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May in Photos

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai
Jun 08, 2013


Yesterday afternoon, we went kayaking inside the reef at 'Anini on Kauai's north shore. As the sun slanted in the western sky and the light grew heavy, I felt something inside me shift. Instead of enjoying the conversation with our friends Charlie and Susan as I had been for a few hours, I wanted my camera--my Big Girl Camera. I wanted my tripod. I wanted to bracket some exposures and process them in high dynamic range.

This month's review of images made me realize something: The only time I held my Canon DSLR in my hands was to take pictures of Kauai's newest Hawaiian monk seal pup and his mother. And what an experience that was. The first of these images was taken when the pup was less than 24 hours. The last when he was three weeks. During that time, he went for his first swim. He put on three to five pounds of weight per day. His teeth started to fill the empty sockets in his mouth. And the black baby hair with which he was born began falling out, replaced by a beautiful coat of silver on his dorsal (back) and creamy white on his ventral (belly). In another week or so, starvation will force his mother to the sea to replenish the fat stores she's lost over the past month. At that time, the fat, roll-polly pup will be weaned and start foraging for solid food.

This morning, Kauai's second Hawaiian monk seal pup was born. You know what that means, right? June will bring more of the same when it comes to my photography.

I hope you like Hawaiian monk seals. Or, at least, pictures of them. Do you?

Responses:

mike squires | Jun 10, 2013 10:07 AM

I have been enjoying your photos & writings for about 4 months now & so look forward to seeing you listed on my "in-box" list----your photos of the Monk Seals are just plain exciting!! That new pup looks totally content and happy--kinda sad mom leaves soon, but that happens to all creatures of course, sooner or later. I was on Maui last April & did see 4-5 whales--I'll be back there next March which , hopefully, will create an opportunity to see more--the manager of the condo I will be in says they have a monk seal who comes to visit the 3 reefs on their beach quite frequently, so am hoping to see that also--Had not been in Hawaii for 42 yrs before last Apr., but do intend to be on all the islands one time or another in the near future--thanks for your photos & words--mike Squires-Tacoma, WA

Kim | Jun 11, 2013 08:05 AM

Hi Mike, thanks for you kind words. Seeing wildlife up close is an amazing experience, isn't it? March is usually a great time to see humpback whales, especially in Maui. And Hawaiian monk seals? Well, you never know where they'll pop up. Keep in touch. It's good to meet in this way. Mahalo.

Lindsay Seaman | Jun 12, 2013 08:24 AM

I have learned to love monk seals from you, Kim. Thanks so much for bringing the beauty of nature in Hawaii to our daily lives.

Kim | Jun 12, 2013 12:00 PM

Lindsay, your words warm my heart in ways I cannot even say. Thank you for sharing.

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