Posts Tagged ‘Nene Goose’

‘Aloha’ Kauai!

March 2, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014 – our last day in Paradise. This evening we will catch the Red-eye from Lihue – land in L.A. tomorrow morning and then travel back home to Idaho.

We’ve washed up our tennies and have to be light-weights today – no vigorous muddy hikes!

David, Eric, and I start the morning in Princeville with one last hike down to Anini beach –

IMG_7232

Trying to stave off melancholy….

We huff our way back up again

IMG_7233

and take one last stroll along the Princeville golf course.

IMG_7237

IMG_7241

IMG_7243

Oh, how we’ll miss Kauai!

The beaches…

IMG_6923

IMG_6927

The exploding surf

The birds of paradise – the Albatross and Nene geese…

IMG_7366

IMG_6810

IMG_7234

IMG_7021

the ‘bird of paradise’ and last, but not least (in numbers, anyway), the mighty foul, uh, fowl.

We’ll miss all those goofy, nearly indecipherable warning signs to tourists:

IMG_7029

(Yes, we’re very afraid.) Snow boards?

We’ll miss the police station on the road to Hanalei

IMG_7063

with that sign out front. It imparts such a feeling of … comfort?

We’ll miss the NO-GMO movement gaining momentum in Kauai –

[IMG_7261

These GMO FREE signs pop up everywhere. No Genetically Modified Organisms! Have you heard of ‘Roundup ready’ crops? GMO corn, soy, sugar beets, cotton, alfalfa, and canola are designed to withstand huge applications of roundup. The same company (Monsanto) that makes the seeds also sells the herbicide (surprise, surprise). Except the weeds have adapted into super weeds which, in turn, has caused a steady increase in the use of roundup on the crops. There was a huge “March Against Monsanto” in Kauai on March 9th of this year – (check it out here). Because of the experiments taking place with pesticides and genetically engineered seeds on the west side of the island, Kauai is considered ‘ground zero’ internationally in the fight to stop these bio tech companies.

Here is a link to a you-tube video posted by a member of GMO Free Idaho(!!) entitled “Is Glyphosate Killing our Gut Flora?” You might want to watch it, especially if you or someone you care about suffers from a digestive illness or disorder. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not harmless to humans, contrary to what Monsanto would have you believe.

While we’re on the subject, here’s another link to an article just published, “5 Reasons Monsanto’s Science Doesn’t Add Up” including the toxic effects of glyphosate, specifically in relation to kidney disease and failure.

I’m on a roll here!

Anyway, oh my goodness, we’ll miss the tropical hikes

IMG_7004

Albeit, some of them kicked our butts. Bug-wise, we really only worried about close encounters with Kauai’s ferocious-looking garden spiders.

We’ll miss Eric ‘pouring on the charm’ – you know, like, when we’re out to dinner:

Okay Eric, so what’s on the agenda for this afternoon, our grand finale adventure on our last day in Kauai? How about a beach walk or something where we don’t injure ourselves or get our feet all muddy?

“Larsen’s Beach.”

“Huh?” My ears were expecting something a little more, you know, ‘Hawaiian’ sounding, like, Pu’u Poa Beach, or Po’ipu, Waipouli, Kaweonui, Kaluapuhi, Waiakalua, Kekaha, Nawiliwili … this being Kauai and all.

“You’re kidding. Larsen’s Beach?”

“Yep. At Larsen’s Beach there’s a nice walking trail that runs parallel to the beach.”

It’s early afternoon by now. We all pile into the car: David, Eric, Steph, Vic, and I. David is driving, Eric is navigating. After several wrong turns, Victor and I are scoping out the route to Larsen Beach on our i-Phones. Mostly out of a process of elimination we hang a left on this dirt road (this has to be it!) and drive till it ends – at this sign:

IMG_7259

Yeah, we know, we know. Deadly unseen currents, the whole nine yards. We’ve found Larsen’s Beach.

It extends along the shoreline below.

IMG_7256

We spot the trailhead and hike the trail through the grassy area to the end of the beach.

IMG_7254

Wow! There’s even a picnic table. We pile around…

IMG_7255

Surely Eric has beer in his back pack. We’ll know to bring a picnic next time. Hey, too bad we didn’t wear our bathing suits – we could’ve waded in the ocean one last time.

You know, like that guy.

IMG_7249

Huh? … Hey, wait a minute, he’s naked!

I zoom my camera in a little, you know, to make sure my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me…

IMG_7250

Well, he’s not completely naked. Did you notice his cap? See any tan lines? His vitamin D level must be sky-high. Yeah, like I’m going to go up and ask him…

“Eric, you rascal, you led us to a nude beach!”

“Yeah, and have you noticed that young nude couple over there near those bushes?”

“No, Eric, not particularly. Not until you pointed them out…”

Walking back out, Steph couldn’t remember where she had shed her sandals. That’s the extent of the clothing that came off of us.

Well, all I can say is, while vacationing in Kauai, you can learn a lot. And you will likely check some things off your bucket list.

You might even check some things off that weren’t on your bucket list.

Especially with Eric along.

Princeville, Kauai

February 1, 2014

IMG_6795

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:

IMG_6753

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

IMG_6754

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

IMG_7012

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

IMG_6803

We walked on the golf course about every morning.

IMG_6811

Greeted along the sidelines by it’s perky inhabitants.

IMG_6808

IMG_7236

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.

IMG_7263

IMG_7246

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

IMG_6755

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.)

IMG_7023

IMG_7026

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.

IMG_7028

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 …