Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday (August 27, 2013) – On our drive back down the coast we made a stop at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is home to hundreds of birds that nest in the cliffs. In the winter months hundreds, if not thousands, of migrating humpback whales can also be found in the waters around Kauai. Unfortunately, during our trek to the Islands, they were all up in Alaska for the summer.

The Point is also home to the Kilauea Point Lighthouse. Built in 1913 to guide ships on their voyages to the Orient, it is the nation’s westernmost lighthouse. It was rededicated in May of 2013 to Hawaii’s beloved Senator, Daniel K. Inouye. Until his death in December of 2012, he had faithfully served the people of Hawaii in the U.S. Senate since 1963, “illuminating the voices of Hawaii citizens”.

Below are some of my favorite captures from my visit to Kilauea Light and Refuge. Enjoy!

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This Wedge-Tailed Shearwater (‘Ua ‘U Kani) comes back every year to nest at the lighthouse. She had a new fledgling when we visited, but kept it tucked snugly underneath her while we were there.
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A Red-Footed Booby (‘A) posed for us on the fence.
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Ilima (Sida fallax)
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Beach Naupaka (Scaevola sencea)
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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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Nickerson State Park Creatures and Critters

Saturday (June 22, 2013) – I had to pack up in the morning and check out to head home. Rather than get on the highway to deal with Cape traffic of everyone else that had to check out this morning, I instead directed myself further onto the Cape. First stop, Nickerson State Park.

The scenery wasn’t much to look at – lots of tree with several ponds scattered throughout, but I encountered lots of birds and bugs on my walk through the woods and around the water.

The birds were more heard than seen and when seen, would dart away just as soon as I managed to find them in my lens. I did get lucky a couple of times, though.

Below are some of my favorite critters from the morning. Enjoy!

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Baxter Grist Mill

Friday (June 21, 2013) – Right up the street from my vacation spot in West Yarmouth on Route 28 is the Baxter Grist Mill. I drive by it numerous times when I am down the Cape for my vacation every year. Finally, this year, when I was heading out to explore, I stopped to check the area out.

The mill stands on the edge of a small pond that is home to a family of swans as well as a few snapping turtles (as signs in the area warn). An online search afterwards led me to the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (http://www.hsoy.org/historic/baxtermill.htm) which provided some of the history of the mill. Baxter Grist Mill was built in the early 1700s and operated until around 1900 – an impressive run, if I do say so myself.

As the gate in the fence that surrounds the mill was not locked when I arrived, I was able to get close to the mill and water for some interesting shots. The mama, daddy and baby swans also came over for a quick hello before heading back to their nest in the tall grass on the other side of the pond.

The sandy clearing filled with scrub pine and ant hills was reminiscent of the summers of my youth in the 70s down in Maushop Village in New Seabury – of nights watching the old men play bocce ball after walking up to the village store by the Popponesset Inn for an after-dinner ice cream.

But enough of my waxing nostalgic. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the afternoon. 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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