Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hawaii Photos #2: Animals

During our stay in Hawaii, Chris and I had the pleasure of meeting many new creatures and critters. Some familiar, some totally foreign to us. And animal lovers that we are, we obviously tried to photograph every one of 'em. So here's our round up of animal encounters during our 10 days on Maui and the Big Island.

First Contact
Our first animal encounter in Hawaii, mere minutes after stepping off the plane, was ... well, a  little odd. It was a chicken. At the airport. Just hanging out.

As it turns out, chickens and roosters are all over the place in Hawaii. Not sure if they're wild or just "free range" like the cows. haha But the roosters like to wake you up in the morning, no matter where you go. It's inescapable.

Home on the Range
We had another unexpected animal encounter. Except I guess we got there too late ...

Although the pig who watched us eat our burgers was lively enough to make up for the skulls' lack of enthusiasm.

Color Me Surprised
Things started to get a bit more colorful when we crossed paths with this little guy. He sang us a sweet melody before continuing on his journey.

But the real surprise came when we saw these crazy guys when we were driving on the road to Hana.

So we did what any sane, rational human beings would do, we let them crawl all over us for a spectacular photo op.

Yeah, he was totally ripping the braid out of my hair. Haha Guess that's what bobby pins are for, right? For when parrot talons mess up your 'do? I'm sure the inventor of the bobby pin had that exact scenario in mind.

We had so much fun with our new bird friends that Chris and I decided to share a smooch.

Ok, I kind of hate this picture of me, but the bird is just so damn funny I decided to put it up anyway.
And then the red parrot got jealous and things got weird.

Yes, that black thing is his tongue. He licked my lip. How does this happen?
So all this craziness was thanks to this guy, who runs a bird sanctuary. He poses the birds for pictures for a small donation to the sanctuary. Pretty awesome. Also, he was hilarious.

More of the Everyday
After our crazy parrot party, things got a little more mundane, but still incredibly cute. At a little outdoor shopping area, we saw baby chicks on a pretty purple chair ...

And outside our condo we saw a couple adorable kittens that all looked just like this guy.

And Then Things Got Weird Again
So one morning, I got up early and was admiring the view from our condo in Maalaea Harbor. Beautiful view, peaceful, pretty much perfect.

And then I noticed this happening.

See that weird bump in the water? Definitely not a rock. It was moving through the water pretty slowly, but it was definitely alive. Brad and Courtney and I took a bunch of pictures and tried to zoom in on it to figure it out, but basically, we were stumped.

But whatever he was, he had the courtesy to wave goodbye to everyone as he swam away from shore.

My Husband, the Disney Princess
You know how animals are just naturally drawn to Disney princesses, like Snow White and Cinderella? The animals just want to come around to be in their presence (and help them make dresses). Well, Chris seems to possess that same quality as those dainty animated princesses. Animals love him.

When we were eating breakfast one morning, he made friends with about five or six little birds that kept hopping up to his chair. I mean, I guess maybe they liked him because he kept tossing crumbs out, but I'm going with the Disney princess theory.

And then there was a whole school of these huge koi or giant goldfish or whatever they are that all swam over to the edge of the pond when Chris walked by.

And let's not forget the sheep that ran over whenever he came out of the little cottage we rented. Look at those stares of adoration.

I'm telling you, he may have been Snow White in another life. Or maybe I'm just watching too much Once Upon a Time on ABC.

Mystery Mammal
Ok, now I've got a tough one for you. Try to guess what kind of animal this is:

Ok, I'll give you another hint. Check out the photo below.

Any guesses? Monkey? Hairy octopus? Alien from another dimension?

Well, the last guess was closest in my opinion. This was actually a tree we saw in the Akaka Falls State Park. At least I can only assume that's a tree ... (it has hair! WTF?)

But back to the real animals ...

This bird is called a Ne Ne. We saw signs all over Volcano National Park that we were not allowed to feed them. Poor Ne Ne.

One More Unexpected Encounter
On the boat ride out to Molokini Crater, where we went snorkeling and SCUBA diving, we heard the captain yelling out that something was just ahead. Chris and I ran to the bow and we were so thrilled to see ... WHALES!

It was a whole family of whales. The baby kept jumping out of the water, and the mother would come up and then flap her tail out of the water. And the father swam alongside the boat to keep an eye on us.

But we actually saw whales! We had read that they head to Alaska by early April, so we had absolutely no expectation of seeing them. We didn't book a whale watching tour because we were pretty sure it would be a no-show. And then the whales came to us!

I believe this is the baby jumping out of the water. He was about to splash back down.

Unfortunately, I was using a rented underwater camera to take the pictures, so I wasn't great at using it. We couldn't see the view screen well, and the boat was rocking a lot, so I kept getting pictures of the boat, rather than the whales. lol Actually seeing them out there in the water was incredible though. They were like huge sea creatures. We felt very lucky to witness the beginning of their migration to Alaska. Truly amazing animals.

But you can kind of see the whales in these pictures. In the one below, the mother whale is surfacing straight out and to the right of our boat.

This would have been a great shot had I taken it a second earlier and been aiming at the whale. lol But you can still see half of the mother whale's tail.

And here's a good splash picture of the baby whale coming back down into the water after shooting up into the air. I think the line on the left side is his fin, and you can just see a little of his body even with the water.

So as I mentioned, we did rent an underwater camera, and our friends Courtney and Brad had a waterproof camera as well. Once I get ahold of their pictures, I'll do a post of our underwater adventures and pictures of more animals in the ocean.

But up next, I'm thinking flowers and plants. Stay tuned!