Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Define "infested"...

Where: North Shore, Oahu, HI
When: August 19, 2010

Whee sharks!! This was one of the coolest experiences of my life. The sharks we saw were primarily Galapagos sharks, which prefer to hang out at about 200ft of water depth. The area we were was a crab fishing area, and over the years the sharks have learned that when they hear a particular type of engine, there's going to be food, so they come up.

We probably had 12-15 or so, and they were anywhere from 8-10 feet long. Some were pregnant.

They are apparently very picky eaters - according to the guide if he were to throw chicken or pig into the water, they would not be interested. According to wikipedia: "They feed mainly on bottom-dwelling bony fishes and cephalopods; larger individuals have a much more varied diet, consuming other sharks, marine iguanas, sea lions, and even garbage".

More on this type of shark here.

I was most impressed with the economy of movement. There was only thrashing when a piece of food was tossed in, and half the time the birds got the food first. When the shark did get to a piece of food, his or her mouth would only open as little as it had to - just wide enough to engulf the food, no more no less.

There was also a school of mackerel under the boat which the sharks weren't at all interested in - the guide explained that the amount of energy the shark would have to expend to catch one would be more than the amount of energy he would get from the fish. However, if one of the fish happened to be injured then the sharks would be all over it.

Here's the cage we went into (although that's not us, obviously). You can see two sharks circling it:

They never seemed particularly interested in the people in the cage. They would get quite close, and they were clearly looking, but none of them decided to try us out.

I had bought a throw away underwater camera specifically for this adventure, but by the time it was my turn to get into the cage I was SO EXCITED that I forgot to bring it! And it was so fascinating to be in the cage watching the sharks cruise by and under and around INCHES from us that I didn't even think about cameras until I got out, which ought to give you some idea of HOW FREAKING AWESOME an experience this was! When I forget that I could be taking pictures something extra weird is going on.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sun Worship

Where: Diamond Head, Oahu, HI
When: August 18, 2010

First sunset of our first day - this is the view from our apartment. We rented a studio apartment that was on a little strip of land between a beautiful park and the water, it was an absolutely perfect location. The apartment was beautiful, and the people who rent it are incredibly sweet and helpful, I could not have been more pleased with our choice. It was so quiet there that we opened the (floor to ceiling) windows and just left them open the whole time, and got constant lovely breezes all night. We never had to turn on the air conditioner. It felt like sleeping on a big, airy, peaceful, bug free platform 12 stories up in the air.

Here's a preview of the next day, while waiting at the docks to go and see some... wait for it... SHARKS!!

And finally - the first shark! Well, I don't know if it was the first. But it was certainly one of many:

Tomorrow - MORE SHARKS!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Surf's Up

Where: Diamond Head Beach Park, Oahu, HI
When: August 18, 2010

Or rather, surf's out, I suppose, since this guys done. I have no idea what the proper terminology is. But check out that sunrise!

Surfing was easily my favorite newly learned activity this trip - tried it once, then promptly canceled the next two days of plans to go out again and again. Not sure if I'm into it enough to go surfing where wetsuits are required, however...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hanauma Bay Park

Where: Oahu, Hawaii
When: August 18, 2010

Best snorkeling ever! We saw sea turtles chomping on coral, sea slugs, tons of gorgeous fish, and a moray eel! I wish we had had time to do more snorkeling, that's definitely something I will prioritize next visit.

And here's a shot of Dave and me our friend took:

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Morning

Where: Diamond Head Beach (the beginning of it, anyway), Oahu, Hawaii
When: August 18, 2010

We got up absurdly early thanks to jet lag, and were able to walk along the sea wall up to this gorgeous beach. Here's another shot I took along the way:

These are Plumeria flowers - they are everywhere, and I picked up two completely perfect examples off the ground. They are traditionally used in leis.

And another:

I really wish I had had my other lens with me, as I could have done lots of fun stuff with them - the backs of the petals were beautifully outlined in pink. I thought I would have plenty of time to revisit the subject, but that ended up not being true.

The sea wall was interesting - apparently all the beaches on the Hawaiian islands are public. So all of the oceanfront homes in this area had a sea wall sidewalk outside of their fences, and we were able to walk almost all the way around on the water to the beach in the first picture. As you can see, many sections of the wall had steps or a ladder down to the water. Some sections were in better repair than others, so it got a little dicey and we detoured to the road for a bit. But still, what a wonderful resource.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Journeying, Part III

Where: Over Oregon
When: August 17, 2010

Journeying, Part II

Montana.  I think.
Where: Montana. I'm pretty sure. Past Billings, before Idaho, not sure on the mountain range.
When: August 17, 2010

I lucked out with mainly clear skies through the flight, plus my little in seat screen had a map telling me what we were flying over. I noted down the various locations whenever I was taking pictures, but I can't quite remember what part of Montana this was over specifically.

It is such a great way to see the country, it's a huge and dramatic place from 30,000 feet. Just one more of these that I think I'll post, then on to the Hawaii shots! I might be able to post all of them before, oh, December, but we'll see.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Journeying, Part I

Where: Bitterroot Range or maybe Pioneer Mountains(?) between Montana and Idaho.
When: August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Where: Home
When: August 6, 2010

Ok ok this is the last one I promise! Orchids just make such great subjects, I couldn't resist. We're off to Hawaii though, so I'll have plenty of not-entirely-flower-related subjects when I'm back!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where: Home
When: August 6, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where: home
When: August 7, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where: Home
When: August 6, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another birthday hike photo

Where: Harriman State Park
When: August 7, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthday Hike!

Where: Harriman State Park, NY
When: August 7, 2010

I didn't take many pictures, we were too busy hiking really fast. It was really fun to get out in the woods and move - and this hike had some fun, rocky, scrambly bits as well. I was surprised - I haven't done much activity for the last couple of weeks other than kettlebells twice a week, and some yoga, so I was expecting to be struggling a bit, but apparently kettlebells is a really good general conditioning exercise because I felt great, particularly on the up bits - yay squats!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gift after gift after gift

Where: Home (this is one of my presents!)
When: August 6, 2010

It's my birthday today! And I can't quite believe the lengths everyone went to make it (and me) feel ridiculously special. Homemade surprise cake, hugs and hugs and more hugs, laughter, phone calls, amazing food, and wonderfully sweet and thoughtful gifts just kept on coming. This was one of the most wonderful and transformative years ever for me, and it could not have happened without all these amazing people I am lucky enough to have in my life.

Thank you thank you thank you. I love you all so much.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Visiting, Take Two

Where: Bradford, VT
When: July 3, 2010 (or maybe 4th?)

Aha! Ask and receive - I overlooked this on my first pass through, only one of 3 taken in the horizontal orientation, but still better than the one I posted earlier, I think. I flipped this one because I decided it was nicer to have the moth/butterfly facing into the center from the left rather than the right. Well, for my brain anyway.


Where: Bradford, VT
When: July 3, 2010 (or maybe 4th?)

I love the way the grasses blended into each other in the background, but I'm not convinced this was the best version of this shot. I wish I had tried more landscape, it would have captured more of the texture in the background.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Where: Brooklyn, NY
When: July 31, 2010


About Me

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New York City, United States

About This Blog

This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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