Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm looking though photos to find pictures of octopuses in the field to describe their color patterns and I came across these-- wasn't sure if I posted already, but I thought it was cool. Lizard eggs on a paper tree. The paper tree has bark that peels off like paper in a really satisfying and beautiful way.  I could try to be more eloquent, but it's just not happening right now... Brain cells at capacity...

Kaena Point

I've been staying at my advisor's place as of late, here is my companion, Dongwa enjoying the morning sun. 

Last weekend, I finally got a chance to go out to Kaena point!  It is the most north western point on Oahu.  I didn't make it out to the exact point since my traveling companions weren't quite excited for a long hike, but I hope to get out there next time. Steven and I explored the rocky intertidal and thankfully managed to avoid any cuts and bruises--it is brutal out there. The rocks are like small scale Mountains of Madness and when a wave comes, you better watch out you're not too close to one of the sharp spires...

There were some interesting invertebrates among the sand as well. Many small crab bodies (possibly shed carapaces since they didn't seem to have limbs missing or evidence of predators), and thousands of varied mollusca (check out the bottom right of the pic to see tiny shells). There were some urchin bodies scattered across the sand as well. Yay invertebrates!

A rainbow for my morning coffee time on Tuesday.

Ukulele practice was accompanied by a lovely sunset in Kaneohe Bay. I really do live in a pretty spectacular place... It's good to remember occasionally and be grateful.  Especially when I am in the throes of self-loathing over my thesis.

Yesterday morning on my way to Coconut the bay was so calm, I was compelled to take a picture.

Last night, I went to the Makapu'u tide pools with Steven to search for the rock tako and add an extra location to their habitat map.  I had such a fantastic time! So many wonderful tide pool species and of course I forgot my camera. It was really the main reason I needed to go. Thankfully, my iPhone has a lifeproof case so I could take it in the water with me. Not the highest quality pics, but got what I needed for my dissertation. Here is a pretty cowrie we saw and below that is the still-fascinating-despite-my-unending-research-project, Octopus oliveri.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hokulea visits Coconut again!

On Monday, we were lucky enough to have the Hokulea visit us on Coconut once again. The Hokulea is the Polynesian canoe that was built to prove that the original Hawaiians were able to get here through navigation of the stars on a canoe just like this one. It's a very impressive vessel with tremendous cultural importance.  They have been traveling the world and are about to start a 5 year journey around the world starting next year.  They have been going around the Hawaiian Islands having traditional blessing ceremonies before the journey begins.  Another canoe was built that has solar panels and computers and even a motor to follow along with them in order to do scientific research along the way.   

One of the things that is so impressive about the Hokulea is that everything was built according to what would have been available back when the original Hawaiians came to the islands.  That means that every board is hand-lashed with rope that is hand woven.  What a spectacular effort and impressive number of man hours that is! Below left are the berths that the 12 crew members sleep in, and on the right is an example of some of the lashing that is all across the boat.

Here is a map of their planned journey across the world. Right now they are in the orange segment around the Hawaiian Islands and soon they will begin the trip to Tahiti and down to Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Yesterday was Ukulele practice and we decided to play Hawaiian songs aboard the Hokulea! What a treat! We played for a bit until we were "blessed" by the rain and had to seek shelter to save our instruments.  Here is a silly pic to show that I was actually ON the Hokulea (in case there were any doubts).

Uncle Maka is one of the crew members of the Hokulea and he had some wonderful stories to tell.  Here is a traditional 'ava receptacle that he had gotten in one of the Polynesian Islands. The drink is called Kava in Hawaii and some form of it is popular throughout Polynesia. It has a bit of a narcotic quality apparently, but all it ever seems to do when I drink it is put my gums to sleep.  He made us some with coconut milks so it wasn't quite as bitter as the first time I tried it. I tried to make some myself when I lived in Palolo and it just tasted like I was drinking dirt-water.  I could still taste the dirt undertones, but not quite as powerfully. 

 I've been taking a ceramics class for about a month and a half and the pieces we made on the first day are finally out of the kiln.  We did hand-building the first day, which I have decided I only really enjoy when it is embellishing something I made on the wheel.  I am not a talented hand-builder... Or maybe I am out of practice. Also, when it was fired, apparently they fired it too hot and the pieces were vitrified--that means that the glaze won't really stick.  I glazed them anyway, just as an experiment and here are the results.  Pretty underwhelming.... Feels like a first grade effort.  Don't think I'll keep them, but thought I'd take a picture for posterity.

Having some difficulty motivating lately. Need to get back on top of work.  There were a few weeks where I would jolt out of bed with a wave of anxiety. It was a pretty exhausting and nauseating few weeks, but certainly productive. I need that fear back to get me going again.  Oh wait, it's already mid October, there we go... the fear has returned....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival

Yesterday was the Hawaiian Fishing and Seafood Festival. There were a bunch of vendors peddling their goods and a few little activities set up. Mom, the first picture is for you. It was the Hawaii Civic Center that was showing people how do to traditional weaving with palm fronds.  Unfortunately the ribbon on the bottom left hand side of the picture was not for sale, otherwise I would have bought it for you!

The best part of the festival was really the big spread of fish they had set up to show what all of the local fish are out here.  As you can see, there is an octopus in this picture (although technically not a fish...).  I just love all of the colors! Look at that parrot fish (Uhu in Hawaiian). Sorry it is a bit blurry, there were a lot of people around and it was difficult to get a good shot.  They had set up this giant table where they have the fish auction every morning on Pier 38.  I still haven't been to the fish auction, something I will have to remedy. I was embarrassed to have to admit I had never been to the Festival before, but it's even worse I haven't been to the auction! What kind of marine biologist am I?

Here, they had set up a little table with all of the popular cuts of meat from the fish displayed on the previous table.

There was a guy selling fish prints as well. I've always wanted to get one of an Octopus, so I did! Not the giant orange one (way out of my price league) but a good one none-the-less.

There was a nice educational table set up with a guy hanging onto this lovely female day octopus.  I chatted with a few people at the festival and this guy knew who I was.  Not my face, but when I told him I study tako out at HIMB he asked if I was the one studying the he'e pali (the Hawaiian word for the rock octopus).  So, apparently people know there is someone out here studying them, and that someone is me!

It was a fun little excursion and I bought some lovely fresh fish at the fish market.  Today I am on Coconut trying to get a grip on my genetics work and I just had a very productive meeting with two of my Committee members.  Feeling a little less like a complete idiot today. We'll see how long that lasts. 

And to close out, the semi-obligatory sunset shot.  Won't be as many of these now since I will be moving back to Manoa.  But, they were nice while they lasted....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Insightful Article

This is a good article about women in science, or rather women everywhere. I thought it was definitely applicable in my case...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World Octopus Day

Alright, I am a couple of days late--the other day it was WORLD OCTOPUS DAY!  Possibly because it was Oct and 8? 8 legs for octopus and Oct for OCTopus.  Very exciting. They are pretty fantastic critters! Glad they have their own day of appreciation.

I'm FINALLY at work after sitting in my car for the past hour.  There was an accident on the way to Coconut and it was on the Likelike so I was stuck. No where to go until they cleared out. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Unfortunately, it appeared as though the police were just blocking the road for no reason for about 45 minutes after the car had been towed and the man taken to the hospital.  He was up and walking around after her flipped his car, but I guess they took him to the hospital as a precaution. Not sure why the cops kept the road blocked except to make everyone frustrated...  At least the view was nice.

Alright, I am off to test primers in my octopus babies to see if I will finally be able to figure out the paternity of these guys!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I have started swimming out to the end out the reef--the other day I saw a turtle!  There is a red windsock out there, but I don't think you can see it in this picture. It's about a 250m swim each way. 

Some friends of mine just got published in Nature, a very prestigious scientific journal.  It's pretty interesting, but also super depressing... Also, what was this seminar and how did I not know about it? Poop! I want to get into Nature...

This month I am working in my life history chapter which requires a lot of data entry and measuring terribly smelly dead octopuses... Back to work!

Friday, October 4, 2013


It's hard to be unhappy when I have this waiting at the end of the day... I still find a way though. Oh PhD, will I ever have you? YES! You will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Check out THIS video--I can't seem to upload it to my blog. Really nice nature :)