Monday, January 30, 2017

Coffee day

Today we visited the Kauai Coffee Plantation. I am a fan of fine coffees and enjoy plantations visits. The Kauai Plantation is the largest in the U.S. with 3100 acres of coffee in cultivation.

The size of the plantation requires a very mechanized approach. Coffee is harvest using the machine shown below which was originally used to harvest blueberries.

I must say that the samples were great and I made some purchases to be consumed during the rest of our trip. I will have to decide about ordering.

My other experience with coffee harvesting and processing was on the Big Island. There Kona coffee was harvest by hand and we were able to view how the coffee was processed. Very different approaches - hand labor vs. mechanized - to accomplish pretty much the same thing.

The difference between scale and craft seems to be a major division in the way the world is moving.

Lion King Tree

I think I am taking the same pictures I took years ago. These trees are magnificent, but you need to find them isolated for the full effect. Lion King Tree (baobab).

I have started to accumulate some of my better photographs as a public Flickr album. If you are interested, have a look.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Big guys dancing

We attended a luau last evening. It was spendy but spectacular. The show (the Hawaiian story) was sufficient that I would recommend the experience to anyone.

There was lots of impressive singing and dancing. I assume you think it was the hula girls I would find most interesting. They were fine, but I was most impressed by the male dancers. Imagine defensive linemen dancing around but in a fairly graceful way. Let your mind just imagine what this would look like for a little while. Quite a show.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A preference for chickens

I take my photography fairly seriously. I own a couple of nice cameras with some nice lenses and I know the basics of their use and of composition.
I tend to get one complaint from relatives. They like the photos but criticize me for my lack of people pictures. This has happened several times. Just to self-check, I went to the photos I have uploaded to Flickr from this trip. I can see some truth in what they claim. There are a couple of pictures of Cindy (taking pictures). This is a tradition. Other than that, no pictures of people. It turns out I have far more pictures of chickens and avocados. I could speculate on my photographic preferences, but that would likely get me in trouble.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mark - with blurred background

I have heard concerns (at least one actual person, not concerns expressed by mythical people as referenced by Pres. Trump) that I do not appear in any of my travel picks. I very seldom do selfies.

Cindy provides this image. She would like folks to know that it was taken with her iPhone in portrait mode. This translates as pictures with a blurred background. I admit that I am the subject of this photo and the background is in fact blurred. For those of you not in the possession of a new iphone, a blurry background results when a picture is taken with the focus on an individual and a shallow depth of field. If my camera technique facts are accurate this means a wide aperture and with the lighting of this image a quick shutter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wipe out

I had a chance to take some surfer photos today. They were at the limit of my telephoto, but I did get a couple of interesting shots. I call this one "wipe out". Lucky timing.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Believe it or not, these two images were both captured within a few seconds. I wish I could have found a way to get both in the frame at the same time. Poor focus on the Northern Cardinal, but you have likely seen them before. The pair are red crested cardinals.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Heavy surf

Weather has turned rainy and very windy. Surf is putting on a show against the rocks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chickens and the big questions of life

Chickens and the road - the source of one of life's most eternal questions, yet to be resolved. 

I remember the chickens from our last visit. They are everywhere. I am taking this trip more seriously and asking more questions. Why did the chicken cross the road? No, not that question. Why do you see chickens running around in Hawaii. Are they something like cows in India? My science background kicked in and I decided the chicken must be an invasive species. Some hipsters decided they wanted to be farmers and purchased a few chickens. When they learned that chickens kept in a small coop start to smell, they tired of their venture and being unwilling to eat their pets released them into the wild. The story of the Asian carp repeated on a small island.

I decided to check on my guess using Google. I found an article in the NYTimes that speculated about these birds. I wasn't far off (except for that part about the hipster farmers). Evidently, the mongoose population on Kauai has been in decline allowing the "feral" (not to be confused with free range) chickens to reproduce without a check.

When this happened with the snow goose population in North Dakota, the Game and Fish added a spring hunting season. It turns out that the birds that made it south and then back were pretty smart. It also turns out the fields are muddy in the spring and setting up decoys was more trouble than most were willing to endure. I am guessing shooting chickens is also out of the question. Not very sporting.

It appears that the only natural enemy of the Hawaiin chicken is the automobile that and the bird's silly drive to get to the other side of the road.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No bud lite here

I get a lot of harassment for my taste in beer. This abuse comes from my hipster kids' preference for IPAs. I am not a fan of hoppy (sour) beer. I do like pickles, but that is a different matter. This does not make me an old fuddy-duddy (I hope I spelled this correctly). I do enjoy a bud lite on a hot day. My present beer of preference is nordeast. Anyway, I don't think Budweiser products are sold in Hawaii.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mystery flower

I am typically a tech blogger and only become a travel blogger when I travel (makes sense). I thought I would try to combine my interests. One issue you often have when travelling is being unable to identify unique things you see in a new location. I like to take pictures and I often end up with pretty pictures without useful labels. I thought perhaps tech might help me out.

I tried two photo identiication services.

The first is from Wolfram (you may know as Wolfram).

I don't think so - at least the two pictures don't really match. Wolfram looks like a learning system in which the service makes a guess and then I assume the system attempts to improve itself. 

Google also offers a photo identification service - Google search by image.

Google identified my image as "flower". Also not particularly helpful. Google does provide "similar" images. In this case, if the photographer know what he/she was photographing and attached a label, I would have better luck. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Turtle Power

Artists find a canvas or a blank wall. We found this painter creating a giant sea mural this afternoon. He was working on the turtle when I was photographing his work.

I thought the image looked like a Wyland. Daughter Kim long has been interested in the art of Wyland. I blew up the image of the guy on the ladder as best as I could and am 90% confident that this is Wyland at work. Easy enough to test my decision yourself.

View from the not so cheap seats

We are going to spend some time in Hawaii. It was a great time of year to leave Minnesota.

Travelling gives me an opportunity to take some nice pictures. I have very few pictures over the years from planes, but I decided this was because I try to avoid sitting next to the window. This is more a comfort thing than a fear of flying. I do not like to fly anymore, but this is more the hassle of airports and the confined quarters of a plane seat for hours on end. No different this time, but the view from the window until we reached LA was great