Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Sun belt a'ama

I didn't realise it when I first moved into my house, but being quite close to the ocean on a peninsula meant I was in the Puna sun belt. Often, when the trade winds are blowing and the atmosphere isn't too wet, most of the windward side of the island, at least the Hilo and Hamakua regions, will be cloudy and damp yet it's sunny at my place. Drive a mile inland and it's raining, sometime heavily. Today was a perfect example: at the office in Hilo it was cloudy and wet, but while driving home noticed that it looked clear towards the ocean and when I finally arrived home (damn the traffic on H-130) the sky was beautiful. Perhaps my last chance to spot a whale this season?

No such luck, no whales and since I'm heading back up the mountain tomorrow, and the weather forecast is dire for the next week (that figures), I think I'll give up on the whale watching attempts until next winter. One day I'll get a picture, I swear, although I may have to resort to a whale watching boat trip.

Still, I managed to take a photo of this little guy:

It's an a`ama crab, or Hawaiian rock crab, and I can tell you that these little buggers are downright difficult to photograph. Firstly, they're quite black. Secondly, they live on even blacker lava rock. Thirdly, they live in the splash zone, so you risk getting wet or swept off the cliffs if you want to get close, and fourthly, the little buggers have radar and scatter as soon as you get within twenty feet, usually over the edge of the cliff.

This is the first one I've actually managed to photograph on the nearby cliffs. Perhaps they're so nervous because apparently they're good eating and good fish bait, and these cliffs are a good fishing spot. I know, I caught a fish here once...

PS. No tripod was used, abused, harmed or otherwise mistreated. Yes, it's possible to take ocean panoramas without a tripod, but you have to be ever so careful! Just don't inhale and exhale very much and wait for the big waves to pass by.


Anonymous said...

Puna... SUN???? Now I've had my laugh for the day.

Sun... what is that?

This is the damn coldest wettest year I've had living in Hawaii. Of course this is my first full year living in Puna as before this I lived in Hilo and Oahu!

Shouldn't this be called the "Puna Rainbelt?"

Anonymous said...

I just realized that I might have to pull you from the FBI Blogs.

We don't accept members from Puna, India!

Tom said...

Damon - I spent seven years of my life living in Preston in north-west England. Even one day of sunshine here is more than I got there during those seven years. Imagine seven years of cold drizzle, every day, day after day, life-sapping drizzle. Even when the rest of the country was covered in snow, it drizzled in Preston. Cold, grey, depressing drizzle.

So when I see the sun again, no matter how briefly, I'm going to announce it!

PS. Any idea what was going on today on H-130? I assumed there had been an accident because everything was backed up, but saw nothing once the traffic got going again.

Zuzana said...

I love the top picture; if you ask me, there is your, by far, best "cloud" picture you have been looking for.;))

Keera Ann Fox said...

Aw, what a cute little fellow!