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Above Waimea 7 August 2017

1708 : 737

This was the most exciting thing about today: a Pueo sighting. This sweet little endangered owl is the only Hawaiian representative of the owlish clan (Strix or more completely Asio flammeus sandwichensis.) How did this little beggar ever end up here? There are records of him (and her) going back to the arrival times, when the Polynesian canoes came, and the Pueo was invested with great mana and was recognized even then as rare. I have seen precisely one other Pueo in my visits to Hawaii, also on the Big Island, on the Saddle Road from Waimea to Hilo between the two Maunas.

She (or he) was perched on the telephone line beside the road as we returned home from lunch. I turned around well up the road and snuck back, parked well away, rolled down my window, and took this picture. Luckily, for when I opened the door to try to get closer (and on the better lighted side) she flew.

1709 : 723

Lunch. We scanned the offerings, rather remarkably many for a town such as this (main claims to fame, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Parker Ranch, and NOT the Kohala resort ghetto.)

1710 : 711

One of the top faves, The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe, appealed to us after the too-richness of Merriman's and Red Water ... but the menu was too inviting, and I fear we pigged out. (Sadly, their fish delivery hadn't come in yet.) Get this: Reuben Spring Rolls! Uncle's Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Wings with crackseed sauce (Hawaii's favorite snack). Rochelle had the Bacon burger, but it had a cute name we can't remember. Much too much fried food, but yummy anyway. No more dat; broke da mout'!

1711 : 706

It was Muggy today -- forecast for tomorrow: Tueggy -- and we couldn't really get ourselves excited about going down to sea level, where it was hot hot hot. Instead, we walked around the homestead a little, down the hill onto the parcel below, covered with nasty grass. The Hawaiians have a special name for it, meaning something like False Step, because left alone it builds up a false surface that can be feet above the underlying ground (that may be rife with what our host calls ankle busters.)

Our little cottage is hidden by the Ohia trees behind the big house.

Our experience in the last few days is that with the exception of the ever-present tropical plague (mosquitoes) even this sere upland desert is pretty paradisiacal.

The other snake in the garden is water. Where abundant -- over on the windward Hamakua side, 20 miles east -- it's verdant jungle (and the mosquitoes are legion.) Where it's sunny -- here and in the rain shadow of Mauna Kea and Hualalai -- it's dry as a bone.

1712 : 694
<p>Readers of my travel journals...

Readers of my travel journals may remember my preoccupation with rocks -- the bones that the flesh of a place is laid down over. Here in Hawaii, the rocks are especially interesting because some of them are so new (geologically speaking.) Looking at the two specimens at left, both young rocks as rocks go, you can see the difference a few dozen millennia make. At right, rocks from a highway cutting near Na'alehu, just over the border into Kau. At left, Kohala Mountains bones from a highway cutting on the way to Maile's place.

1713 : 691

This is likely the last transmission from Hawaii. We fly tomorrow afternoon, arriving in Oakland about midnight -- but for us, only a 21 hour day, because we get back the three hours we put in the time bank when we flew over. We'll likely do something a little fun on our way from Waimea to the Kona airport, but that will probably not get reported until we're situated in our Oakland motel early Wednesday morning.


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