October 31, 2012

A Tale of Two Frogs

I've finally purchased bird feeders for our backyard...now I wait for the birds to re-discover the free handouts...a N. cardinal shot by this morning but didn't stop to eat or check things out.  In the meantime, there's other wildlife in the backyard...dragonflies, squirrels, and -- Hello! -- this cute little frog was on one of the handles on a wheelbarrow this AM.  Maybe he heard about the other frog inside the house.....

...But this frog doesn't do much croaking....I however should be croaking, considering how much frog tape I've been putting down.  Today we ordered our new kitchen counters, they should be installed w/in the next 2-3 weeks.  The price would make anyone croak!  Tomorrow I've got to finish "frogging" the kitchen.....ribbit!

October 21, 2012

Birding Arcata Marsh

Overall, my one birding attempt during my short stay in No. Calif. was successful, just not when it came to taking photos...it's taken awhile to decide whether to even bother posting about it, but despite the poor lighting and my lack of mad camera skills, a few came out "interesting" due to the lighting...

I visited the Arcata Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, 
A great place to bird, with ponds and close proximity to Arcata Bay...

Right off, near the trailhead, I found cedar waxwings....

Further along the trail, I found a male and female downy woodpecker...
Neither would hold still long enough for me to get good pics...

Song sparrows were in abundance in the bramble...

...As were the American wigeons at one of the ponds....

Among the flock of wigeons, a lone green-winged teal was spotted...

Near the bay, a single willet was wading and feeding...

Sharing the inlet with one stealthy great egret.

October 11, 2012

Aloha, Florida!

From Hawaii it took 4 airplanes
Just to get me to No. Calif.,
But it was really, really good
To see my parents and sis (1 of 2) again...
If only for a few days.
It took another 3 airplanes,
And from 3:00 AM to 3:00 PM PST
To get to Orlando, FL,
Where Ru picked me up and
Drove us back to Flagler Co.,
and HOME!!
A storm damaged our one bird feeder stand,
Some time ago,
So I am anxious to get that replaced
And see what feathers will flock
To our backyard...

As for the front yard,

I discovered a dove nesting! 

It makes for easy birding when the current priority is
Interior paint

October 01, 2012

Aloha, Hawaii

Well Great Big World, we made it.
Four months are up and we are DONE
Co-managing the Kona Tiki Hotel,
As of about 4:00 PM HST yesterday.
Right now I still mostly feel "numb".
We met a lot of people who thought
That this job must be a really great gig.
I can say I'm not sorry I did this,
I can say what an accomplishment,
What a unique, amazing thing to do...
But I will never say how "great" it was,
Or how "fun" or any other cheerful, 
Breezy adjective...
And I will never, ever say
That I'm coming back to do it again!!

Honestly, you'd have to experience it
To understand what it's all about.
(Ok, I deleted more whining...)

I feel like I've been deeply conditioned
To deal with this type of lifestyle;
I had to place all of my normal "things"
from my regular life on hold, 
In a mental holding tank...
And right now they're still there
Cause I am still here...
Getting back to "normal"
Will take some time...
How long, I have no idea.
But I do know, I won't start the
Until I'm back on our
Precious mainland!

We fly out tomorrow evening...

Our final two days.....
This is part of the view from our current room on the top, third floor as we chill out for a couple days...we finally have a lanai and a better view of the wide open ocean after 4 months in the ground floor office/food prep area/bedroom/living quarters that doesn't have a lanai... since that space was used to expand the indoor living space...

Up here we can see the yellow tang fish, and the black fish I forget the name of....which we saw up close and personal the few times we went snorkeling...

...And we can see that there are java sparrows up in the eaves of the roof, making nests somewhere out of sight...we can see them come and go with pieces of grass...and ok we shouldn't but we put some chips out on the railing for a little snack for their hard work.

And always, the roaring sea crashes into the sea wall nearby.....

Will I miss Hawaii?  No, but I can say I'll miss pieces...like feeding the java sparrows and the one family of saffron finches and No. cardinals every morning.  They'll miss me too cause I can see that the current mgr. is barely putting any seeds in the coconut shell feeders....

I will miss a couple people, too...Mike H. the maintenance dude w/ his one-liner tees, great laugh, and good heart...and Meriam, the gentle Micronesian woman who was a housekeeper for a few weeks, and who shared her family with us one night over a bbq that they prepared for us, to thank us for hiring Meriam...her daughters played the ukelele and sang and danced for us, it was magical....thanks to "Bloody Meriam" we got to see someone chewing beetle nut for the first time, too! Yowza!

And, I can say that it's cool that we were able to see Kilauea Volcano, the world's most active volcano...countless beautiful, tropical flowers...sea turtles! ... and I snorkeled for the first time and subsequently saw many tropical fish for the first time...and even a red pencil urchin...and eels!
They really do exist!

And we did meet some pretty awesome, creative people (musicians, artists, writers)...Michael and Barbara, Tom and Rebecca, Tom and Catherine, all great inspirations for me to get re-acquainted with my creative side, so long over-due...this is what I believe was the true purpose for experiencing this crazy adventure...that, and the chance for Ruben and I to strengthen our bond as a couple...not that we thought we needed it but BOY did we get it!

So, aloha, Hawaii.  And aloha great Pele, Volcano Goddess and fierce ruler of the island.  You are a force to be feared and revered.  May you find peace some day from all that fury over a love that was not to be.

And finally...aloha, Kona Tiki. 
So quaint and serene on the outside,
A haven to so many who seek escape.
(But that just wasn't my own perspective.)
I will remember you well.

It is time to climb back into "the box".
And I am so ready.

(Edited: 10-2-12)