Monday, April 15, 2013

To the edge

Living on an island makes it very easy to visually get to the edge of the map. However, I've found that Ka'ena Point State Park, to me, truly feels like the edge of the map. Partially I'm sure, due to the fact that the road gets smaller and smaller until it literally just peters off here: 

It has a distinctly different feel than the rest of the Island. It is one of those beautifully lonely places.

Here is a panorama looking back down the island, The vog made it very hazy : /
(click it to see it full screen)

Richard spent much of his time beach combing

I was busy checking out the plants.
Paa 'u-o-Hi'iaka (a type of woody Morning Glory)


This lovely purple trumpet flower wasn't in my book, but it looks like it may be related to Snapdragons :

Hmm these look like tomato flowers:

And hey, look, baby tomatoes.
Wait... WHAT? Growing wild? In Oahu?!

They looked and smelled just like tomatoes.. But I have no idea what they really are. I almost tried to eat one, but my overall dislike of tomatoes and general fear of being poisoned by an unfamiliar plant made me change my mind.
Look at how tiny it is though:

I don't know if I have mentioned it before but the bumble bees here are MASSIVE! Every time I see one I have to do a double take. Usually the ones we see are black, but here we found a huge yellow one:

I decided to to some research. Turns out these are not bumble bees. They are 'Sonoran carpenter bees. The female is black, and rather large, approximately one inch in length. They can sting when angry but are considered shy and rarely bother humans. The male bees are golden brown in color and lack a stinger. They inhabit the Hawaiian Islands, the Marianas, China, Japan, New Guinea and the Philippines.' -Nick Sakovich

I'm pretty sure the ones here get near 1 1/2 inches, but they never hold still long enough for me to measure them. It was almost impossible to get these pictures!

Cool note, those purple trumpet flowers have a side access so the bees can get to the nectar without having to fit all the way down the trumpet.

I'm going to have to play with my camera speeds and/my tripod to see if I can get a shot of the black ones... maybe even with something to compare size for you!

Speaking of tripods, Katie got me this awesome type called a gorilla pod. It is awesome!
It looks like this:

and can do this:

Gorilla-Pods-Flexible-Travel-Camera-Tripod-EANW-002-.jpg (350×292)

It has been incredible and I highly recommend it! (also I use it all the time as a tablet stand.)

Anyways back on track
Here is  a picture of a female from wiki with some ants to try and help gauge size:

File:Carpenter Bee and ants in Kona.jpg

Don't you just love those wings! I really want to find a dead one, I know that sounds weird, but they never hold still and I just want to see them up close and feel its fur... 
They need to invent something that will temporarily stun insects so you can look at them with out them being dead. Then I wouldn't have to hope to find a dead one, or chase after the live ones calling
"Hold Still! Wait Come Back! I wont eat you I promise! I just want to look at you.. and maybe touch you a little!"

Saturday, April 13, 2013


My jeans have seen better days. 
Structurally they are fine, they have just started to fade. Not a fade that would matter, except the only time I wear jeans here is if I am being dressy and the two pairs that were hole free were starting to get just too faded to dress up anymore. Also, the Honolulu Sears is closing and there were a few good sales  as they marked their clearance down an additional 40%. I got a very nice pair of jeans (with a nice belt) for only $15. Only trouble was they had an unflattering fade going on. So, I decided to be brave and try to dye them.  
I used an entire bottle of Navy Blue and half a bottle of Black.

I didn't want to do a 'test' batch because then I would have to 'waste' a bottle of dye so I risked it and dyed all three pairs at the same time. EXTREEMLY NERVE WRACKING! Even worse I have never dyed something in the washer before. While it was dying it made a horrendous mess of the washer! 
However all of my worrying was for nothing!
Check em out:

(My camera is kinda lame at taking these type of pictures the color is deeper in real life.)

with a little bit of bleach the washer scrubbed up like new :)
So yep, now I basically have 3 new pars of pants!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lemon Tree

A little over a year ago I bought a tiny lemon tree for $20 Dollars. It is a Meyer Lemon (my favorite kind, it is almost like the mandarin orange of the lemon family, smaller, sweeter, and thinner skin) I didn't take any baby pictures of it but I did find this shot from shortly after I had transplanted it :

This tree and I have battled Ants & Aphids, Torrential Rains, and Evil little flies. And most recently some leaf eating bug that I have never been able to find. But it was a tough little lemon tree and it hung in there, and now look how beautiful it is:

And today I got to harvest my very fist lemon from it!

Isn't it lovely!

I used it to make the best glass of Lemon-aid EVER!

Also, I discovered who was doing this:

A HUMONGOUS Tiger Striped Swallowtail caterpillar!

Check out that stem below him! Only one leaf left :o 
We relocated him to a bush far far away.

The tree seems to have kicked into full drive with the making of the lemons now, I only got three baby lemons (and only the one survived to maturity) from the first batch of blossoms but I have tons of babies growing from this second go around. My hope is that soon I won't have to buy lemons from the store anymore. :)