Sunday, December 28, 2008


You can find out more about these wonderful giraffes here.

Birds I saw while walking around.

This little bird is the Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus). Also known as the Maejiro, it was introduced to Oahu in 1929 from Japan. It's a common small bird in the city as well as the forest.

It nests from February to November. The nest is a small cup of woven fibers and grass. The eggs incubate for 11 days and then fledge after 9 or 10 days.

The Japanese White-eye at a distance looks very similar to the native Amaki'i. It's easily distinguished however, by the white circle around the eye. The Amaki'i has a black circle.

Common Waxbill(Estrilda astrild)

This bird is only found on Oahu. It was introduced from Africa sometime in the late 1970's. This bird is very shy. It travels in large groups of individuals that are most easily recognized by their call as they fly away. The easiest place to see them is in large open grass fields where they are found eating weed seeds.

Red-Crested Cardinal(Paroaria coronata) Also known as the Brazilian Cardinal, it was introduced around 1930 from South America. It feeds on seeds, plant matter, insects and fruit.
Look for this bird traveling in family groups. If you see a bird with a brown crest and black bill, it's a juvenile. Observe the unique interaction of the juvenile with the parents. Often, the juveniles will wait for the adult to pick up the food and give it to them, even though they are the same size!

African Wild Dogs

These are African Wild Dogs and you can find out more about them here.


I looked through the glass in this enclosure and at first there was nothing there but then look what appeared running at a fast trot? He was absolutely beautiful. I have been given many gifts on this holiday. The sight of such a magnificent animal, in fact so many magnificent animals, was a true gift.

You can find out more about the Cheetah here.


According to information at the zoo’s website we shared a common ancestor with the chimpanzee about 6 million years ago. From that point forward a divergence took place and led to modern gorillas. They share most of our genes and reportedly the human and chimpanzee genomes differ by only 1.5 to 5 percent.

When I viewed these lovable chimps I couldn’t help but think of the movie Planet of the Apes. Their antics kept us entertained for a long time, studying them was a joy and yet if the tables were turned and we were behind the glass, would we be as entertaining? I am not sure about that one.

We were so engrossed that we failed to see the charge of one at the glass a few feet away to our right. The noisy thump made us jump out of our shoes, almost. And as you do when you are startled you tend to laugh. I am not sure why he decided to throw himself at the glass, had he seen a bird, was he playing a joke on us, did he do this often just for fun? He got our attention and he seemed no worse for it and all we saw was his backside as he ambled away. Did I see a tiny smirk on his face? I like to think I did for he certainly seemed to have a great sense of humor.

This one came ambling around the corner carrying an empty plastic bottle of water between his teeth. Had someone accidentally dropped it into their compound? I couldn't see a place where you could toss or drop the bottle in as the protective glass seemed to be too high.

At first there were too.....
and then they were joined by another two. The view must be better from up there.

They were joined by another companion.
And that's where we left our friends, with a view that is probably well worth climbing up to the top for.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celia's Photos

In this post are photos from Celia's camera. The following four photos were on the whale watching trip.

These were taken while driving around the island.

Celia found some real pretty wildflowers.

We came across these little doves.....

.....and a cute little cat.

I will be posting other photos Celia took as we go along. It's always fun and interesting to see photographs through another person's eyes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

Thank you SkyWatch Team for this wonderful meme. You can reach it by clicking on the icon above.

I envied those people up in the sky, not only for their bravery but also for the knowledge that I could never do what they are doing. I tend to enjoy having my feet firmly planted on terra firma but I will always enjoy seeing people fly.

Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year

Good Morning Family and Friends. We are all thinking of you this Christmas Morning. The photo is our only Christmas decoration in our hotel room so I thought I would share it with you. The other day I bought a box of cards showing the awesome artwork from Eddy Y and it is entitled Keiki Christmas Chant. "Keiki" for those of you who aren't sure what that is, is Hawaiian for children/child? It is a beautiful word. The shell lei was given out at last night's luau.

A very blessed Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Watery Wednesday - Whale Watching

Thought this would be a good Watery Wednesday post too. Thank you 2sweetnsaxy for hosting another lovely meme. You can find more watery photos by visiting here.

Two days ago we went on a whale watching cruise. Even if we hadn't have seen any whales it would have been well worth the trip as it gave us a beautiful view of the coastline, and I love being on the water looking out over the ocean. It is something I rarely get to do living in Northern Virginia.

It was a two-and-a-half hour trip and we spent most of that looking for our first sighting. We stood out on the deck a long time and we were beginning to think we would be out of luck, but after patiently searching we finally saw them, a pair of humpback whales. It was a thrilling sight. Even though the boats won't get that close to them we could still make them out.

You can find information about these whales here.

Don't forget to enlarge the photos by right-clicking on them.

We were told that they appear quickly and then dive. Fortunately Gregg who has the better eyesight was fast enough to take these shots. In the photo below you can just make out the hump of one before the tail appeared.

And as our son so eloquently put it when we sent him these pictures, "Wow, if you've got tail, you've got whale!" It was so exciting and we felt we had been given a great gift.

We also got to see twenty to thirty spinner dolphins earlier on. If you enlarge the photo below you can actually see one with his nose out of the water. Another beautiful sight and they were in view a lot longer.
You can find information about them here.