We are enjoying the last few days of a well-deserved vacation in Hawaii. This time, we are staying on the big island, near the old Parker Ranch–which is ranch country. Much drier and cooler than the more plush parts of the island. Sadly, this area is undergoing a horrible drought. It breaks our hearts to look out the window and see the goats, sheep and horses trying to find something to eat.
Mark and I went for a walk last week and in the distance, saw a man with a rifle chasing something. Turned out he was chasing wild turkeys. Later, a woman came to the house to explain where we could hike and where we could not.
“We saw a man with a gun a while ago chasing turkeys.”
“That wasn’t a man! That was me. ” said Pat forcefully. “The turkeys’ feces is loaded with salmonella so I need to keep them out.”
The next day, I was sitting and composing when something went scurrying across the backyard. I looked again. Holy moly, that looked like a mongoose! But how could that be? I called Pat, and she explained that some years back, mongeese were imported to the island to deal with the rats in the sugar plantations. The problem was that mongeese are diurnal and rats are mostly nocturnal. So, that WAS a mongoose. Pat came down with a cage and we waited. Yesterday we saw her walking across the back yard. A few hours later she called to let us know that she caught one.
“How did you kill it?”
“I shot it.”
“Pat, you wild woman!”
I had to admit I loved her bravura.
Another highlight of the trip has been learning about volcanoes. There are five of them, two still active. The word “awesome” is an understatement. I urge everyone to get to know this haunting and beautiful island.
Daniel has been perfecting the art of sunset photography, and I share his most recent effort above.
I am amassing a lot of aloha spirit, getting some good composing done, along with some good old rest and relaxation.