Sunday, December 28, 2008

Giraffes

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.



Cheetah



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.

Chimpanzees

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.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Luau - Photos for Family and Friends

This is a place for our family and friends to come and pick up any of the following photos. I think this is the easiest way to go, a way for you to come and take whatever photo you want to keep.

Photos can be enlarged to save. Just right click on a photograph and it will take you to the larger version. Save the photo to your hard-drive and then click on the back arrow to return to this page.

The four of us went to a luau at one of the hotels at the other end of Waikiki. It was easier to catch a bus right outside our hotel and it was a short but enjoyable ride. Easier than finding a parking spot if we drove there. It was just as easy to catch the bus at the end of the evening too. We have decided to use the buses on a few of our other outings from now on.

Okay, now some of you may notice that Gregg and Papa are in Hawaiian shirts. There was no arm twisting to get them to wear one. On a shopping trip recently I was very surprised to find that Gregg had put his choice in the basket. Did my mouth drop open? Maybe a little. I can't tell you how hard I tried on our last trip to get him to buy one for a luau we were going to. I did a lot of pleading to no avail, so yes I was a little surprised but happy that he got into the theme of things for this evening. Way to go Gregg and Papa.

This is a nice one of Celia and Gully in front of the hotel the evening was taking place at.

I followed them all the way up to the entrance and I could not resist taking this picture.

All photos here were taken either by Gregg or me......

.......except of course for these two. Celia was nice enough to take our photo.


We tried to get more photos of the performers but as it got darker it became more difficult to get a decent photo and many turned out blurry.

We sat next to this very nice Australian family, mother, father, two boys. The boys made me laugh so even though none of us know these young lads, I'm putting them in anyway as I want to remember those two. This picture that Gregg took of them could come under the heading, "Are we having fun yet?" All evening they were playing an electronic game under the table.


Some really nice close-ups of Celia and Gully. More photos taken by Gregg.



Because it was Christmas Eve, Santa and Mrs. Clause paid us a visit.




One of the nice staff took this photo of the four of us.


This young man was part of the team that brought part of our meal.


The following shows some of the buffet area.

Gully and Celia in front of the dessert buffet.


And of course, had to take photos of some of the dessserts.





There are a lot more photos for you on Celia and Gully's camera. I am sure they will be sharing those once they can get them downloaded.