Old Sturbridge Village Antique Sleigh Rally

Saturday (February 22, 2014) – There was a MeetUp on Saturday at Old Sturbridge Village for their Antique Sleigh Rally with the “Discover your passion… For Photography” group. Unfortunately, because it had to be rescheduled from another date because of the  lack of snow earlier this month, the organizer was unable to make it and we were all on our own for the day. There were lots of folks armed with cameras, but no one that I chatted with was there as a part of our group.

All of the horses were working hard pulling their sleighs through the snow. The miniatures were so cute! After the rally was over, I spent the afternoon wandering around the rest of the village.  Below are are my favorite shots from the day. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving in Mattapoisett

Thursday (November 28, 2013) – I had a fabulous afternoon and Thanksgiving meal with family down in Mattapoisett this year. We finished just as the sun was setting. Needing a little time to let my meal settle before indulging in Mom’s fabulous apple pies, I made my apologies and shot down the road to Ned’s Point Lighthouse hoping to catch some shots of the setting sun. There was a bit of a breeze blowing across the point, but being the intrepid photographer that I am, I ignored the frigid numbness that spread through my extremities, donned my gloves and oh, so flattering Red Sox winter hat and took as many pictures as I could before completely losing feeling in my fingers. Below are my favorites. Enjoy!

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Spouting Horn

Wednesday (August 28, 2013) – Just up the road from our resort is a County of Kauai Park area called Spouting Horn. It is a formation of volcanic rocks down below the cliffs. Here is why it is referred to as “Spouting”. When the waves crash into the rocks, the holes, crevices and tubes in the rocks fill with water. When the next wave comes in, the force of that water crashing into the rocks forces the water and air in the tubes up and out holes in the top of the rock formation. Because the hole in the top of the rocks is so much smaller than the hole that the water enters through, it creates an incredible amount of pressure, sometimes shooting the water over 100 feet in the air.

There used to be two spouts in the rocks, but years and years ago there was a plantation owner nearby that was not happy with the salty spray from the water spouts blowing over onto his crops. So one day he went down to the spout with a bit of dynamite and blew one of the small holes into a great big one, ending the second spout forever.

If you head to the left of the blowhole and you stand at just the right angle, you can hear a groan of air getting pushed out another hole in the rocks with each spouting wave. Of course in true Hawaii form, there is a legend that goes along with the natural phenomena. There was a great lizard that lived in the cliffs, terrorizing the inhabitants of the area. One day a young boy confronted the great lizard and stabbed it with a stick. The mighty lizard gave chase to the young boy who took refuge in the caves of the cliffs. The lizard chased after him and subsequently got stuck in the caves, unable to escape. Now as waves crash you can hear the lizard roaring in anger after its lost prey.

Below are selections from my visit to Spouting Horn. Enjoy!

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Weird fruit from a tree.
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Salamander (I think)
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Bougainvillea
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Kukuiula Boat Harbor
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View of Spouting Horn from Kukuiula Boat Harbor
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Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) Looking a little windblown
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And like everywhere else on Kauai, chickens everywhere!
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Na Pali Coast

Wednesday (August 28, 2013) – Today’s adventure took us out on a 60 foot catamaran to snorkel and view the Na Pali Coast. We had heard good things about Capt Andy’s and our resort was able to get us a great discount. We left out of the Port Allen Marina in Hanapepe Bay and headed up the coast past Waimea. When we reached the point, we had to wait about 20 minutes for the Navy to complete a test missile launch out of the Pacific Missile Range Facility. They told us we would be able to see the vapor trail from the launch, but we hadn’t seen anything when we got the “all clear”, so it must have been a dud. While we waited, we got to see some flying fish.  At first, my thought was that they were hummingbirds, but why would hummingbirds be out over the ocean? They were small and fast and impossible to get a shot of.

As we rounded the bend, we got our first view of the Na Pali Coast, beyond Polihale State Beach. To see the coast from the water is a completely different perspective from seeing it from land. Either way, it is beautiful. After a bit, we were joined by some Spinner Dolphins. There were a few babies in the pod and a couple of adult dolphins were even (ahem) “fighting” (ahem). Yeah, that’s it. Fighting.

We stopped just past the beach in a small cove area to do some snorkeling. There were hundreds of fish, but not much variety. I hear there was a turtle there, but I seemed to keep missing it. I took this time to try out my new underwater camera. Snorkeling was a lot of fun. The wind and current were very strong, so I just kinda floated wherever the water wanted to take me.

After snorkeling, we continued up the coast for more magnificent views of the Na Pali Coast. The Captain and crew told us some stories and legends handed down through the Hawaiian people.

The day was great and I didn’t even get sunburned. That SPF 100 really works!

Below are a few of my favorite above water and underwater shots. (Sorry about the volume. There were so many to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down to even these.) Enjoy!

Polihale Beach
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Kalalau Valley (View from the top can be found in Waimea Canyon post)
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Lehua – Uninhabited – As a Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary is home to at least 16 species of seabirds.
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Ni’ihau – Privately owned by the Robinson family since 1864, only descendants of the family with Hawaiian blood are allowed to live on the island.
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Spinner dolphins
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Underwater shots from snorkeling
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Ke’e Beach

Tuesday (August 27, 2013) – One of the great things about Hawaii is that all beaches on all of the Islands are public and access cannot be restricted. Even if there is beachfront private property, there must be public shoreline access somewhere along the property. However, there is no guarantee of public parking. In fact, there is limited parking at most. People park along the road leading to Ke’e Beach, many walking up to a mile to get to the beach once they have parked. However, the parking gods were looking down on us and there was someone leaving just as we arrived, so we were able to secure a spot close to the front. Ke’e Beach is in a cove, perfect for wading and snorkeling, nestled at the foot of the northernmost point of the Na Pali Coast. The water is crystal clear and blue as the sky. There are these really cool trees along the shoreline. The sand around their roots has been washed away over time and their roots stand free supporting the trees.

There a are also a lot of chickens.

Below are my favorite photographs from Ke’e Beach. Enjoy!

Looking towards the Na Pali Coast.
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360 degree view of the beach from the water
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The Windward Coast of Kauai

Tuesday (August 27, 2013) – Because of the geography of the island, one cannot drive completely around Kauai. The most northwest corner of the island has never been and never will be developed. Monday, we did the leeward side and today was dedicated to driving up the windward side of the island. The areas around Lihue, Kapa’a and Princeville are more developed than the rustic area that surrounds Waimea that we explored yesterday. We drove up Kuhio Highway which hugs the coast for most of its length. We headed to the furthest point along the route, where the highway ends, at Ke’e beach, literally less than 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean.

After a relaxing lunch of PBJs and pretzels on the beach, we moved on, retracing our steps back down the Kuhio Highway. This time, we stopped often to admire the sights along the way. Some of our stops will be their own post. There was just so much to see and take pictures of that there is too much to include in one single post.

Below are my favorite shots from our travels along Kuhio Highway. Enjoy!

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Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
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On the horizon, to the far right, are Mount Kawaikini (the highest point on Kauai – farthest peak to the right) and Mount Waialeale (the original volcano that created the island – flat peak just to the left of Kawaikini)
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Kealia Beach
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Looking down to Hanalei Bay from Princeville area
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Polihale Beach, Kauai

Monday (August 26, 2013) – We were told the best place to see a sunset on Kauai was at Polihale State Park. So after descending down from Waimea Canyon, we headed down the 4.5 mile dirt road to the Polihale Beach. This is the first beach that we have been to since arriving in Hawaii. The sand was so soft! The water was like bath water!

We sat on the hill and watched the sun descend into the horizon. It was spectacular.

Below are a few selection from my sunset at the beach. Enjoy!

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Looking down Polihale Beach towards the Na Pali Coast.
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Can you see Niihau Island in the distance to the left of the clouds?
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