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Dogs & other sentient beings

It’s been so long since I posted to my blog that I wasn’t sure if my account was still active. It is. Thank you, WordPress.com!

It’s been so distressful to watch the news on Facebook. I thought I’d try a return to actually writing stuff instead of 140 character or less posts on Twitter and Facebook. I do love Instagram…just photos, no text. 

We moved up to Volcano full time and love being on the Big Island. Murphy has adapted to the rain and will actually go out in it to do his business. Maddy loves running in the rain and all over our lot. It’s been a challenge living and working in our 900 square foot cottage with most of our stuff in storage. The back bedroom that is designated my office is so cold and damp that we can’t really work back there. It’s so humid that we can’t store envelopes there. Kris’ temporary file cabinet (the cardboard kind) has collapsed from the humidity. 

The good far outweighs the challenges. We’re in rural Volcano Village, just five minutes from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park. Everyone on the East side of the island outside of Hilo is on a water catchment system. We rely on rain for our water supply. Because we have no mail delivery or trash pickup, we go to the post office daily and drop trash weekly. It’s quiet here…birds, crickets and an occasional vehicle down our street. We live in a rainforest with hapu’u (native tree ferns) and ohia. Kris has taken out most of the invasive ginger and he’s planted a few anthuriums and cymbidium. I’m able to pick orchids, camelia and anthuriums for the house. Alstroemerias and calla lilies grown in Volcano are always available at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday. 

Hopefully, the house we’re building will be ready soon and we’ll have a nice big office. My kitchen is looking amazing and I’m looking forward to trying out the new stove. More to come.

We’re still traveling a lot for work. Yesterday we returned from a trip to Cabo San Lucas where we worked to support the photography team for a large software company. It was a little strange for us to just be processing photos and not shooting. I enjoyed it, but I think Kris missed the shooting part.

It feels good to write my first post. I missed having this to return to. If you haven’t given up on me and still follow this blog, please comment. I need all the encourgement I can get!

Ohia lehua…beautiful native.

Alstroemeria…one of my favorite flowers and I can get them in Volcano.

Murphy looking out at the rainforest.

Maddy on the beach

Maddy on the beach

Golden Retrievals

BY MARK DOTY
Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then
I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,
or else you’re off in some fog concerning
tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,
a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.
Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems
from the Poetry Foundation

I thought I’d end this weekend of Easter, Passover and Buddha’s Birthday (coming up) with one of the last photos taken of the nest of apapane. Kris got this shot yesterday before we left. I wish we could have stayed to see these fledglings take off.
They changed a great deal in the three days we were in Volcano. That’s survival. Gotta be quick for some things in nature.

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Ohia blossom

Ohia blossom

In flight.

In flight.

During my morning ritual of coffee and writing, the most amazing sight greeted me. I noticed a clump of small dried branches on an ohia tree near our front door…a nest! The orange yellow beaks demanding food were barely visible. I grabbed a long lens, not to photograph them, but to get a better look.

Three three babies...mouths wide open

Three babies…mouths wide open

Feeding time.

Feeding time.

Two adult birds tending them.

Two adult birds tending them.

We live in a rainforest of native Hawaiian ohia trees and hapu’u on the slopes of Mauna Loa. Most morning red native honey creepers called apapane sing and do whatever these guys do. They sure sound happy!

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While I was in cooking class, Kris took a train…several trains and a bus out to Jigokudani Park to photograph the snow monkeys or Japanese macaques in the hot springs. He got some amazing photos of these creatures. They are wild and come to the hot springs in the cold months for the soothing heat of the hot springs…like us!

Here’s a link to the web gallery of his photos: http://www.eyeoftheislands.com/KrisScanlon/SnowMonkeys/index.html

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Maddy and Murphy have enjoyed running around in a grassy park with trails and a fabulous view of Mount Olomana. While we were in Volcano the first part of the year, rain flooded the area and it’s been unusable until a week ago.
The area is not really a park. We’ve heard different stories about it, but I think the land is owned by the nearby golf course and it’s a flood control area. They can’t use it and don’t maintain it.
A few volunteer dog people have worked on cutting and maintaining trails. Lots of people who use the park don’t know this…these kind people do what they do selflessly.
Kris worked on a small part of the trail we’ve called Maddy Lane. She is happiest running crazy in this park. We’re so happy to be able to return to it!

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