Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunset in Maui, Hawaii

Beautiful sunset, eh?

But what is special about this sunset that would make it a suitable subject for my blog, which usually features stories about my books, our travels doing shows about my books, and other things about farming?
Check closely. Then click to go to the next page.

You guessed it! That round structure is a short, wide silo. Nancy and I were quite surprised to discover that there are three large farms/ranches in Maui along the south and west side of the island. On land that is worth millions per lot, not merely per acre, several well-to-do people have decided to raise cattle, which graze in beautiful pastureland overlooking the sea. These lucky animals are cooled by brisk sea breezes and shaded by monkey pod trees that were brought over from Africa for their shade and airplane cover potential.  
Cattle near monkey pod tree:
Yes, even when Nancy and I visit the wonderful island of Maui, which is known for its 30 foot waves that challenge the most ardent surfers and beaches filled with natural and human beauty, we find time to view cows. 
Nancy in the pasture in Maui:

The thousands of other pictures Nancy took (I'm not exaggerating here) are not the subject of this blog, but I will say that during our 7 day visit to the island of Oahu, we visited Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, Sunset Beach, the Polynesian Culture Center, and spent half a day on a whale watching boat. At the island of Maui, we toured a small road that covered the entire coast of the island, saw the second largest banyan tree in the world, visited a winery, spent half a day on a boat watching whales, and had a great time at a luau.

Yes, we have all those standard types of pictures: us on the beach, us with hula dancers, us with bar tenders, us with other tourists, us at shopping malls, etc. , but I think us with cows is the most interesting. 

One more thing. Nancy and I have been whale watching at 7 sites: Bar Harbor in Maine, Cape Cod, Monterey in California, Anacortes in Washington, Alaska, Honolulu in Hawaii, and Maui. All the places are great, but Maui is particularly unique because whales are there to have babies, breed, and return to where they were born. 

At Maui, you will see whales from shore. You will see males splashing the water with their pectoral fins to show off as they compete for the reception of a female. You will see newborn calves swimming alongside their mothers. You will see all of this right next to the boat. It is illegal for boats to get close, but if the whales come up to the boats as they regularly do, the captain has to shut down and wait until they move away, which offers great viewing for the people on board.
Here are a couple pictures Nancy took while whale watching:
Mom and baby:

 Two humpback whales diving:
shark following our boat:

As usual all pictures are by Nancy A. Fredrickson, except or the one I took of her in the pasture.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed this get-away via your blog on a cold Minnesota winter day. Great whale shots, Nancy.