Fantasy Island.”

“Smiles everyone. Smiles!”

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You call that a smile Eric?

Okay so we’re gasping. It’s our first hike – on the morning of our first full day in Kauai – and we’re ascending the Okolehao trail. (Why hadn’t I whipped myself into better physical shape for this trip?)

Stephanie settles against a banyan tree

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We got there though. Here we are on a high plateau.

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My brain has implanted itself on my t-shirt.

Another view:

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You are looking at Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai. To get to the trailhead from Princeville you make an immediate left after crossing the Hanalei bridge. Then you drive about a mile and it’s right there. You know, in case you’re in the area of Princeville. Here is a nice link with more photos and information about the Okolehao trail.

David is leading the way down now

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The rest of us are attempting to follow

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On the way back we meet a fiddlehead.

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A furled frond of a young fawn, I mean fern.

We also come upon a very shy plant – a miniature dark seafoam green cousin of the fern maybe?

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Nestled amongst the grasses. It likes to disguise itself as other ferns and vice versa. We don’t really understand this plant; it becomes very closed up and withdrawn when you touch it. Here – in this video you see David touching the leaves:


Does the plant suffer from some sort of reactive detachment anxiety? Is it a carnivore? Maybe a form of Venus fly trap too gentle to capture anything? I Googled “plant in Kauai that folds up when you touch it” and it came right up. It’s called mimosa pudica. Scientists think the plant uses its ability to shrink as a defense from herbivores. Animals may be afraid of a fast moving plant and would rather eat a less active one. (For sure.) Another possible explanation is that the sudden movement dislodges harmful insects (and most certainly scares the crap out of them).

In Kauai the plant is known as the hila-hila plant. Other common names include tickle-me-plant, humble plant, touch-me-not, shameful plant, sensitive plant, ant plant… It is native to South America and Central America but has been introduced to many other regions and is regarded as an invasive species in Tanzania, South Asia and South East Asia and many Pacific Islands. In the USA, it grows in Florida, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the Virgin Islands.

In other words, you’re probably already familiar with it.

Mimosa pudica protects itself from humans eating it too. I’m not inclined to eat a fast moving salad. I’d rather eat a less active one. Especially after drinking one of Victor’s killer Margaritas.

We’re Baaaack!

January 25, 2015

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What the heck is this, Jody? You fancy yourself some high falutin’ crappy aerial photographer now?

Why yes!, I mean no. I just thought you’d like to come along with us (David, me and my brother Eric) on another trip to Paradise. Pinch yourself! You are now flying over south San Francisco. Why that must be the Golden Gate Bridge ahead!

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Okay so it isn’t the Golden Gate bridge. It’s just some other crappy bridge. Well, snap on your neck pillows, don your eye patches, shove in your ear plugs (or not – but they sure help insulate you from the high-pitched engine noise) – settle yourself in for the five-hour flight to Lihue, Kauai!

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 1PM- we have just landed in Lihue, and are headed up to Princeville – on the northern shore of the Garden Isle – for our 10-day visit with Steph and Victor.

ALOHA, KAUAI!

Not again, you say? NO!! PEOPLE ARE SICK of hearing about our wonderful stupid trips to Paradise. Plus, once I get started I just blog on endlessly. I know. I was telling myself this. I AM NOT BLOGGING. Until … we were back on Larsen’s Beach, had prodded Eric and David past the nude bathers, and came upon a Monk seal napping on the shore

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Then Eric cozied up to a new scaly, thick skinned companion.

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who could likely whip around and bite his head off (don’t piss her off, Eric). Was she laying eggs or something? Why else would the sea turtle be resting up on the sand?

The beach was beautiful

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not a cloud in the sky that day.

We walked to the end of Pakala point – and picnicked by the arch

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Coming back we saw Nene Geese – the Kauai state bird:

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An endangered species. We spotted many more Nene geese in the wilds this year than last, very encouraging.

We climbed over that hill and came across an Albatross Nesting area – I caught this photo of a nesting albatross

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Pretty soon Victor’s shoe started acting up.

The talking shoe

The talking shoe

Like, really complaining.

Eric and David were on it.

Manly men

Manly men

We stumbled right into a pile of fishing rigging that had washed ashore.

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Eric started operating

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We all stepped in to help

Still life with feet

Still life with feet

Fine result!

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Victor’s new look:

Highly paid consultant

Highly paid consultant

Of course the shoe was complaining again before we made it back.

For those with an artist’s bent, here is a still life for you, you know, maybe you can paint it:

Beer with sweaty balls

Beer with sweaty balls

Eric says the rigging is likely Japanese, although I can’t say that that mangled up pile looks particularly Japanese – I guess you’ll have to ask Eric.

Well, to conclude, that evening we’re on the patio at St. Regis.

Eric and Victor

Eric and Victor

Watching the sunset.

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I dunno. Should I continue with these blogs?

“How many more amateur I-phone photos do you have of this 10-day trip, Jody?”

Boy I’m glad you asked!