Sunday, December 18, 2016

A post without octopuses?!

Yes, it's true!  This post will probably not have any octopuses.  First of all, it's cold!  Well, maybe not cold like on the mainland right now, but we do have our sweaters on.  (Once it gets below 70, we're done...) So the water will be colder, and it's somewhat windy and wavy.  So church will be the priority and then planning for my family's arrival this week.  Oh yes!  And preparing to start work tomorrow.  I will have to put calendar reminders to help me go to work...after all, it's been 6 months of unemployment!!!

I tried to get to a spot without phone lines or wires, but no joy. On foot, it takes longer to get anywhere.  But I enjoyed this visual of the rain and clouds off beyond the airport.  I do love being able to see rain coming down...preferably far away. HA

And to test whether my family is reading my blog (hint, hint), here's the sign that shows where we live:
See you all soon!
Of course, the moon still interests me, primarily because it's a challenge to get a good photo.
with palms for Alex..
With the Banyan Tree near our complex's entrance.
And my favorite flower, with early morning light:
SO pretty!
And ok, call me crazy, but since everyone is always looking for the next cool thing for nails, what do you think about using the pattern from cone shells?
Trendy and hip, right?!  Of course, one wouldn't use the REAL shells, as in this photo, but I do think the pattern is very cool looking.  HA.  If you make this a reality, please send photos and part of the profits, since it was my idea.....

So, a post without octopuses.  Who knew I could do it?  And as I type that, I'm looking around at all the octo-things on my desk, and thinking...well, I COULD add that one!

Have a great Sunday. And thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Birthday Octopuses

A great way to start a birthday is with a birthday song from my husband!  Very nice, very nice. And throughout the day I also received calls and songs from my sister, several friends and texts from folks in colder climes than Hawaii.  I am thankful to live where we do!

And then swimming (in my wetsuit instead of dive skin, because it gets cold when you're in the water for 2 hours in this temperature.)  And finding, eventually, two octopuses.  And a scorpion fish.  And surprising shells.
Octopus #1
Peeking out at me.  This octopus took me forever to find. But very happy I did. This was later in the dive, too, so I had been talking with God, soliciting His help in finding any.  He answered.
Octopus #2
This octopus also saw me immediately, and hunkered down, just peeking out at me.  Both octopuses were young, but smart enough to hide.  Thanks, God!  This 2nd one I saw just as I was about to get out of the water, so even more thankful for the viewing.  I hope no visitors step on it. But I guess if it backed into its den when it saw me, it would do the same if a foot started coming down on it from above.

There were several Snowflake Moray Eels, too.  They are so cute, especially when they look up, trying to threaten and scare me:
Every time I see an eel face, I wonder why it has the 2 tubes for breathing. We would look silly with those.  I can imagine someone dyeing their nose tubes, just as some folks dye their hair. (And yes, I'm one of them...)

A Mitre shell:
This shell does have some ocean gunk on it, but the shell underneath has lovely orange and white coloring.  I'll try to remember to take a photo of the shell I found years ago that shows the colors better.

This shell had a green and whitish crab dragging it around.
This shell was being used by an urchin as protection...I almost tried to "liberate" it, but decided not to take the chance.  Those spines are serious!

Also found two Cowry shells, being all close in their hiding spots:
A photo of an so-far unknown to me shell:

And finishing the shell pix for this dive on Dec 16 is the small Drupe:
I enjoy the challenge of taking these pictures, as the waves mash me around.  We did have a couple of days without much wind and tamed waves, but yesterday was not one of those days!  In fact, I thought I was losing my mind: the waves were coming so strongly from the right hand side that it felt as if the current, going left to right, had reversed.  Now that would be weird...I got so accustomed to the regular direction of the current that I was asking myself if I was losing my mind.

And to celebrate the final week of relaxing at home before I start working, I counted my collection of operculum: 1800!  Yeah, that's a lot.  But as I counted them, all placed out on the Christmas table cloth, I realized that many of them are very small, so they take up not as much space as one might think.
I was thinking I was almost done in showing you all what I found, but then looked at my list of photos and realized I hadn't reported the Scorpion Fish.  Pretty well hidden, too, I think:
Very much the same color as the rocks it's resting on.  Wow, these guys really do have the camouflage down.  It is sadly tough to get a photo of their eyes...
And in the Beautiful Fish category, seven Moorish Idols made an appearance, for once in one photo!

Cannot remember if I told you all what the other name is for the Spanish Dancer: Hexibranchus Sanguineus.  Try saying that 3 times fast.
And last in the fish category, a very small lizard fish:
Awww, cute, but still with sharp teeth.
And palms for my sweetheart, who made my birthday great:

Thanks, Alex!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Two drupes walk into a bar....

OK, there is no bar, but i love those jokes where people walk into a bar and things go all astray. Sometimes I think I'm may not agree.  But these 2 Drupe shells caught my eye.  I thought the rainbow of light was fun too...

Three octopuses today.  Wow.  I am still excited by that.  They were all young, i.e., small, so I'm wondering where the big guys are. But honestly, I like the little ones more.

There were two seals snoozing on the beach.  One was way up in the friend tells me that during moulting, they keep up and away from others.  
She also heard that this one, sleeping near the plants, doesn't like the other one. Guess humans aren't the only ones who can't get along.

I'm glad they were not bringing out the fisticuffs.  Snoozing is always better than fighting.  I also heard that a lady took it upon herself to try to touch a seal not long ago.  Big Mistake. It reared up and almost bit her....stay away from wild animals!

A trunk fish swam past me:

And there was a Spanish Dancer inching along on top of a rock:
It's a nudibranch, which means naked lung.  In this shot, on the left, you can see the "lungs" which are fronds on top of the animal.  The head is on the right.  I think they're very pretty. Since there's a bright red color, that could mean they have poison, but I didn't investigate yet.  I've been busy! This is the last week before I start my new job, so I'm working to mash everything in while I have the free time.
Octopus 1:
All the octopuses stayed pretty calm as I photographed them.  I think only one changed to the dark maroon color.
Octopus #2:

Even got a little bit of rainbow in this one.  This is the octopus that, once I backed off a little, starting moving rocks around.  And who better?  With all those legs, they can make short work of any building enterprise.

Octopus #3:
While not a great photo, I included it because you can compare the size of the fish with the octopus.. the octopus is the brown blob just behind and under the fish's tail...

You can see more of the octopus in this photo.  The siphon is on the left.  It had made itself warty instead of smooth.

And there were two flounders, swimming more or less together:
Of course, they were close, but not close enough to be in the same photo. Drat.
And I'm calling this one "The Only Way to eat Tako"

Yes, we had salmon, asparagus, Spanakopita, all on my octopus plate!

This little humu was about 2 inches long.  It had a companion, perhaps a brother or sister?
Not quite an Eagle Eye Challenge..but close. This eel I might call a challenge:

The eel is mostly white-ish and is curled around a rock.  This will help you:
Well, maybe not! This is the face..
And as is only appropriate at this time of year, the Christmas wrasse:
Love it when the light makes bars on the animals..nice contrast. 
And speaking of the light:
You can see rainbow colors on the urchin's spines, too.
And I'll leave you with another Monk Seal photo:
They sleep so soundly, you can't tell if they are alive.  Until they raise their heads...or scratch.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lovely water

Today, the winds had died down, and it was low tide, so the water was lovely.  What a treat.
And there was a snoozing seal:
This one was unusual in that it was sleeping way up on the beach, in the plants. Always great to see them.
Two octopuses this time.  
Hiding in the rock.  Isn't it amazing how they are almost the same color as the rock?

Octopus #2:

Also a little one.  It didn't change to angry maroon, but it didn't come out to play with me, either.

Since I started out in the big pond, the water was deeper.  And the urchins were out:
And deeper is good in this case: there's little chance that those spines will interact with my tender skin.

Hawk fish that had freckles.  HA.  Well, maybe that's not what they would call them...These fish sit on top of coral to view what's going on.  
It occurred to me that this Hawk Fish has the same colored spots as the Spotfin Scorpion fish.

Different outlook on life, though. 
There were plenty of eels looking aggressive
And I caught some waves...from underneath:
This was just before it tried to mash me...
Two Pinktail Durgon visited me, too.

You can see a bit of its face, and of course the pink tail.  This one was half of a pair; another pair swam nearby.  
I shall have to look this fish up.  It's definitely a Trigger, but not sure which one.
And another of my fave fish: the Cigar Wrasse

I guess it was headed to a fully yellow phase fish.  Normally they are greyish with a spot or two of orange color on their backs.  I like them because they curve around things as they swim.

There was a pair of Hawaiian Green Lion fish too.  But they were under the rock, only venturing out a couple of times.
In some ways, it reminds me of the Gurnard, with those side fins that look as if the fish could fly.
The Brighteye Chromis were fast at darting under cover, but this one was caught in the company of a couple of other fish:
 The Chromis is up at the top, near the rock.
Also accompanied by a Rock Mover Wrasse, Yellow Tail Coris and Convict Tang.
And a photo of the juvenile Rock Mover:

Pencil Urchin. By the way, the eaten/broken one I found not too long ago was totally disappeared by my return yesterday.  Amazing.  I do wonder what preys upon them, or if the "pencils" just washed away in the current...
A whole bunch of Indo-Pacific Damsel fish.  They are very pretty and aren't afraid of divers, particularly, so it's possible to get photos...
And another Cowry shell hiding:
These are such pretty, shiny shells!
Hebrew Cone:

Barracuda: Don't they just look mean?  Click on the photo to see the underslung jaw...They are sneaky and quiet too....this one swept away, once it saw me notice it.
 Look for the 2nd one in the center of this photo.  I told you they were stealthy!
Rock Mover teeth:

This is I think the first photo that shows even a bit of their teeth.  These are really strong fish, throwing rocks all over...Now you can see a glimpse of how they do that.
These patterns of lines and colors in this Juvenile Rock Mover are fascinating.
After almost 3 hours of swimming, because I didn't get enough exercise (HA), my pal and I walked from Lawai Beach down to Spouting Horn.  And it was:

Spouting, that is!
And for those of you who haven't yet visited the fabulous Garden Island of Kauai, you might not know about the chicken theme.  They are everywhere!  Even in the trees:
We laughed.