May was busy but the photos may not show it.
The month started with a tour of Otsuji Farms
on Oahu. The farm got its start in 1954, and the city sorta grew up around it, so now you could call it an urban farm. It’s a three-generation farm. The middle generation still makes sure the place runs day in and day out. Edwin, wearing his signature Crocodile-Dundee-hat, led the tour.
Shortly thereafter, on Kauai, the Kilauea Point Lighthouse celebrated its 99th anniversary
with talk story, hula, music and, of course, seabirds. The wedge-tailed shearwaters were in the burrows adding their call--more like a moan--to the day’s festivities. Overhead, red-tailed tropicbirds squawked and flew backwards in their courtship dance. On the hill--sort of like a shoulder to the point itself--Laysan albatross adults returned from sea to regurgitate a meal of fish eggs and squid for their three-month-old chicks. This chicks, by the way, are losing their dark, downy feathers. Their white body plumage is in. And their wings have grown extraordinarily long. When they stretch their wings to let the wind blow through them, the birds remind me of Carol Burnett wearing the “curtain dress” in a Gone with the Wind parody. Remember that? It’s just that the wings on these chicks are so disproportionately long.
Kauai’s third and fourth Hawaiian monk seal pup
were born, and I spent a good chunk of time trying to keep up with them over the month. One hot morning, a neighbor named Sharon showed up with freshly-picked lychee, and that’s when I realized summer had arrived. The seasons can do that in Hawaii--sneak up on you.
In the middle of the month, my author friend Darien Gee
flew to Kauai from her home on Big Island. She keynoted an event at Small Town Coffee on behalf of the literary journal, Kauai Backstory. We talked about how mythology and mythic construction pervades literature--and movie and TV shows today.
An eight or nine-year-old Hawaiian monk seal male swallowed a fish hook
. For that, he caught a ride on a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 to Oahu, where he visited the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium. Some kind people removed his hook, gave him meds to battle the infection that had already set in and led to pneumonia. When all that cleared up, they booked a flight for him back to Oahu on another C-130. It was delayed three hours due to engine trouble. But, eventually, Kolohe--the rascal--returned to Kauai, rode in the back of a truck across the island and was released on the west side. He made two laps of the keiki pool--“thanks for the help, humans”--and headed out for open ocean. Since then, the thousands of dollars of electronics he’s sporting on his back have reported that he’s making normal foraging dives and patrolling the southeast coast of Kauai.
And I took a walk on Anini Beach
and learned the hukilau.
How was your May?