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,!

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

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.


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!


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:


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!


As I was backing out of the driveway on my way to meet my friend, Peter, I saw a flash of brown and white and black. The quick movement and colors told me that a mynah bird had been hit by a car. I saw it flap it’s wings, but could see that it was injured. There was another mynah bird nearby watching.

Oh, no! I have to do something. If it’s badly injured, it needs to be relieved of pain. But my friend would be waiting for me and he just did me a huge favor. He printed the large image I needed for my Thanksgiving show and did it quickly so that I could leave with it on Thursday.

I ran into the house to get something to contain the little guy. A pillow case would work. I grabbed the pillowcase and ran toward the spot where I last saw the bird. Obviously I approached too quickly scaring him. He flew across the street. I think his legs were injured. He was unable to fly well and I saw him land on the top of our neighbor’s wall and then fall. I thought he fell into an enclosed courtyard that was locked – I couldn’t see him. As I started to walk away, I noticed two pigeons hanging out. It was as of they were letting me know where he was. I approached slowly this time and noticed a few white spots that were the underside of his wing. He was under a little bush. I inverted the pillowcase and used it like a glove, gently putting my hands around his small warm body. The pillowcase slipped over him easily and I cradled him in my hand and walked back to my car. Where should I take him? If I took him to the vet clinic known to treat birds, it would make me really late to meet Peter. VCA? I always think of them as being so cold and corporate. They often treat customers like nameless numbers. But they were less than five minutes away. I’d try them first. The girl that I spoke to was kind and understood what I needed immediately. She took the bird from me and said she would have someone look at his injuries to see if he could be saved. Otherwise they would euthanize him.

I know that the wild creatures have to fend for themselves without our intervention. But I’ve been feeling that our intervention is needed when our species is doing so much to make their world toxic. A car driven by a human caused this. I just wanted to lessen the damage whether it meant relieving the bird of his pain or fixing him.

After meeting with Peter, I called VCA. Not only had the bird survived, but it was on the mend. One of the techs at the clinic would foster him until he could be set free. I don’t know if the little guy might have somehow survived without my intervention, but I’m glad it turned out this way.

82° Partly Cloudy
45-628 Anoi Rd, Kaneohe, HI, United States

Sent from my iPad

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in love with my iPhone…really it’s the iPhone camera. I use my Canon 5D Mark II for jobs, but in between jobs, my go-to camera is the one that is built into my iPhone. I find it really versatile. Okay, it lacks the lens options for telephoto and macro and in low light, the image quality is terrible. But it shines in many ways. The biggest thing about the iPhone is that I always have it with me so I can capture those moments that catch my eye. The quality of the digital file is great and I’ve been able to make prints as large as 15×15 that I’ve been really happy with. The endless number of apps to play with make it fun and a person can try limitless numbers of versions on one image with them.

Because I always have the iPhone with me, I’ve been able to keep a sort of loose journal. The Photos app automatically sorts the photos into events by date which makes it easy to view my photo journal. I import my photos directly from the phone into a Lightroom catalog set and leave it there organized by date. Now I can view all the photos taken on my iPhone by date.

Kat Sloma of KatEye Studio hosts a monthly Photo-Heart Connection event where people post an image they took the previous month that speaks to their heart-eye. I thought I’d take off on that by sharing my favorite photos taken in September since I don’t have the discipline to narrow it down to one…what about the really cute one of Murphy or the cool app treatment on that one or that special spot that I want to share?

Sooooo…here they are…my September favorites.

This was taken in a courtyard at the Honolulu Museum of Art one day when I was there for lunch. I will always have a hard time calling it by its new name….it will always be the Academy of Arts to me.Image

We take Murphy and Maddy for a walk in the neighborhood every morning. Our home is in an old subdivision of track homes where I’ve lived most of my life.


I never, ever tire of waking up to the magnificent Koolaus every morning. Even the telephone wires and rooftops, don’t obscure it’s incredible beauty. We are always in its shadow.Image


Then there’s the ever cute Murphy, cocker spaniel. It’s my blog and I can be as sappy as I want.Image


To try to solve the problem of the lack of lens options, I ordered the PhotoJojo set of three lenses. There are two versions of iPhonelenses that I know of. One is the Photojojo set and the other is the Olloclip. I didn’t want a piece that mounted on the phone so I chose the Photojojo version. It comes with a wide angle,/macro, fish-eye, and telephoto lenses. It’s a lot of small parts – easy to lose (especially for me).

FisheyeMurph-8589.jpgI’ve always wanted an extreme fish-eye lens and this is fun to play with. Here’s a shot of the fountain at the Four Seasons Wailea.

FisheyeFSW-8775.jpgI went out of my comfort zone to cover a group on a horseback ride at Mendes Ranch in Maui. It’s kinda scary when the horse knows you haven’t got a clue. But I got this great shot of my horse, Capone and the view.


After Maui, I moved on to a job on the Kona coast at the Four Seasons Hualalai. I got this shot of the wiliwili tree in bloom and spoke to the landscape guy about their efforts to save the wiliwili trees on property. They are endangered…almost extinct because they are being attacked by a wasp from Africa.


I’ve had a ton of fun with an app called ImageBlender that allows you to blend two images in layers and adjust the opacity to your liking. Here are two images I played with.

InstaEffect-8649 ImageBlender-8655.jpgIf you have favorite apps on your iPhone, please share them. Our support really helps the developers of these apps.