People traveling with me know I am intense about learning the name of every new bird, flower or tree that I see. I will ask until I find out and then to be even more annoying, I have to stop and take a picture of said bird, flower, tree. Sometimes I mentally tell myself to stop and not bother people, but then I see another bird, flower, and tree and I’m once again asking questions. I apologize to everyone who has gone anywhere with me. Sort. Of. All comes down to just wanting to know.
So the very first morning in Hawaii I saw two new birds.
I identified the common waxbill by texting my brother. This pretty little finch was sitting in the branches off the balcony of the condo where we where staying. A lot of other birds were also flitting around and singing, but I couldn’t capture them via photo nor could I see them close enough to describe them.
But I did get a picture of the common waxbill, although it’s not very clear. This bird is also called the St. Helena waxbill (for the island of St. Helena).
Although the name says it’s common, it’s not as common here as it is in Southern Africa and the Pacific Islands. The red streak across it’s eyes is pretty, sorry I didn’t get a better view.
I also saw a spotted dove (a long-tailed pigeon). Well, actually I saw dozens of spotted doves over the next week. This bird is found mostly in Asia, in particular India but has now reached Hawaii and Southern California. I liked the polka dots on it’s neck – they made it seem as if the dove was wearing a scarf.
Not only is Hawaii the fiftieth state, it was also my fiftieth and final state. I have now been in all the states! The first thing I noticed is that Hawaii has a spicy, flowery smell. On doing some research, I read that part of it is because there is no industry pollution floating around. The other part is that there is a lot of puakenikeni, plumeria, and ginger perfuming the air.
I arrived in Oahu, Hawaii about seven at night and immediately Tom and Marti gave me a new experience … we went to a conclave of food trucks, ordered dinner … and then ate a new-to-me dessert – malasadas (Portuguese doughnut). Malasada specifically means “poorly or undercooked” which refers to the crispy coating and the soft, doughy insides (but you don’t think of them as undercooked). I would compare them to beignets.
Malasadas are thought to come from Sao Miquel, an island in the Azores settled by the Portuguese in 1427. When the Hawaii sugar and pineapple industry needed more workers, they hired many of them from other Pacific Islands, most often from Madeira and the Azores because those people already knew about harvesting sugar cane. They brought the Portuguese malasada with them. The doughnuts are egg-shaped and often filled with a creamy custard, chocolate or coconut filling.
Leonards is the most famous bakery on Oahu for malasadas … and we purchased ours at Leonard’s Malasadamobile.
And how I missed taking a picture considering how many hundreds of pictures I’ve taken the past few weeks, I have NO idea.
Another new food I had the very next morning was an apple banana. They are from the Philippines and are sweeter, shorter and have a thicker skin than the bananas we are used to. They also have three times the Vitamin C that we’re used to and 1 1/2 times the amount of Vitamin A. A great start to a great trip.