Waimea Landing State Recreation Pier

Wednesday (August 28, 2013) – After our visit to Spouting Horn, we headed back up to the Waimea area. We had been told that there was a black sand beach in the area and we were determined to find it. After Cook “discovered” Hawaii in 1778, Waimea became important to the Pacific trade routes. A wharf was built at Waimea Landing in 1865, followed by a railway route in 1898 that  connected all the sugar and rice plantations between there and Polihale to the shore. The original pier has since been replaced with a smaller version now only used for fishing and other recreational activities.

The sand was not as black as I imagined. The fine grit of the ground up black lava is mixed with the yellow/tan of the regular sand of the area, creating more of a grey-toned sand. It was very soft and warm.

Below are some shots from our visit to our first black sand beach of Hawaii. Enjoy!

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Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata)
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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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Plum Island

Sunday (July 14, 1013) – The Newburyport Photowalk group held a Meetup at the Plum Island Lighthouse. E & I headed up there after our afternoon at the Butterfly Place. About 20 members of the group attended. We spent some time down on the beach photographing the water and the pier. Then everyone headed over to the lighthouse.

It was nice to have other photographers around to share ideas with and to give and get advice on camera settings and composition. However, having so may people in such a small area made for some difficulty setting up shots. Someone was always wandering into someone else’s frame.

It is a very beautiful area and I will probably find myself up there again someday, but I could have done without the Noseeums and Greenheads. Below are a selection of my photographs. Enjoy!

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Rock Harbor

Saturday (June 22, 2013) – After Nickerson State Park, I meandered further East along Route 6. Taking a random left, I made my way into Rock Harbor in Brewster. This is one of the few towns on the Cape that I have never been to, so I didn’t know what to expect.

It is a small harbor that very nearly empties when the tide goes out. And boy, does it go out. I walked for a really long time and went really far out and the water never got above my knees. Actually, it was barely above my ankles for most of the time and much of the sand had no water at all. There were tons of hermit crabs and snails to be found in the numerous tide pools.

Here are some shots from my explorations. Enjoy!

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Trees make great traffic signs for the boats! (When there’s water, that is!)

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As the tide goes out, the channel nearly completely empties. It only fills up enough for boats to return at high tide in the afternoon. If you don’t get out in time, you are stuck at the marina for the day. If you do get out, I hope you don’t need to come back in early!

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Mayflower Beach Sunset

Friday (June 21, 2013) – Besides being my favorite Cape beach to go during the day, Mayflower Beach in Dennis is a great place to catch sunset over the water. Being on the East Coast in  New England, there are limited places that you can see the sun setting over water. Sunrise over water, no problem, but I would have to get up REALLY, REALLY EARLY to be able to capture a summer sunrise. Anyone that knows me, knows THAT isn’t going to happen often! LOL

Dennis is on the North shore of the Cape, inside the hook, so you are able to look west over the water towards the Canal. On a clear day, you can even see a hint of Boston beyond that.

Here are a few of the shots I captured as the sun sank into the horizon and during the blue hour that followed. Enjoy!

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I had a little fun playing around with the 360 degree panoramic setting on my camera.
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Sunset on Menauhunt Street

Thursday (June 20, 2013) – As the sun began to set, I packed up and continued along the shore, eventually winding along Menauhunt Street in Falmouth. As the sky turned red, I made my last stop of the day in an area called Bournes Pond. I set myself up for some sunset shots over the saltmarsh. There was a bit of a breeze, so not even the mosquitoes could deter me from staying until the last glow of the sun faded into the darkness of night. Below are a selection of the shots from the night. Enjoy!

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Trunk River

Thursday (June 20, 2013) – I followed the shore road and wound my way into the Trunk River area. It’s a tiny little area where River Herring apparently go to spawn, but none were in evidence that day, having finished doing their business between March and May. Many a bird could be heard in the trees and marsh grass that surrounds Trunk River and Oyster Pond, but they were elusive and few were seen. Even fewer were caught by my lens. There were some pretty little flowers that manage to survive the wind and waves that buffet the jetties. Below are a selection of my favorite shots from the area. Enjoy!

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Seagull Beach – Shorebirds, sand & seashells

Monday (June 17, 2013) – I had some time to kill in the morning before L & J and their respective kids arrived for a visit down the Cape, so I headed over to Seagull Beach for a little while to get some shots of the shorebirds. The Piping Plover, Least Tern and American Oystercatcher all nest in the area. They move pretty fast so my reflexes and ability to focus on the fly (no pun intended) were really put to the test. Below are some shots from my morning sojourn to the beach. Enjoy!

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© 2013 Karen M. Cleary

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