After dining on shrimp as we listened to the roosters crow, the pigeons coo, and watched the cats wait for their dinner, we headed up to Keana Point State Park.
Part of the park was closed to cars because of the recent flooding, (won’t be open again until 2019), but there was still a lot to see as we watched the sun go down over the Pacific. The closer it got to the sunset hour, the more people showed up, but still, compared to other areas we visited, there weren’t that many people around.
The point was beautiful and I could have sat there for hours just watching the play of the sun on the water.
Plus, I got my first glimpse of a red-crested cardinal! In my research on birds I might see in Hawaii, this one was often mentioned and I liked its coloring. The cardinal, however, is not a cardinal, but a tanager. And, like all the birds I saw, this one is also an alien – from South America.
I remember when we went to Israel, I was surprised to see cats everywhere.
Well, in Hawaii – it’s chickens or if you want to be precise – red jungle fowl.
They are everywhere – thousands of them. They crow constantly, not even waiting for dawn.
The island has had programs where police would capture the chickens, but the programs haven’t worked and they simply keep multiplying. With all the feral chickens I saw, I can’t believe this is the only picture I got and it’s not even a good one. This one was at the shrimp truck.
I think my absolute favorite sighting was when we were in the McDonald’s drive-thru line one morning – to get Egg McMuffins. Think of the resulting ad campaign they could create!!!
Oh yeah, not only chickens, but speed bumps. Everywhere! So my takeaway from Hawaii – speed bumps and roosters.
After stopping at the Dole Plantation, we drove along the North Shore. The best way for me to describe the ride is – the scenery was exactly as I imagined Hawaii scenery to be … blue sky, endless sparkling water, rocky shorelines that fade into sandy beaches.
Better yet – here’s a few (yes, just a few) of the pictures I took.
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.