Sunday, February 26, 2017

Can you mash 4 octopuses into a post in only 35 minutes?!

You'll have deduced from the title of this post that there were 4 octo-sightings today.  OH YEAH. That's what I'm talking about.
But what you couldn't know from the title is that 2 of the octopuses were a couple. Awwww.  How sweet. 
But even sweeter is that I think, and cannot prove, that once I spotted octopus #2, Octopus #1 swept away from the den, perhaps drawing my attention away and protecting his lady love.  Chivalry is not dead in octo-world, apparently.
But sad to say that octopus #1 got to hunting a little while later and got bitten by a hiding moray eel.  Bad, bad moray!

I was going to show the bad, bad moray first, but why give that predator pride of place?
What a fine adult octopus specimen.  (If you want to see him moving, go to youtube and find octopigirl7.  There's also today's flounder.)
The female was a bit more careful and stayed more or less in the den:
See what I mean?  She is hardly visible behind the rock's shade...if you look closely, you can see her eye and siphon.  Smart girl. The hiding, I mean.
Now, here's the culprit.  

You can see the yellow nose of the moray eel.  The Saddle Wrasse doesn't seem too worried. Before I took this shot, not only did I miss the octopus' movements immediately after the attack, but I missed catching the little bit of leg in the eel's mouth.  Bad, bad puhi! (Puhi is Hawaiian for eel.)
Here's the female, just after she blew some sand out of the den:
Quite the housekeeper. 

And here's the #1 octopus, just after being bitten:
He curled up and twisted to get away from the eel, which was hidden underneath the rocks. 
And this was when he was fleeing...see how smooth his skin is?  Compare with #1 photo above. Both the bumps and the colors can change instantaneously.  How cool is that?!
Even now, hours later, I am still very thankful to God for getting me there right at the best moment. I could so easily have missed these shots.  And I'll admit there are a lot of photos that I took that I'm not including.  
And oops!  Almost forgot the 2 peacock flounders.  Now this is a real Eagle Eye Challenge:
Isn't it neat how the edges of the flounder fit inside the lines of light coming from above?! 
You might need to click on it to see the little one.  So amazing. 

Found more pencil urchins.  This is the one I'll show ya:

See? It's not just brown and white of the octopus that I enjoy. I also like clouds:
Especially when I take the photo from the water.  Of course, I swam after church today, so there are no sunrise photos. I was watching Hawaii 5-0 at the time.  
I'll bet this octopus looked carefully before digging itself into the sand:
The warts are back and you can see its eye and siphon. It wasn't happy for my company, but they are smart, so I'll bet it remembered that I didn't eat it the first time I saw it. As if I ever would.
Ambon Puffer:

Love these little guys.  Oh and speaking of size:
I see these all the time as I'm diving for operculum.  See it?  I think it might be a juvenile Lizard fish.  Why don't I learn and put my fish/shell books near my desk?! Sheesh...

OK, I just heard the buzzer, so gotta mash a few more pix in before ending:
Don't miss the box fish to the left of the upside down Moorish Idol.
I THINK it's a Basket shell, but again, gotta look in the books.
This eel looked waaaay too interested in me, so I snapped a few pix and moved along. 
And no post, no matter how fast, would be complete without a cowry shell:
This cloud display was brought to us by God.  Can you imagine making a cloud?  I mean, how complex are they?  All those shapes, and height, and colors.  Too perplexing. 

And, oh yes!  The 35 minutes is how long it'll take to finish baking the chicken enchiladas I am making for dinner. Yum. And thanks for reading. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

wow! chips are loud when you have your headphones in

Wow! I found out that potato chips, especially kettle chips, are loud when you have your headphones in.  And when you have your new job on your mind, things crop up when you have down time. I was tired after swimming, but couldn't fall asleep...
I am still very much enjoying the new job at National Tropical Botanical Garden. I have been trying to take a new flower photo each day, just as a remembering device.  How did I do?

Of all the pix above, click on the purple one.  I call it Purple can see the pollen on the plant, working to have new plants.  Isn't God's plan amazing?

I caught a bit of morning light this morning in Poipu too:

Don't know if there was pink before I got there, but I felt this was pretty, even pink-less.
I have been waiting longer to get in the water because of waiting for others to get there.  I met a nice lady today, who had the same thought.  She said she wanted to go in, but not alone.  Wise girl! I told her I would watch and that she could watch me too.
The water was more calm than usual, but it had odd places where I got really cold.  And then there would be warm areas.  It wasn't tied to the depth of the water, which surprised me.  But it was all good, and the proof was 3 octopuses!  Two were quite well hidden, so I'll probably show you just the 3rd one, which was on top of a rock and easier to photograph. 
I liked this one with the urchin appearing to pester the octopus.  I think they are very adaptable and can put up with almost anything.  Look at my youtube videos (octopigirl7) and see any where the octopus snaps at the trevally...It's almost as if it snaps its elbow at the fish to make it go away.  Doesn't work, but I smile at the attempt! (Look also for the Frogfish eats puffer...I've had 1400 views! Not quite viral, but still...)
I found a black cucumber, covered with sand and also with small white shells.  I thought it was odd enough to photograph:

This is a cropped photo, but the animal had a total of 7 white shells on it.  I guess they were either eating it or using it as protection.  Not sure.  Like the octopuses, it's so hard to get them to converse with me.  HA.

Here's a Brighteye Chromis.  Love these little guys!  and when I say little, this one wasn't, compared to the others around these days.  There are many little ones, new ones, that are about the same size as my pinky fingernail.  So adorable.
There were two peacocks: the grouper:
And the flounder:
A very obliging animal, this one: it was already posed on top of the rock.  All I had to do was roll up on it and snap a shot!
And that's a bit of trouble today: number 2 backup camera was having a "card error." NOT what you want to see when you're about to get wet.  So I ended up leaving it in the car.  Which gave me a bit of stress, as I always love having a backup camera.  Just in case something goes wrong.  Which can happen, especially in water.  After all, if your battery goes down, you can't change it underwater.  Well, I guess truthfully, you CAN change it, but that would flood your camera.  I should be precise.
But we visited Costco and found a Fuji camera, so we'll see how it behaves tomorrow. I will let you know. I am spoiled by the Olympus, but if it's gonna fail, why take it in? Olympus Tough TG-2 is a great camera, but they aren't selling them anymore.  Drat: why change what isn't broken?!
Today's box fish for Alex:

You can see that it was watching me.  I guess I'm still big and scary.  Considering how this fish is only about 3 inches long all told, I can understand how a 5'4" woman could be intimidating.  There was also a Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse duo, working their magic on some Convict Tangs:

I think of it as my haircutter shampooing my hair yesterday: cleaning things up! (The other Cleaner was cleaning elsewhere in this photo.)  I have seen these little fish go inside the gills of fish.  That would take some serious trust.
There were some Rock Mover Wrasses, even the smallest one that I've ever seen.  But first, the small ones...I'll get to the incredibly small ones..
They still remind me of clown faces..
I do not know what happened to fish #3...there were a trio last week.  My optimistic mind wants to think that it swam off into the big pond further out, looking perhaps for Dory or Hank, the octopus. You can imagine I loved the recent Dory/Hank movie.
Now here's the Rock Mover Eagle Eye challenge:

Yeah, see what I mean?  This one was probably, maybe, possibly 2 inches long, tip to tail. And moved JUST LIKE SEAWEED, so it's really hard to see it, even for this photog who was taking the photo. 
Pink urchin and a bit of seaweed, accompanied by some orange rock.  Sometimes the photos just out and say: TAKE THIS PHOTO, PLEASE!
Urchin and a Drupe shell:
In this case, the Drupe is pinkish.  There's blue coral to the left and the urchin above. Everyone is apparently getting along....of course, at night time, it will be different. 
Maybe someday I'll go in at night with a companion and see what all these animals get busy doing. And the following is the Cowry I Left Behind:
I just couldn't tell if it was empty, so I had to leave it behind on the sea floor. Darn shame, as it was in pristine shape.
And a Triton was doing a great job of hiding underneath a rock:

I would LOVE to have picked this one out of its spot to see who was inside, but hate to disturb.  Perhaps the shell animal itself was still inside.  But even if a crab was occupying, it was still a home and should be left alone..
And one of my fave photos from today:
Gosh, isn't that pretty?! The red pencils, and the little bits, like buildings, in between.  I shall have to look into this, to see if the other parts are pencils growing larger, or what.
And to cap things off, a Leaf Fish:

This black Leaf Fish sat still on its rock.  Didn't care that I was there.   I wonder if it can change colors immediately, as the octopus can. 
And a cute little snowflake eel:
Very bendy...
I finally got too cold, after 2.5 hours in the water, so I got out.  I don't know, could have gone another hour at least, had I not gotten's all good.  3 octopuses.  YES!

Thanks God.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Good week: tiring but worth it!

Who wouldn't want to come to work, when the view nearby is this nice? It's the lovely National Tropical Botanical Garden. And that's not all: There are also many wonderful songbirds that accompany me as I walk around. White Rumped Shama, Francolin, I think I even saw a Mockingbird. Of course, there are also the usual suspects: sparrows, Japanese White Eyes, and even a few Common Mynah.  Ahh....
And I mustn't forget what is probably the most prevalent bird on the island:

Mr. Rooster.  And the time of day doesn't matter: it crows just to show that it can.  And I always tell it: I'm awake already!

But let's go underwater at Poipu: 
The seal was napping.
It's the longest "rock" on this part of the spit..
There were quite of few tiny Brighteye Chromis today...look for the 2nd, smaller one above the "big" one...All told, these adults are probably only about an inch and a half..The little guy is about the size of my pinkie fingernail. And all are very quick.  I was fortunate to catch both in one shot.  They are even looking in the same direction.
Like many of its cousins, the Hawaiian Hogfish quickly darts around the reef.  I'm not sure what they eat, but I do like the color patterns..
Today, I was able to spot two octopuses:
Look for the brown and white speckles...that's it.  Both the octopuses that I saw were very shy.  No surprise there...
Click on the photo.
You will be able to see the eye, with the white lines radiating out from it.
You can definitely see the eye in the picture to the right..and the sand that was in the water.  The octopus was hunkered down, trying to disappear.  I can only imagine how huge I must appear to the poor thing.

These Indo Pacific Damsels look so cheery.  They are usually in groups.  And they don't seem very scared of me, so they often come quite close.
As opposed to the Peacock Grouper, which hides under rocks.  I don't often see the large adults, but just these little guys. 
The blue is my favorite color.
Apparently, they aren't very nice fish, though. They scour the reef, bullying everyone else for food.
The Pinktail Durgon showed all its attributes in this photo...beautiful but they don't seem to interact with me.  At least, not as the octopus does.  This one was accompanied by a couple of other adults, but they weren't in one frame, so I didn't get a group shot.
Always happy to see the Rock Mover Wrasse...for some reason, on Kauai, at least at Poipu, this wrasse is often associated with an octopus.  So once I see this wrasse, I become immediately hopeful that there's an octopus nearby.  (And there was...but I already showed you its photo.)
There are actually 3 of the wrasses in this shot.  It was a bit too deep for an excellent photo, but it was rather rare to find 3 in one are, so I'm including it anyway. They were going about their work, turning over rocks to look for food.
It always cracks me up to see how many objects these urchins attach to their exterior.  Protection, I guess.
And a very tiny shell:
See it?  The striped one, on top of all the sand. 
And because he asked, here's a Trunk Fish for Alex:
If you look closely at the male at the upper left of his body, you can see its bulging eye. I do love the colors and the patterns. 
The face.
This is another Trunk Fish that I found later.  It's unusual for me to be able to see them head on, as they always run away when they see me.
And also for Alex, a Lizard Fish
The one just lay was already partially buried in the sand. This is why I have to be careful when I pick up glass or operculum from the bottom.  I have disturbed some Lizard Fish in the past.  
Aren't my gardening gloves lovely? HA.  I wear only the one.  Here, I found an intact 2 part shell that was apparently empty.  Normally that's my cue to bring it home, but this one seemed as if someone could make a home in it, so I left it in the water.
Three Moorish Idols

Cone Shell with sea gunk on it.  That's a scientific term.
A little Humu.  Maybe about 3 inches long, tip to tail.  Very cute and quite interested in hiding from me.  This one was about a second from darting into the hole in front of it.  And yes, i know the longer Hawaiian name...but Humu is easier.  Don't tell the Hawaiians!
Here's its bigger cousin, accompanied by a Christmas Wrasse:
In the following picture, one had flipped around and they were both going in the same direction.  But I liked the sun on these two.
It's a Sergeant Major fish; I like to call it a Sergeant Minor, though, because of its diminutive size!
And no dive would be complete without the requisite Snowflake Moray.  I don't think this one even knew I was there, as it was wholly involved in trying to eat something hidden under the rocks:

These Electric Blue Crabs are the most prevalent crab I see in the small pond at Poipu. I didn't realize there were two until I got the pictures home:

And now that I'm looking again, I think there are 3!!! The legs crack me up: bright orange with spots. And their blue eye stalks are cool, too.
And in this shot, the crab not only was using the Turban shell as a home, but it also had part of a Cowry shell as further armor.
Another shell that I couldn't bring home. Drat!
And last but not least of the Cowry shells:
It fascinates me that they group together like this.  I wonder if it's for protection of just because they're being chummy with their own kind. 
This string of white I think might be some kind of eggs..I know some shells do this.
The rooster in my area at home is crowing now.  Must be time to sign off.  Thanks for reading!