Tag Archives: volcano

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!


IMG_9687Ryan Peters taught a fabulous workshop in Volcano on fermentation. It was a fabulous learning experience and FUN! He took your fear of fermentation away by demonstrating the art with ease. It was interesting to see the variety of kraut chi (sauerkraut/kim chi hybrid) that everyone created from the same selection of vegetables. We selected from head cabbage, carrots, won bok, round onions, green onions, jalapenos, beets, turmeric, ginger, green onions, radishes, turnips…yes, you can use them all…and more!

We all used salt for the initial breakdown of the vegetables. Mashing them with our hands or other available tools (such as a handy carrot).


We packed our mixtures into canning jars. Ryan said that the type with a narrow mouth is better as it will help keep the veggies below the water line.


He talked about all the good things the fermented veggies do for your gut…and they are super delicious. The first photo in this post shows the variety of colors, textures and tastes that our small group created.


For more information from Ryan, check out his blog: Ferment to Be:

He’s got some classes coming up:


I wanted to learn more so I purchased the Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, one of the books that Ryan shared.

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 an 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.

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This is a photo of lehua in our yard in Kaneohe with a mejiro (white eye).

During the Thanksgiving weekend, many artists show their work in their homes around the Village.

I was able to sneek out for a quick peek at my favorites and I wanted to share two of them.

I visited Mary and Ken Goodrich’s home and loved their latest folios. They were exquisitely printed  sets of black and white images. They are truly a talented couple and very generous in sharing knowledge.

I’ve been admiring is Rising Mist, one of Mary’s images. I now am a proud owner of a matted print.

Rising Mist by Mary Goodrich

The image is on her home page. Here’s a link to Mary’s site: And a link to their photo retreat site:

Lisa Louise Adams is one of the most productive artists I know. She made these fun mini-vases – hundreds of them. I had to have one and found that it’s perfect to display tiny, delicate cigar flowers. Here’s a link to her site: