Thursday, September 29, 2016

HI! My name is Nora!

Today, since I thought sweetie bumps would need the car tomorrow, I went swimming.  And the most charming little girl introduced herself to me, as I came out of the water.

I saw her drawing a bead on me, as she walked toward me and the water, with her beach teapot in hand.  Shovel too!

"Hi!" she said.  "Hi!" I replied.  Very seriously, she added, "My name is Nora!"  I said "Hello Nora, my name is Karen." Then she walked to the water where it met the sand and began digging...So adorable!  I'll just bet she would have had a lot of life wisdom, had I asked....But I'm too conscious these days of little ones and butting into their lives...especially since I couldn't tell which parents were hers.  And since I don't post photos of kids, I didn't take her picture either.  But she was really cute.  And so serious about her beach work! HA.

But that was at the end of the dive.  Here was the beginning:
Gosh! I do love the clouds in the morning, with the sun just starting up..

And I saw octopus #1 right away...hardly any work at all.

You can just see the white circle of the siphon.  I can hardly wait until they trust me enough to come out...ha. Like that'll happen! They are way too smart to trust us humans with anything important, like their lives...

I also saw another of the Juliana Sea Hare...I really must investigate who Juliana was.
Very intriguing animals..

And I got to see several coral heads being guarded by the 3 spot damsel fish.  And until I got the photos home, didn't realize that this coral head actually had 3 damsels guarding:

The cool thing was that I spotted another 2 guarding coral later, but the coral was in really bad shape.  I was happy that they kept on with their task, even if their coral was in poor condition.  Not their fault.

I am finding it a bit challenging to shoot some shots in this water (this was the deeper part of the pond) because the water actually can be a whole lot deeper.  Since I'm snorkeling and not using scuba, I cannot get down as close to the subjects.  

There was a nice rainbow:

It is just to nice to pop up and see these. I always snap a shot as soon as I see them, because they often fade quickly.  No rain, no rainbows!

Each Bright Eye Chromis went in its own direction.  I do love these in this part of the ocean...there are several groups and they are always darting somewhere.  

This I'm calling the Pencil Eel:
Yeah, I know there's no such thing, but since this eel was very close to the Pencil Urchin, sounded cool to me. 

And there was a very sleepy slept right through my snorkel, which is my preference:
Adorable.  I didn't see my Ohio pal, so couldn't find out if this was a male or female, but it seemed like a female.  No, I can't explain why.  The good thing is that I don't have to! 

And there was a cluster of visitors watching a small turtle who seemed to be caught in the rocky pond:
The seal-watching gentleman was there, so I figured they would do the right thing.  With high tide coming in, I was pretty sure that it would get out again...

And for my sweetheart, two lizard fish and a trunk fish:

I didn't say they were all in the same photo...

I really do have to have more practice in getting myself out of the picture.  That's my shadow messing up this photo.  

And there was a snowflake moray eel on the loose:

It wiggled all along the bottom, searching either for food or a better hiding place.  Since this was the kiddie pond, most of the eels that I saw were small.  And cute.  They do still have teeth, though, so you won't catch me walking on the bottom.

The wonderful thing was that I was totally alone in the beginning.  Not even any onlookers.  And just so you know, that is stupid to do: I do ask God for protection, but He doesn't tell me to be stupid!!!  But it all turned out ok.  I asked for God's protection and He gave it.  Again. Thanks, God!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Juliana's Sea Hare

What is a sea hare, you might well ask.  My pal in California will say it's ugly, but, here we go!
Visually, kinda like a nudibranch, but not.

Weird, huh?  I caught some other photos, too, of this one and another.  Made me wonder if they are cannibalistic.  

So 2 octopuses! YAY.  And some very cute Bright-eye Chromis..this is just one:

and the resident Barracuda:

Kinda hard to see, right?  This fellow skulks around in the shallow water of the kiddie pond.  Just another reason to stay with your kiddos when they are in the ocean.  And truth to tell, I don't think this fish would bother anything human, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. 

Palm trees:
Extra-terrestrial clouds....but then, I guess they all are, right?!

It was a very nice swim today: since it was low-ish tide, I started out in the big pond and the water behaved very nicely.  As did the octopuses:
The first octopus kept its can hardly tell where it is.  It's the brown thing between the two rocks...find the patch of sand and look left.  It really didn't move at all.  

And tako #2:
Find the white circle...that's the siphon thru which they breathe.

I like this photo of the box fish because the Saddle Wrasse is there too.  Gives you a bit of perspective on the size of each fish.  But come to think of it, doesn't really help if you're unfamiliar with both fish! The Trunk Fish is above and to the left of the Saddle Wrasse.

There were several eels, but this is the Snowflake Eel that I thought was so cute (if eels can be cute):
Awwwww.....see how it's hiding under that rock?  With just the one eye showing.  I will grant you that I'm bigger than most of the animals I see, but really, I'm never mean to them!  Perhaps this eel doesn't know me...

And speaking of being bigger, here is the exception:

Da Sleeping Monk Seal:

This one was roped off, so no one disturbed it.  And did it sleep!  It was sleeping when I got there at 7-ish and was still sawing logs when my friend and I walked by at about 11:30!  Very determined snoozer.  And its feet were just starting to get wet by then, as the tide came in...

And in the kiddie pond, I was swimming along, being totally spoiled by the pond being more or less unbusy.  And then through my sideview mask, I saw something swimming along and I was just about to raise my head to see who it was...and when I did, it turned out to be a big turtle!

It was kinda funny because when I first spotted it, I think it had just spotted me and we kinda had that surprised look on our faces!  Well, mine was surprised anyway.  I'm not sure their faces are that emotive...  But I swam away from it and it swam away too.  

Drupe City!

I counted 3 Drupe Shells easily visible..

And an old Cowry shell was right next to one of the 25 opercula I saw today:
The Cowry shell was probably old, because all of its colorization and pattern were worn off.  The operculum is above the shell.

And last but not least, the Crab:

You might need to click on the photo to see the eyes, which are just to the right of the animal...This animal scooted all around, but the waves made it a very jumpy video.  I won't subject you to it.

I am also very happy to report that I didn't need to give any "Stay Away!" lectures today.  It was a very nice swim. And now, off to homemade pizza!

Monday, September 26, 2016

A rainbow too big for the frame!

This was the first rainbow I saw this morning.  But then there was a complete one that I caught part of... I do wonder what the paddleboarder on the right saw...if he saw it at all!

Yup! The rainbow was so big that the whole thing wouldn't fit into the frame.  There was no way to back up enough. So beautiful.

Saw 2 octopuses (yay) and 2 scorpion fish!  (Also, yay, but in a different way..) One of the scorps was one I have never seen before:

Yeah, look at those spines.  And the eyes.  The eyes are what helped me identify it: it appears to be a Spotfin Scorpion Fish.  Quite different in that it looked more like a fish, as it had visible fishy skin, unlike Scorpion Fish #2:

You can see almost the whole fish actually.... The side fin is hanging down near the rock.  The head is just under the overhang and the rest of the body in the left part of the photo.  This one moved, too, so I got to see the startling orange:
It had just moved, so the fins were a bit extended.  If you look really closely, you can see its mouth was partially open, too.

I'm not going to say they are rare, but they are hard to spot unless they move.

There were lots of shells today (cowry, cone, drupe), but this drupe photo was the coolest one because there were 4 drupes in one shot.  all small...
See 'em?  One on the mid-left, then 2 together and then one on the right.  They were all less than 1 inch long.  The polka dots really help you see them.  And before I forget, found out recently that what I thought was a reddish muck on some previous drupes might actually have been a different type of drupe: The Strawberry Drupe.  Who knew?

Trunk Fish:
This was a male, who had no time whatsoever for me!

And palms:

It does seem more dramatic when the sun is hidden behind the cloud...and see how big the cloud was?  It dwarfs the palm trees...

OK, now on to the 2 octopuses! Because really, isn't that what it's all about?!?! HA

Yes, you might well wonder...but look in the hole.  In the back on the right, there's brown.  That's the adult octopus.

I only found it because it was doing some housekeeping: it had blown sand and probably rocks out of the den, possibly in order to make room for itself.  That way, when snoopy girl divers come into the area, there's a place inside the den to back up and try to be unseen.

Octopus #2 was smaller and much more accommodating:

Just look at the little darling, all spike-y.  The eye is the part with the white sunburst lines radiating from it.

The octopus smoothed out the spikes for this photo. You can't see the white lines near the eyes anymore, either.

And what visit to Poipu would be complete without the turtle:

And the seal:
And no lectures were given today!  I like to think that I'm mellowing...haha.  But in this case, the Lifeguard gave the lecture to stay away, so I didn't have to.  Thanks, man!

Now before I leave you alone to enjoy the rest of your day, just a couple more pix of cool animals:

I love this Achilles Tang!
The colors are great and the orange spot and tail are great accents...

And doesn't it look as if the Rock Mover Wrasse is having a moment with the Stocky Hawk Fish?
You know I love the Rock Mover, mostly because of the cool transition it goes through from juvenile to adult, but also because they are so mobile and bend-y!  And energetic.  But the hawks are neat too.  Eventually, the hawk moved along. It was probably afraid the Rock Mover would try to move it, like it does the rocks.

And just to prove it's really the REAL OCEAN, a couple of big Bluefin Trevally flew through:
Woo-hoo!  Everyone in the pond, even me, pays attention when these guys fly through.

And a final note of caution:  please check with the lifeguards when you are about to get into the water.  We saw a duo of snorkelers in a very bad and wavy area, not made for good snorkeling.  We watched them to make sure they didn't get into trouble, but please!  If there are no other swimmers in that part of the pond, there's probably a good reason!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Frolicking Seal

Today was chock full of turtles, seals and even an octopus!
Here's the little guy...

It was using its arm to investigate a hole nearby, probably in the hopes of finding breakfast.  Don't know if it did (they NEVER talk to me...) but I was happy for this shot.

The day started off with turtles on the beach and a seal offshore.

The seal was a small one and it was intimidated by the turtle taking a nap. If the link below doesn't get you there, go to, search for octopigirl7 and you should see it..

The fun part was that since there was a young seal, I stayed out of the water, since it hadn't found a place for a nap yet...

The seal kept peeking up at the turtle, who was napping, as if to say: Hey! What are you doing here?!

Eventually, I guess it decided to search for another spot, because it turned around and went back into the water.

Which delayed me even more, because I lost sight of it.  I didn't want to get in the water and find the seal in my face (having learned from yesterday's turtle adventure), so I waited.  But not long enough!

Once I was in the water, starting my swim, a much bigger seal showed up in the shallow water.  I swam immediately away from it, but I think it may have thought I was wanting to play because it started following me a bit.  But then, probably deciding I was not a fun playmate, it stopped and twirled in the water...joyfully frolicking!  I really wish I could have stayed around to videotape it, but my practice is to swim away and not antagonize the wildlife, so I booked it to another part of the pond.

Before I forget, just so you know, I do pick up trash.  Yesterday, I found this fishing masterpiece:

Someone had drilled a screw into the golf ball, and attached fishing line.  That line is VERY hard to cut and can get other sea life stuck on it. So I put it in my little dive pouch...with glass, scrunchies, and other odd stuff that doesn't belong in the water.

Today, I forgot my dive glove, so the trash had to go in my pouch with the opercula I found:
Yucky, isn't it?

I found some fishing lead, part of a cone shell, some glass, snorkel keeper and of course fishing line. In addition to being tough on sea life, the fishing line gets caught in the zipper of my dive pouch, so it makes it hard to put the remaining stuff in.  Quite irritating! But I'd rather have it irritate me in the dive pouch than irritate a fish.

I did find some palm trees, in this case accompanied by a seal on the beach:
The shiny seal was definitely having its rest.  And someone had roped it off, so it was protected.  

The Trunk Fish was scurrying away to escape me.  A male. 

I must admit that I did have to talk with a man who was crouching inside the "Please Don't Bother the Turtles" sign.  He apparently had a hearing problem.  And a horrible attitude.  But let's not dwell on the bad: let's mention the nice young man who asked if we could do something about a small turtle that appeared to be stuck on the rocks. I told him that the tide was rising and the turtle would soon be able to get off.  I hope!!!  It was very nice of him and his bride to be left a nice taste in my mouth about people.  I did thank him for his concern, too.

Rock Mover wrasse

I included the Rock Mover photo above because it shows a bit of how much they twist around.  This one was bending itself in half to move back and forward.  Which reminds me, I did finally see a photo in a book of the mystery wrasse I had been seeing:  a juvenile Short Nose Wrasse!   I didn't see one today, but if I can put my computer keys on the older photo, I will add it to my next blog.  It is nice to have a mystery solved, sometimes.