Kris and I fell in love with Volcano many years ago. A friend told us about cool cottages available for rent and we went to check the area out. I had been up there many years ago and had forgotten about the beauty of the rain forest. The song of apapane is so varied, lively and sweet. Staying in this cottage on the Mauna Loa side of the highway brought that all back to me. We made several visits after that, often looking at land and homes to buy. I didn’t want to own a piece of land…I wanted something that we could stay in.
After a few years of looking with a very patient friend and realtor we found a cedar A-frame in “the Village”, Volcano.
Because our business requires that we travel so much, it’s really hard to hub out of a small airport like Hilo. Flight options are very limited. We’re also not quite ready to give up Kaneohe…seeing the magnificent Ko’olau Mountains every day. So we live most of the year in Kaneo’he.
Years ago, we shipped a container of Ohia trees from the Big Island. We wanted to bring a piece of the rainforest that we loved with us. The ohia served as a bridge that connected us to Volcano. Kris has worked so hard to keep our Ohia healthy. They love porous soil…or lava…lots of water and lots of drainage. Anyone who knows Kaneohe, knows that Kaneohe soil is clay. Whenever a tree drowns, it is so heartbreaking. These trees will die suddenly and Kris hasn’t found a way to rescue them when they start to go.
A few years ago, we got a phone call from entertainer, Karen Keawehawai’i saying that she heard about our ohia from one of our friends and wondered if she could pick some for her grandaughter…for a hula competition. Karen came over…she loves our dogs and she loves to take photos. What a delightful person!
The next year two other girls came by and asked if they could pick some blossoms.
Kris picks the flowers for the dancers so that the trees don’t get stressed and we usually get a sweet thank you note. This year several dancers on their way to the Merrie Monarch Festival, stopped to get flowers and liko (buds) to make an offering to Pele at Halema’uma’u before the competition.
We’re loving the full circle that our trees and flowers are making as the dancers bring them home.
This is a photo of lehua in our yard in Kaneohe with a mejiro (white eye).
Yesterday I was on a snorkel cruise on Lana’i and had a chance to experiment with my new underwater housing for the iPhone. I love it! I’ve used a Canon G9 with a housing and the image is extremely grainy so I’ve been looking for an alternative. We have an Ikelite housing for the 40D, but it’s a beast and not really practical for shooting a job like this.
Enter Watershot. I heard of the Watershot housing for iPhone when I participated in the annual Phone Camera Show at Frame Arts Gallery. Zac Noyle, accomplished water photographer entered his amazing photos shot using the housing.
It takes a little getting used to, but for the most part it’s sturdy and very easy to use. You can shoot stills or video with it. The limitations are the same limitations you have with any point and shoot. The app that it comes with it is free to download and it allows you to shoot rapid fire which is very useful. Here’s a link to the site:
Here are my favorite shots so far!
Trilogy in Hawaii
I haven’t posted anything in a while and I’ve truly missed it. This is a spot where I can share anything I want. No expectations.
So after a short hiatus, my first post is about saimin and ramen. I’ve always loved these noodle soups and can pretty much eat them every day. When I was a kid, my grandmother took me to see samurai movies. These were a huge passion – my childhood fantasies were set in medieval Japan. The culture spoke to me a very deep way.
After the movies, we’d go to Likelike Drive Inn, an old local hangout for saimin. We’d order two bowls – a large and a child’s portion. I ate the large one. The time I spent with my grandmother was precious. I still miss her.
The last time I was at Likelike Drive Inn, I was disappointed that the broth was so salty. Saimin usually has a broth made of pork and/or dried shrimp. The broth should be clear, not oily and briny, not salty. Then there are the egg noodles that need to be cooked before they go into the broth and served immediately. There is nothing worse to the saimin connoisseur than mushy noodles. Condiments are placed on top. The most common are char siu (Chinese five spice flavored pork), kamaboko (fish cake – usually the pink and white kind), scallions (just the green part), scrambled egg and spam – all thinly sliced.
My current favorite saimin place is Palace Saimin, an old establishment in Kalihi. No frills there…just saimin in different sizes and few options and barbeque meat sticks. Saimin has it’s roots in China and Japan and is the invention of plantation workers making do with what was available and integrating with their neighbors in other camps. It’s a Hawaiian hybrid dish with deep roots. Yum!
If you have a favorite saimin place, please share it in comments so that I can check it out. I’m always on the lookout!
Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saimin
(Sidenote: I would love to get my hands on the first issue of Lucky Peach magazine which featured ramen)
Feeling a little melancholy today. This poem lifts me up and keep me going…makes me able to put out junk and share it with the world. Thank you, Mary Oliver.
The Poet with His Face in His Hands
You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets
like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you
want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched
by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(New and Selected Poems Volume Two)
When I was in Bhutan, I saw a monk who told fortunes or something like that. I’m not a believer in this stuff, but it was fun. He said that I should have this guy around. It’s Vajrapani.
From Wildmind: “Vajrapani (Holder of the Thunderbolt) represents the energy of the enlightened mind, and energy that breaks through delusion. He dances wildly within a halo of flames, which represent the transformative power of Awakening. He holds a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand, which emphasizes the power to cut through the darkness of delusion.”
My dear teacher sent me a postcard of Vajrapani right after the monk gave me this information. I thought that was interesting.
I keep this postcard on my desk and photographed it to archive it. Recently, I’ve been playing with a paint app on my iPhone called AutoPainter3. It does, as its name suggests, automatically applies a painting style to the photograph. It’s a little heavy handed for my taste so I imported the original and the painted version into Photoshop where I could control the amount of “paint” applied. So far I’m liking it. I’m especially liking playing with my iPhone. It’s just my go to camera now!
Playing with image
I signed up for Franco’s class at Pacific New Media called Memoir: Image and Word/Word and Image. I figure I better sit down and write. Combining words and images is something Franco is amazing at. Many of the photographers I admire are wonderful writers. I think that the right words accompanying images can strengthen them. I want to write because I believe that it’s an important part of the creative process.
This morning I’m having a cup of Morning Joe from Trader Joe’s. The coffee has a roasted nuttiness and no bitter aftertaste. It’s a little weak today. Everyday it’s different. Inconsistent just like me. This morning the cup I picked is one from Fika in New York City. It’s a porcelain version of a disposable cup and I love it’s feel.
Before heading off to Lisbon for a photo shoot, we moved Maddy and Murphy back to Oahu. One of the things I miss most about Oahu is walking on Kailua Beach. The iPhone helps me capture the well being I feel when I’m there. Yes!
Pine and sand.
Selfie – feetie
Rays at sunrise