Tag: View

Lava Shoot by Boat!

October 13, 2016:  Site Seeing by Boat – An Excellent way to view the Lava at its newest Ocean entry!

The night before; “I’m setting the alarm clock early enough to leave for Hilo by what time?” was my slow, incredulous question. When the answer was, “2:00 o’clock am,” I took a long pause to consider what that would mean for me 😮

Lava appears to have been reaching for the Ocean in among the steam and burbling water.

Lava appears to have been reaching for the Ocean in among the steam and burbling water.

The Answer… “Very little sleep!” 😐 …

Then I thought, “Wait, Andy will be driving. I can sleep on the way!” And I Did! 😀 “To the Flow by Sea”, Andy’s recount of this drive to Hilo and beyond.


Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovi)…

Photographed on Mt Wrightson!

My friend, Dean Salman (http://www.greatscenery.com), captured this GORGEOUS photograph of a Yarrow’s Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovi) near the summit of Mt. Wrightson while hiking on October 11, 2009!

They are generally found in Southeast Arizona and Southwest New Mexico, also into Mexico (ref: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians, Pages 522-523 and Plates 353, 1979).

This link to the Online Field Guide to The Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona Website by Thomas C. Brennan, has some extensive information about them, as well as many others found in Arizona.

While occasionally found at elevations as low as 4,200 feet, these all-too-tame lizards are usually seen between elevations of 5,000 – 10,000 feet. It was a young one of these interesting lizards that Andy had to help me remove from my left index finger in our backyard at Sycamore house in Tucson, Arizona in early 2005. 🙂

It was acting out defensively since it was about to be terrorized to death by Little Miss (A gray stray, outdoor kitty that adopted us in 2004); and I had just rescued it from her, so it didn’t make the distinction of threat versus safety. At some point, I hope to find the picture of it ‘latched’ onto my finger that was taken with a film camera and is now buried ‘safely’ in an archival file!?!… :-O

We are not sure how it came to be in our backyard; but our house was close enough to the Catalina Mountains that it is likely that it made a prior escape from a would be predator; such as, the avian type or of the human kind. It is an answer we will never receive… 😐


Same Blog, Different Tool!

Hello Family, Friends, and Visitors!

Yep, I am migrating my Blog from my Previous Software (PS) to WordPress. My PS had failed to save my works-in-progress WAY too many times. 😡

I have abandoned it now and use it to get the transfers to WordPress accurate.

You have probably noticed (or will notice, soon) that my old Blog is somewhat “interesting” now (or you get forwarded automatically).

When my account was updated to work with WordPress, something in my PS did not like the change. 😐

Result: Some miscellaneous characters; and most important, it will not let me post, edit, delete or even access my admin pages.

My new Blog URL is www.gadgetgypsy.com/wordpress.

I like the layout of my new blog; although, little adjustments are inevitable along the way! What do you think?

Well, not being able to access the admin will make my progress a bit slower while I reformat my entries and put them back together; but it will not stop me!

I am publishing them with their original posting dates so that will take some time, as well.

Don’t let the “fine-tuning” scare you away, though. I will publish a new post every now and then to keep things interesting. In a good way! 😎 You may even see something old that is new again! 😉


Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Ocean Count…

What an awesome way to go whale watching!!!! Okay. So…it was quite early to get up on a Saturday; but it was sooooo worth it! Just after New Year’s, Andy registered us to participate in the 2010 Santuary Ocean Count on January 30, coordinated by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Check out the many links and bushel loads of information that they provide on their site.

An optimal view for counting Humpback Whale and observing their behavior on January 30, 2010.

“Bright” and EARLY on Saturday morning, January 30, we met the group at Kawaihae harbor (about 7:00am) and consolidated some vehicles then proceeded to the site that we signed up on for the Ocean Count. The site had a GREAT 180 degree view from north to south of the Kohala coastline near Kawaihae on the Big Island of Hawai`i!

We all signed in and gathered the papers that we would need for recording the Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) data. This was to include a tally for the # of adults and the # of calves in each pod, and a tally for each time one of several behaviors were exhibited during each half-hour increment from 8:00am to 12:00pm. Followed by one final count-only period from 12:00pm to 12:15pm.

Our group looking every-which-way while counting and observing Humpback Whale along the Kohala Coast of the Island of Hawai`i.

We all got settled in our chairs. We got our paperwork with writing implements, and our binoculars close at hand…and…at 8:00am began the count. Working in pairs, one would call out location, how many in the pod, and behavior observed; and the other would rapidly mark the tallies in the correct box on the paper. There was a lot of activity during the full four hours, and the time flew by! The Humpback were numerous and active on our west coast shoreline!

We seldom had opportunity to just sit back and talk story; but we did get some casual conversation inserted into the very occasional lull. Captivating conversation at that! This made the time pass by even faster. The lowest number of whale spotted from our site in any half-hour block during the count was about 11 adults. The calves were rare early in the count and then reached a count of four in two or three of the mid-count time slots.

A pod of five (5) adult Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) traveling north along the Kohala coast.

Near the end of our count (about 11:00 or 11:30), we all became a bit unsettled to observe two vessels that appeared to be commercial operations, display actions as though they were pursuing a pod of five Humpback Whale that were moving toward the north point of the Island (it looked like they were traveling in the direction of Maui). They presented as though they were pursuing the pod of five thus making the Whales increase their speed to stay out of range of the boats.

The vessels operators could have moored their boats anywhere along the coastline in the general area and seen a much more rewarding show as well as not having made the impression of stressing the large pod as it appeared that they did, and possibly causing any calves to get dangerously left behind!

We also watched as a small speed boat that was too near the shore tear over a lone Humpback that unexpectedly surfaced in its path. The boatman made little effort to observe to see if the whale was injured by the encounter, and we watched it tentatively while we finished our day’s count to observe if it was badly injured or just jostled and disoriented. It appeared to recover and begin to play in the water again. This left us with a feeling of relief as we gathered up our belongings, and cleared the site.

Two kayaking fishermen got an up-close view of a full breach display from a large adult Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Setting aside the irksome few vessels traversing the Kohala coastline after helping to make a few notes of the boats’ actions, I focused my attentions back on the whale count.

Over all, the Ocean Count was a fantastic experience! There were several conscientious boats in the water as well. Like the kayaking fishermen who got a surprisingly good show! The numerous animals exhibiting an impressive show of behaviors were awesome! Behavior we observed included breaching, diving, fin slapping, spy hopping, numerous blows, and more… (<–this link is to a picture PDF).

It was particularly attention grabbing when a mother was teaching her calf how to do some of these behaviors! The calves appeared to try very hard and would sometimes repeat a behavior several times before changing to another. We even observed a pod of approximately 20 spinner dolphins skimming through our observation area heading in a northerly direction! They looked to be having a great time, completely undaunted by the number of Humpback in the area! 🙂

Even in Alaska, while I did see a larger number of whale once or twice, I do not believe I observed so many behavior patterns in so little time. The process of watching for specific behaviors and counting each occurrence of each behavior made me ‘see’ more of the whales and what they were doing than I had observed while simply watching the whale and madly firing my camera shutter for the pictures.

I WILL make an effort to participate in this event again! And NEXT time, I WILL remember the sun block since I seem to wear my dive skin and/or wet suit so often that I forgot to protect my sun deprived legs when I wore my shorts for the Whale count event :-O Eeeee Youch!!!!! Nope. No pictures of that part of my day. Too embarrassing to feel that much like a tourist again… 😉

Darkerview.com also posted on this volunteer opportunity! — search “Whale Count”>


It Made Me Smile!

🙂 Posted here for the first time!…

Chasin' rainbows with my sister in North Kohala near Mahukona, Hawai'i!

Chasin’ rainbows with my sister in North Kohala near Mahukona, Hawai’i!


Surf’s Up…

Icebergs a floatin’ every where along Tracy Arm, Alaska!

Icebergs a floatin’ every where along Tracy Arm, Alaska!


From Weekends Past…

Tenakee Springs, Alaska was a GREAT stop along the way during our boating trip!

Tenakee Springs, Alaska was a GREAT stop along the way during our boating trip!