Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus - Yellow-crested Jackson's Chameleon

Female Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus - Yellow-crested Jackson's Chameleon on Mom's Eucalyptus tree.  This one's a female; however, the males have horns like a triceratops!  It doesn't get much cooler than that!

Of all the chameleon pictures I shot, I chose that particular picture because it looked like she was Atlas holding up the world.   These little lizards have bifurcate feet that look like human hands in a baking mitt!  They generally move at an incredibly slow pace, painstakingly taking each step.  However, to my viewing amazement, she suddenly lunged half-way off of a branch and with a flick of her tongue, caught a bug that was flying by, seemingly all in a fraction of second!  You would not have thought such speed possible.

Should you find yourself in the position of Atlas, please take a little time out for enjoyment tonight.  From our house to yours, have a happy new year full of good health and prosperity.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Big Waves at Sunset Beach

Surfer at Sunset Beach gives us an idea of the size of the waves this afternoon.  On Sunday, they're predicting 30 footers.  OMG.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Java Finches on the Beach

Java Finch, also know as the Java Sparrow, Padda oryzivora, munching on grass seeds at Ala Moana Beach Park.  These little finches are quite gregarious, gathering in flocks of 10 or 20, as they pick seeds off of the grass stalks.  Their colors remind me of a tuxedo, or some sort of formal attire, with their shaply contrasted grey, black, and white offset by pink beaks and feet.

Where There is Rain, There are Rainbows

Where there is rain, there are rainbows.  In Hawaii, at least during some Winter seasons, it will rain almost every day in the mountains.  Thus, there is the incongruity of having hot, Summer-like, sunny weather at the beach while gazing back towards rainbows over the mountains.  This rainbow was seen looking back at the hills from Ala Moana Beach Park.  This year, we've seen at least one rainbow every single day; that's something that never seems to get old.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Curious Triggerfish

Curious Triggerfish taking a look at the funny clear camera case (looks edible perhaps?).  This is a Rectangular Triggerfish, Balistapus rectangulus, also know as (in Hawaiian) humu humu nuku nuku apua'a.  Merry Christmas to all our gracious readers.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

One Last Fish Picture; Have a Merry Christmas!

Uhu (in Hawaiian) or Parrotfish grazing algae off of the coral.  Have a Merry Christmas!  Hope you are all with friends and family and creating happy memories.

Christmas Eve Was Sunny with Scattered Showers...

Here I am, hard at work photographing fish...  Then, back home for a shower and off to the festivities.  Well, with a beach just moments away, why not a quick dip in the morning prior to the Christmas gathering?  I might even have burned a few calories chasing fish around with my camera!

Ulua Just Like on TV!

Huge School of 'Omilu (One species of Ulua, a.k.a. Caranx melampygus) swimming by the camera on shallow reef.  These were around 3 feet long and there must have been a good thirty fish in the school.  They were doing lazy circles around me as if they were curious.  They were perhaps 3 feet away from the camera.  Talk about heart thumping, exciting experiences!  That was fun.  I had thought I would have to fly to Midway to see this but no, right here in Honolulu.  It's nice to see the fish population rebounding after so many years of overfishing.

Surfing Sandy Beach

Surfing just outside the rocky shoreline at Sandy Beach, Oahu, Hawaii.  The surfers would surf within about 20 feet of the rocks before veering off, sometimes closer.  If I tried that, I'd be in the hospital for sure.  The Winter waves at Sandy Beach are pretty sizeable as well (not pipeline sized but big enough for some serious action).  Hats off to these guys.

Chicks Out for a Stroll

Chicks out strolling with Mama chicken among the cats at He'eia State park. The cats (another picture) must be well fed as they leave the chickens alone, preferring to sleep the day away. On another note, I saw ducklings today. Is it Springtime or what?— at He‘eia State Park.

* Moa = Chicken in Hawaiian

Sunday, December 22, 2013

On Fifi, On Spot, On Pluto, On Rover....Happy Holidays to All!

Reindog (yes, it is a long way for reindeer to fly so...on Fifi, on Spot, on Pluto, on Rover...).  Here's to wishing you all a happy holiday season full of friends, family and good memories.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nehu, Stolephorus purpureus, a Hawaiian Anchovy

Nehu, Stolephorus purpureus, a Hawaiian Anchovy, was used for bait in the Hawaiian Tuna Fishery, back when tuna were still caught by pole and hook.  Here, a large school congregates along the shoreline to avoid predation by larger fish.


Waikiki Beach Panorama.  After brief but heavy showers, the clouds cleared off and made way for a steamy, tropical day.  Mele Kalikimaka to one and to all!

Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle, taking a breath after browsing on seaweed on the bottom at Ala Moana Beach Park.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Yellow Fin Anthias

Yellow Fin Anthias, Odontanthias fuscipinnis, is a rare Hawaiian deepwater Anthias that is seldom seen.  These have been artificially raised from eggs collected off of the surface of the ocean.  It's still unclear to me how they figured out that the eggs were there in the first place, but it is quite an achievement!

Peppermint Angelfish

Peppermint angelfish, Centropyge boylei, a very deep water, social angelfish that is, so far, quite rare in captivity.  So rare, in fact, that this is reportedly one of two fish in captivity and the only one on public display.  It was collected during an expedition funded by the Smithsonian Institution.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hibiscus: Pohai Ke Aloha

Hibiscus hybrid: "Pohai Ke Aloha" at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market.  I've been known to show a little weakness for the occasional hibiscus hybrid although I find that they are not overly fond of San Diego Winters.

Citron Butterflyfish

Chaetodon citrinellus, the Citron Butterfly, is somewhat common throughout the Indo-Pacific but is rare in Hawaii.  I consider myself fortunate to have seen one of these and, of course, it's always an event when I spot a new fish, bird, or critter.  It's even more exciting when I manage to take a clean picture of it as well!  This was at Queen's Surf at about 4 feet depth.

Will the Real Unicorn Please Step Forward?

Large Unicorn Tang, Naso unicornis, spikes extended (perhaps because I was a bit close), at Queen's Surf, Hawaii.

Here's a headshot showing the horn up close and personal.  This fish is also known as the bluespine unicornfish.

Note that Unicornfish are in the family acanthuridae.  They are also known as tangs or surgeonfish, for the sharp, knife-like spines at their tail that can slash you pretty badly if you attempt to grab them by the tail.  In some surgeonfish species, the spines are venemous, although I have not, thankfully, experienced this firsthand.  Most are peaceful herbivores, grazing in large schools along shallow reefs (although a few species also live on small invertebrates).  I jokingly refer to the surgeonfish as the cows of the sea.  In aquariums, they will strip a tank bare of macroalgae in a day or two...so, if you have a macroalgae problem, these are your fish.  Noteably, the macroalgae also provides the tangs with needed micronutrients, preventing the pitting that you sometimes see in tank fish that are not fed an occassional meal of macroalgae.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saturday, December 07, 2013

San Diego Pottery Tour

There are some awesome finds at the San Diego Pottery Tour including a broad variety of work, from artistic to functional and from playful to formal, by many of San Diego's best potters and ceramic artists.  Here are just a few of the cool ceramic works that I really liked.  The tour provides an opportunity to see local artists studios as well as some of their finest work at reasonable prices, just in time for the holidays.  You can find out more about the San Diego Pottery Tour at: http://sdpotterytour.com/.

 Ceramic Bowl with Stone Finish by Pierre Bounaud

 Serving tray with leaf pattern by Pierre Bounaud

  Serving tray with geometric pattern by Pierre Bounaud

 Friendly DragonFly by Hasuyo Miller

Pitcher by Hasuyo Miller

Friday, December 06, 2013

December 2013 San Diego AOS Awards

 Cycnodes Jumbo Ecstatic 'Sunset Valley Orchids' AM 88 pts.
 Dendrobium eriiflorum ‘Wonderful Willie’ CCM 85pts.

 Fdk After Midnight 'SVO Dark Beauty' FCC 91pts.
Fdk Enter Night 'Sunset Valley Orchids' AM 88pts.