Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ka'ena Point Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve

View from Ka'ena, looking back at the Wai'anae mountains.  Wai'anae is on the right, the North Shore on the left.  
It's a simple 2 mile hike out to the northwest tip of the Hawaiian island of O'ahu.  2000 birds use the protected reserve as their nesting grounds.  Of those birds, eleven are members of federally endangered species, many are endemic to Hawai'i and one is native to the point.  Predators like dogs, mongoose and rats were killing many ground nesting species, so recently a $290,000 pest proof fence was erected across the point.  15% of the chicks of ground nesting birds used to be killed by the predators, but no more.  The laysan albatross, which likes to nest there, has increased in number by 25%.  It's great to see a tangible example of the help people can be to an ecosystem.  It's worth the hike, but make sure you shortly after sunrise and bring more water than you need because there's no shade.  You'll be treated to tidepools and you might see a ground nesting bird or monk seal.  It's a beautiful peek at a more pristine Hawai'i.
From Ka'ena looking back at Makua Valley, where the U.S. military used to train.

That must have been quite the storm.
Geologically, the reefs of Ka'ena must have experienced quite the upheaval...unless people cemented this all together.
A perfect dry masonry wall
look at the sea urchins!
It's very dry on the Wai'anae side of the mountains, especially in August.
My supergirl sis in law
From what I have read, this might be the endemic Ka'ena Akoko, which drops all of its foliage in the summer.
Wow!  Look at the layers of lava here.  Smooth, bumpy...I think it's what we learned to call pahoehoe and a'a in elementary school. 
Sun peeking over the mountain...time to get hot. 

The sun hits the trail for the first time just before we get to the fence.
My crazy brother. 

The $250,000 fence that really did make a great difference.

Beach naupaka
 'Ua 'u kani--the endangered ground nesting Wedge-tailed Shearwater.  There are trails you must stay in so that you don't accidentally hurt one of these little guys or their babies

White spotted sea cucumber

me and my hubby
I love this round rock.

my brother explores

No.  He didn't.

Birdie tracks.
My hubby
View of the point
Looking back toward the Wai'anae side. 
Looking toward the North Shore side.
Little naupaka islands

'Ilima papa--'Ilima are the traditional flower of O'ahu
Leaving alcatraz (aka Ka'ena)
Heading home to the Wai'anae side.

Sunset at Waikiki and Makaha

Our resident gecko
I've finally had a chance to look through the last of our pictures from visiting family in Hawai'i.  How appropriate that most of them were taken at the day's end as our vacation drew to a close.

My niece's cute feet
Makaha beach at dusk.

Makaha.  Right down the hill from my childhood home.

I think people had been collecting and eating these wana (sea urchins)...or else maybe the seals were.  There were pieces of them everywhere underwater.  My in laws saw a Hawaiian Monk seal on this beach.   

My wonderful parents in law. 
Angel's trumpet.  Toxic and hallucinogenic, but very lovely.

Did you know that this is what a banana flower (heart) looks like?
Banana heart.  Gigantic!
Beach naupaka.  My favorite beachside flower.
Hawaiian ti leaf sandals.  Maybe I should make some.  
A guest at my 16th high school reunion.   
Banyan in Kapi'olani park.  We had our reunion picnic beneath it.
Powder blue and royal blue: these colors bring flashbacks to my 6-12th grade years of wearing the exact same color of uniform.  
Tired after a long day in Waikiki
Sunset in from the airplane.