Posts Tagged ‘Anini beach. Princeville’

Winter Albatross

February 8, 2019

February in like a lion

Thursday, February 7, 2019 – Southeast Idaho News headline:

Snow event declared in Idaho Falls, move your vehicles

What? Out of the garage? We have to shovel first!

I snapped a photo of David a few minutes ago, shoveling off our back deck

Thursday, Feb 7, 2019

You know, to help us cope with this problem:

Rudy wants in!

I don’t know about you, but I need a tropical vacation. It’s only February and the extended forecast calls for more, uh … Well here, nothing says it like a photo – a screenshot of our extended forecast:

just deal with it

Winter blahs, anyone? Hey, I know! Let’s jet off to my happy place! Kauai!! David and I travel there every January to visit my sister Steph and husband Victor who own a house in Princeville, where they live about half the year. David and I, and my brother Eric have visited Steph and Vic in Kauai every January since 2011 – we returned from our latest trip just a week ago – February 1st. I’ve blogged about our trips every year (45+ Kauai blogs!). So this year I thought, what the heck, forget the blogs. Enough already!

Except, how to get through February? I know of no other way but to jet back to Kauai. Are you on board?? Ready for takeoff…

Uh, not there yet. We’re still on our 6-hour flight from Denver to Lihue, Kauai. My legs have gelled into tingling blobs from sitting so long … looking for scenery now, besides ocean… Oh look! An Island!

Not sure what Hawaiian island this is, just great to see land

Yes! Mid-afternoon, Thursday Jan 17, we’ve landed in Lihue, rented the SUV, driven about an hour to the north shore, and are circling the familiar fountain – Princeville! – just blocks away from Steph and Vic’s house now.

Fountain in Princeville

I don’t know about you, but it takes me a day or two to decompress and relax into vacation. Take in the views, tropical foliage, fauna, and smells. Soak up the sun. Let the ocean breezes caress your face… Breathe in … Release… Relax into your happy place!! Here, let me take you there …

First of all, sit on the patio in a reclining chair, stretch out your legs. Take in this view overlooking the golf course to the ocean:

Paradise

Notice the albatross. Albatross? Yeah, that huge bird out there in the grass – one of the most magnificent birds on the planet. They have to run along the ground, into the wind, to take off but they are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. According to this article, they are capable of traveling 10,000 miles in a single journey and circumventing the globe in 46 days – they manage to fly without expending almost any energy.

Sit a while, and they’ll fly overhead, dip and glide parallel to the ground, swirl back up, here you will see two …

and maybe just maybe, they will land a few feet in front of you.

Adolescent albatross engaging in mating dance

The Layson albatross is a large seabird that ranges across the North Pacific. They fly south from Alaska and the Arctic and arrive on the north and west shores of Kauai in mid-November each year, some to mate and some to nest and have their young. They stay on the island till Mid-July. Kauai is the only place in the world where albatross can be found in residential areas and on golf courses. They are enormously entertaining!

Take a walk in Princeville and you will likely see an Albatross nesting in someone’s yard. We took a walk near Sea Lodge Beach and spotted this one:

Nesting Albatross. The egg hatches in about 60-64 days

Nearby there were several gathering. Here comes one now… Mr Big Stuff. Look at that swagger!

Adolescent males and females bond through ritualized mating dances that may take place over several years. On January 30 I happened to capture their mating dance on video:

Albatross bond for life and do not find another if their partner dies.

Albatross return to their place of birth to begin the mating dance when they are 3-4 years old. They don’t successfully reproduce (1 egg) until they are 9 or 10. The egg hatches in 60-64 days. Adults with chicks to feed take foraging trips that last up to 17 days and travel 1600 miles away from their nest. It takes about 165 days for a nestling to fledge.

Wisdom, an albatross on Midway Island, is recognized as the oldest wild bird in the world. She was first banded in 1956. Check out this link! to learn more about Wisdom who, at age 66, has hatched chicks two years in a row! (Female human’s worst nightmare.)

If you want to learn more about these fascinating birds here’s a link that poses and answers about every question you could think of to ask about the Albatross.

Also, the link to my blog I wrote a year ago about the Layson Albatross on Kauai with my photos, videos and commentary.

Oh, ahem, one last note on the Albatross, FYI, in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the killing of a ‘harmless albatross” dooms the ship’s crew.

Okay, time to kick your cardiovascular system into gear with a hike down to Anini Beach! Yes, the sign is still there…

Tourists angry. Hike too steep!

David and Eric hike down to Anini Beach, coming back up is the killer…

Anini Beach is serene. Wade in and catch sea cucumbers!

Anini Beach

Something is always in bloom in Paradise

Hibiscus and orchids


Pick mandarin oranges off the trees in your own yard

Okay, are you there yet? Relaxed? Basking in the wonders of Paradise? Good!

Back in Idaho today we did get shoveled out!

Feb 7, 2019

Me, personally? I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow to a Kauai sunrise

And maybe checking out Hanalei Bay. Are you coming along?

Kauai, Here We Come! – January 2018

January 31, 2018

January 17, 2018. We’re headed back to Kauai! We’ve made this 10-day trip to visit my sister Stephanie and husband Victor at their home in Princeville, Kauai, every January, for seven years running. I’ve blogged about it every year, too – written 42 blogs, covered every topic imaginable. (Go to the main site of my blog to the Kauai category and you will find them, ALL of them.) So of course I wasn’t blogging about our trip this year, couldn’t possibly!! Yes? NO???? YES!! How else to return home and fend off the Idaho winter blahs? Can I drag this series of blogs out till spring? Maybe…

We hit the road from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake in David’s truck Wednesday evening, January 17. Husband David is driving, my brother Eric is riding shotgun, I’m in the back seat. I snap a photo as we fly past Pocatello, Idaho, near sunset…

Pocatello, Idaho

It always takes a while to decompress and relax into the trip. After 2 1/2 hours of driving we stop for dinner. And make a toast!!

Yes, we are happy!

Get this party started!

We fly to Kauai the next morning,Thursday, Jan 18. Most important order of business: The Kilauea Farmer’s Market!

Oh oh-hope we can find a parking space

It’s raining, but that puts no damper on the crowds.

Stephanie and Victor shopping for organic produce

Eric totes the goods.

We circle the fountain in Princeville on the way to Steph and Victor’s house. We had heard that it might be replaced with something a little more, shall I say, ‘Hawaiian’ but we are glad it is still here.

Princeville fountain (made famous in the movie “The Descendants”)

We enjoy a changing sunset from Steph and Vic’s back patio

The first thing every morning is to walk! Hike. Get that heart pounding. What better plan than the hike to Anini Beach? Just what the heart doctor ordered! (Maybe not) The trailhead beckons….

Oh joy …

Which message should we take more seriously? The original?: CAUTION DANGEROUS CONDITIONS PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK or CAUTION ANGER US CONDITIONS …blah blah blah … ‘PIS’?

We’re headed down. Me, because my hubby is. You can glean a little perspective on how steep the path to Anini Beach is by the person ahead of us?

Do we really have to do this?

We actually don’t hike this every morning. Because you have to hike it back up. I did it, maybe, three times this whole trip. Why make myself angry?

Instead, let’s stay up high, on the golf course, (possibly illegally? As tourists, we don’t know for sure…) The top of the golf course overlooking the ocean is a world of rainbows, hearts and …. Nene Geese and Albatross!

Here, I take a picture of David taking a picture of the rainbow.

David and I photographing the rainbow

That is an albatross in flight and those are Nene Geese – an endangered species that doesn’t seem as afraid of humans as they possibly should be (??)

We passed a Bird of Paradise a few feet beyond the rainbow

That’s a bird, alright

Do you see the Nene geese (goose?) in the background of the photo? Gorgeous tropical flowers adorn the paths along the Golf Course and the Westin resort in Princeville..

A solitary egret welcomes us (maybe a stretch)

and a rooster alights from the bushes as if to escort us off the premises.

Which reminds me of a joke:

‘Why did the rooster cross the Road?’

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‘To see his friend Gregory Peck’

‘Who?’ What? I know. Anyone under the age of 60 totally doesn’t get this joke. It’s one of about two jokes (both of them ridiculously stupid) I can tell from memory.

Well that pretty much puts a wrap on my first blog of our 2018 Kauai trip.

Got you all revved up now, don’t I?

Princeville, January, 2016

February 4, 2016

Sunrise!!

January 13, 6:55 AM

January 13, 6:55 AM

Over Princeville, Kauai.

Every 7am the five of us walked the golf course,

January 16, 8 am

January 16, 8 am

which is currently closed for repairs. On one section of the course we curve around the entrance to Anini Beach…

Black hole that leads down to Anini Beach

Black hole that leads down to Anini Beach

On previous years David, Eric and I would head into this black hole that takes you down about 150 vertical feet to Anini beach – you know, for a cardio workout and ‘fun’. Climbing back up is a killer. Eric and I just flat out refused to do it this year. Hey, this is supposed to be a vacation! David did it the first couple of days we were here this year, you know, to prove he could. No one volunteered to go with him.

I blogged about this black hole to Anini Beach last year and posted photos of us climbing back up:

David and Eric hiking back up from Anini Beach last year - you call this a vacation?

David and Eric hiking back up from Anini Beach last year – you call this a vacation?

I also posted a photo of the sign by the Anini Beach entrance in my blog last year. Here it is:

 David last January - starting down

David last January – starting down

Well, here’s the sign this year:

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It’s further degenerated to include the word ‘pis.’ Haha. (No. We’re not angry.)

I captured a lot of photos along the golf course of the tropical foliage and birds. For example, who doesn’t love the ‘Bird of Paradise’

It's a bird, right?

It’s a bird, right?

Or the Hibiscus, the Hawaiian state flower:

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The Ginger blossom below comes in a variety of colors

orange ginger

orange ginger

I’m not sure what this next flower is

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a Great Uncle to the Queen Emma lily? (pictured below):

Fancy bouffant hairdo!

Fancy bouffant hairdo!

otherwise known as the ‘Giant Spider Lily.’

Not to be confused with … giant spiders:

Web large enough to trap a human?

Web large enough to trap a human?

Eric is terrified of spiders and I freak out over webs so we assigned David the lead on morning hikes – especially since he towers over us by a good six inches. Carry a big stick to knock down webs before they encase your face and upper torso!

What you are seeing is the common Kauai garden spider. They’re all over the place. They spin a broad classic round orb web, usually with a zigzag band of silk running through the center. Here you see a closeup of a female, with yellow and black stripes.

Kauai's common garden spider - 'Argiope aurantia'

Kauai’s common garden spider – ‘Argiope aurantia’

And now a special bonus for you spider lovers…

Two garden spiders. Can you find them?:

There's (at least?) two garden spiders in this photo

There’s (at least?) two garden spiders in this photo

Hint: Look on opposite sides of the picture. The one on the left – you can see the zigzag band of silk running through the center of its web.

Doesn’t that just make your day?

We always see Nene geese, the Kauai State Bird (an endangered species) near the golf course

Yay, babies!

Yay, babies!

And mating Albatross,

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Two more early evening photos of the Princeville golf course,

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Jan 12, 6:19 PM

Jan 12, 6:19 PM

Driving past the Princeville fountain now…

January  2016

January 2016

To shop at the the local grocery store, Foodland.

David and Steph entering Foodland

David and Steph entering Foodland

Headed back to our car now with groceries. Not even 20 feet from the front door, on the walkway to the store’s entrance, we see this hen

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with her clutch of tiny chicks.

And inside the store they charge 8 dollars a dozen for free range eggs?

Yeah, well you just try to catch a chicken, or find their nest …

Princeville, Kauai

February 1, 2014

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Aloha! Are you ready to embark on another virtual trip to Paradise?

“NO!” You say? You hate me? You don’t want to read another series of seemingly endless blogs about yet another one of our trips to Kauai?

Awwwww….

What can I say? My sister and her husband own a house in Princeville and they invited us (David and me, and my brother Eric, a.k.a. ‘mountain goat’) back again this year. And I was NOT going to blog about this Jan 16-26, 2014 trip. ABSOLUTELY NOT. That is, until our first morning walk, when we ran into this sign at the edge of the golf course in Princeville:

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Haha. It’s posted at the path that descends to Anini Beach.

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Which, you’d better step carefully in snug shoes with deep treads to avoid this happening to your butt on your way down

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And stop to rest your heaving chest as you grind your way back up.

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We walked on the golf course about every morning.

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Greeted along the sidelines by it’s perky inhabitants.

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The Kauai state birds. Okay, not the feral chickens in that first photo (haha), but that second set of birds – the ones with zebra-like markings and bands on their legs. They are the Nene Goose, or Hawaii state bird. And they are on the Federal List of Endangered Species. During the 1940s, the Nene were almost wiped out by laws which allowed the birds to be hunted during their winter breeding seasons when the birds were the most vulnerable. The Nene is threatened today by introduced mongooses and feral dogs and cats which relentlessly prey upon the Nene’s eggs and young. Preservation efforts are continuing and the success of the Nene in Hawai’i, although not a certainty, is promising. There are now about 800 wild Nene in Hawai’i and the numbers are rising with each breeding season (to quote the linked article).

Along the golf course you will invariably hear the beak claps and calls or witness the gyrating mating dance of the Albatross.

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There was an Albatross nesting just off the paved golf cart path.

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Meet “Moli” the Layson Albatross. The species nests on Kauai from November through July. These birds mate for life and both parents take care of the chick. A single egg is laid in December and is incubated for approxiamtely 2 months. In early February the chicks hatch. After two weeks chicks are left alone, often for a few days, while parents are feeding at sea, returning regularly to feed the chick. In late June or early July, the chicks take their first flight to the sea and do not return for 3-4 years. (This information comes from the sign.)

Feeling obliged to be of some assistance around the house, Eric and David took a load to the dump. (I’m always such a big help, tagging along with my i-Phone.)

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Eric can’t be satisfied with just dumping the trash, of course, he has to scope out every potential new adventure no matter the setting. Well he found one right there at the dump.

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Yeah, Eric, like we’re going to scope out a nude beach, enticed by the teaser from you …

Whatdoyathink? Shouldn’t visiting a nude beach in Kauai be on everyone’s bucket list?

Stay tuned …