Saturday 25 February 2017
Location: Maui, Hawaii, USA
Address: 1 Keolani Pl
Date: Feb 2017
Maui is one of our favourite places in the world. When your vacation is over and you are reluctantly departing from the Kahului Airport you can see a statue of Maui. It is located in a small garden area just before the security check. In Hawaiian mythology, Maui is a powerful man who is responsible for you throughly enjoying your vacation.
There are many myths involving Maui, but here are two of the most popular. The first myth has to do with the creation of the Hawaiian islands. It is said that Maui used a special fish hook and caught the bottom of the ocean floor. He then told his brothers to row their boat with all their might. They rowed and rowed as hard as they could. Behind them an island rose out of the ocean. Maui did this several times to create the Hawaiian island chain.
Maui is also said to be responsible for the sun moving so slowly across the Hawaiian sky. His mother complained to Maui that she was unable to get anything to dry as the days were too short. Maui climbed up Haleakala which is a dormant volcano that rises 10000 feet at its peak. As the sun appeared over the clouds Maui lassoed the sun and captured it. We also went to the top of Haleakala and captured the sun, but only with our cameras.
The sign as you enter Haleakala National Park shows Maui with the sun in his grasp. In order to be released again, the sun agreed to shine longer over the Hawaiian islands each day. The statue at the airport is called Maui Releasing The Sun and depicts Maui letting the sun return to the sky.
So as the sun sets out over the edge of the Pacific Ocean and you settle back in your chair lulled by the sound of the crashing waves you should be thankful for another beautiful day in Hawaii. Whether it be because of the man or the island, you owe it all to Maui.
Map of Our World
Maui Releasing The Sun , Haleakala National Park Sign
Haleakalā National Park Visitor Center
Post # 164
Monday 30 January 2017
Location: Daintree, Australia
Address: Mount Alexandra Lookout
Date: May 2012
Jan 28, 2017 is the start of Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the rooster. On our travels we have seen many different types of chickens, but this blog is about feral chickens. Feral chickens are chickens that have left domesticated life behind and taken to the wild.
In Hawaii, the road to Hana is a winding right of passage for many tourists. The road has many twists and turns as you make your way along the beautiful Maui coastline. We encountered some Red Junglefowl at one of the first parking lots we stopped (picture at top of post). The roosters had beautiful feather combinations of red, yellow, orange, green and white.
While in Australia we took a tour that brought us into the Daintree rainforest. The Daintree is Australia's largest tropical rainforest. At Mount Alexandra Lookout we encountered another group of feral chickens. An Australorp is a special Australian chicken that is usually black with a red beak and a red comb. The comb is the part on top of the rooster's head. Again these chickens were just roaming the parking lot without a farm in sight.
Instead of calling these wild or feral chickens we think there should be a new classification called Parking Lot Roosters. While in the Daintree we noticed a small little fruit stand at the corner of the parking lot. It appeared to be operating on the honour system as no one was around. We wondered if it was the result of entrepeneurial chickens or if they were secretly the security guards. Happy New Year roosters!
Map of Our World
Mount Alexandra Lookout , Hana Highway
Post # 159
Thursday 20 August 2015
Location: Lahaina, Hawaii, USA
Address: Courthouse Square, Front St.
Date: June 2010
The banyan tree in Lahaina's main square was planted April 24, 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Christian missionaries in Hawaii. It came from India where the banyan tree is the national tree. As a seedling it was only 8 feet high. When we finally arrived in Hawaii, it was over 60 feet high and covered an entire block. Banyan trees are sometimes called strangler trees as they usually start their life on another tree and as the banyan grows it wraps its roots around the host tree. As a banyan grows it also puts down roots from its branches. This is why the tree in Lahaina appears at first glance to be several trees, but indeed it is just the one. It also explains why the tree tends to grow outwards instead of upwards.
We spent some time admiring the tree as we waited for our whale watching tour to begin. We also enjoyed some breakfast sandwiches at the appropriately named Banyan Tree Deli & Bakery across the street.
As we walked along Front Street we also encountered a few characters. There was a thinking captain in front of The Wharf Cinema Center and a Fred Flintstone in his car advertising ice cream at the Maui Swiss Cafe.
The Courthouse Square where the banyan tree resides used to be the location of Lahaina Fort. The fort was demolished and the courthouse was built well before the banyan tree arrived. In the picture below you can still see some of the remnants of the fort behind the courthouse.
It is an impressive sight to see the tree that has taken over the square. These days the tree is managed so that it does not encroach further into the courthouse or the surrounding streets. It is still an impressive sight to see both by day or by night. It also does a great job of providing shade and shelter from the Hawaiian sun.
Finally it was time for us to head down to the harbour for our whale watching experience. As the boat headed out to sea we looked back for one last glimpse of this impressive plant.
Map of Our World
Banyan Tree (Lahaina)
Banyan Tree Deli & Bakery
Post # 68
Thursday 25 June 2015
- Red Crested Cardinal
- Cattle Egret
- Black Crowned Night Heron
1 ) Sparrow
Sparrows are the most abundant and never miss a chance to share in the buffet. As soon as someone gets up from their seat, sparrows descend onto their plate and start picking through the leftovers. At the bottom of this post are 2 videos of sparrows caught in the act.
Myna birds fight their way through all the sparrows to get at your plate. One of these birds can clear your plate faster than a whole team of sparrows. In the video at the bottom of this post you can see a myna easily steal the majority of a plate of eggs.
3) Red-Crested Cardinal
This is the prettiest and politest of the breakfast thieves. They were not as bold as the sparrows and myna and we only spotted them near the tables outside.
The name of the breakfast area was called Swan Court. The swans kept watch in the water just a few steps away from some of the tables. There wasn't much preventing them from coming over to join you for breakfast.
On the lawn just behind Swan Court is where the flamingos spend their day. Flamingos tend to prefer things like shrimp, which makes them more fond of the dinner menu than the breakfast one. Be careful as you don't want to be the first to discover that they also love hash browns.
This parrot was standing guard at the entrance to the buffet. Unfortunately, he was in a cage so he couldn't just go over and make himself a plate. The closest he came to tasting breakfast was nipping at the sticky fingers that children stuck into his cage.
7) Cattle Egret
These egrets were always walking about on the front grounds of the hotel. They were brought to Hawaii because of their habit of following cattle around and eating all of the bugs around them. We were not bothered by any bugs while eating our breakfast. Did this mean that some egrets were nearby possibly eyeing one of our nice desserts?
8) Black-Crowned Night Heron
This heron stood very still by the waters edge during our meal. This is how they hunt for food. When an unsuspecting fish swims by they strike. We wondered what might happen if we floated out a plate of buttered toast and jam?
The hotel has many birds in it's lobby, one of which is the African Penguin. While the penguins have a regularly scheduled feeding time, you never know when one might feel like enjoying an early morning snack. The penguins tend to follow each other around so if one escaped and headed to the buffet you can bet that one or two more would be right behind it.
Below are 2 videos of sparrows enjoying blueberry muffins and a Myna flying away with a mouthful of egg.
Map of Our World
Post # 59
Tuesday 30 September 2014
Location: Hana, Hawaii
Address: Waianapanapa State Park
Date: Jan 2011
As we pulled into the parking lot for views of the eastern Maui coast our driver stated, "If you want to come with me I will be at the side of the parking lot feeding the mongoose." Who the? What the? Come again? We fancy ourselves to know a thing or two about animals and where they are located. We would expect to find mongoose in Africa or fighting a cobra in India, but not in Hawaii. At first we were not sure we had heard the driver correctly so we followed him to the edge of the parking lot. Sure enough he threw down some food and out from the bushes crept a small asian mongoose. The mongoose snatched up the food and ran back into the bushes for cover. Again our driver threw some more food and yet another mongoose came out and took its food to enjoy under one of the parked cars.
It seems that in the past Maui had a bit of a rat problem and someone thought it was a good idea to bring in some mongoose to get rid of the rats. From our understanding the mongoose themselves have now become a bit of a menace. We can't say we blame them as after our first visit to Maui we never wanted to leave either.
Map of Our World
Post # 23