Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Carpet of leaves from a PROTEA tree. I love how the edges look like they were cut with pinking shears. As always... no one can beat mother nature.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Baby humpback whale breaching with Lanai in the distance.
Mama whale is the dark spot to it's left...almost in the center of the pic.

Friday morning were up not so bright but very early to make it to Lahaina by 8:00AM for our whale cruise with PACIFIC WHALE FOUNDATION. It was a picture perfect day and within 5 minutes of sailing out of the dock Mom, Nick, Brandon, Heather, John and myself were treated to a mother and baby humpback whale (above). This time of year, most whales have already started their long journey back to Alaska to feed for the summer, so we were lucky to have any sightings at all. Along with the whales we also saw a few bottle nose dolphins who were taking it easy just swimming along as though they were out for an afternoon stroll. The other great thing about taking the boat is the view you get of the islands from the water. It's always nice to get another perspective of Maui other than the highway view.

I picked up a new 250mm zoom lens with image stabilizer the day before in hopes of getting "the shot". Problem with the zoom lens, other than me not having time to adjust to it, is that it is much more sensitive to motion and the images are not super crisp. The use of a tripod would help that. I have 90 days to try it out... so I'll be shooting and posting away during that time to see if we think it's a keeper or not.

This is a shot from the top deck of the boat looking directly down into the water.
It looked exactly like this... NO LIE. Water can look different colors depending on which way you look and where the sun is at that particular moment.

A deep valley on Maui's West side.
You can actually see all the way through to the East or Wailuku side.

An adult ding a "spy hop". Who's watching who?

An adult breach and splashdown.

The fluke or horizontal tail fins of whales, dolphins, and porpoises are unique to each with no two having the same markings or ridges on the tail edge. This helps to identify whales for research purposes.

Bottle Nose Dolphins

Mother and baby with another adult in the distance.

The slow rise of the hump then tail before the whale descends.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Raindrops on the leaf of a VARIEGATED SHELL GINGER.


Last Wednesday Mom and Nick arrived for a month long visit with my sister and nephew arriving tomorrow for a week and a half. Grandma was supposed to come with them all, but a small health issue kept her home this trip. She's doing well, but we're sad she's not here to see the whales. Trying to see if MAYBE we get her back with Mom and Nick in the summer sometime.

Yesterday we headed over to their hotel in Lahaina for a MUCH needed get away. We lounged by the pool watching HUMPBACK WHALES and SPINNER DOLPHINS treat us to a spectacular show. Most were out a bit too far to even try to photograph. We headed over to
WHALER'S VILLAGE for dinner at LEILANI'S right on the beach.

As the sun began to set they raised the sun shades as the wait staff walked through the restaurant announcing the sunset. On cue, a mother and baby whale started their tail slapping performance the minute the shades finished raising. The mother would slap her tail then baby would follow. One of the waitresses said that they usually do this right after the baby had fed. I could not manage to get a good shot of the baby because it was turned sideways. Here you can see mama giving a whale of a tail slap lesson. Mind you, there were many whales in the distance doing the same thing, but this pair just happened to be a few hundred feet from shore. As soon as they had finished, another whale started to fin flap to the right. A few minutes later it shot into the air and I got my first shot of a whale breaching. A "swell time" was had by all.

Mother whale tail slapping. The bay was just behind the boat.
The railing at the bottom of the image will give you an idea of just how close it was.

Whale doing a "spy hop". This is when they just pop their heads out of the water to have a look around. It's really not all that far from shore.

I could not tell if this was an adult or a baby. It appeared to be alone, so I am assuming it was a young male. Notice just how close it was to shore. You can judge the distance from the peoples heads at the bottom of the image.

The quintessential "sunset sailboat" shots. How could you resist taking these shots. The bottom one is so seventies.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'm pleased as Hawaiian punch to blog about a recently completed redesign for hapa|hale. The blog's author, Leigh, and I cyber-met about 2 years ago through the design*sponge feature penned by our pals Lauren & Derek about Conn's shelf makeover. We shared many common interests and design influences so it seemed a perfect match when she asked me to redesign her blog identity and site. She was well prepared and supplied me with a handful of blogs that she admired and a wish list of design tricks and functionality that she wanted deployed in the new template design. When she suggested Squarespace as a development and hosting platform, I took it out for a test drive and gave her my blessing. Using a combination of their custom style editing features, I designed the template based on the approved mock-ups and banner photography.

Before all of that were a few rounds of logo design. The lowercase h's were a trademark display style that I needed to keep but I really liked how the capitol H's worked together and when placed in a pattern arrangement they do double duty as the state's abbreviated name. The simplicity of the letter forms in the title words seemed well-suited for futura, where as the client wanted a more whimsical and girly cursive for the tag line. Enter linoscript. We were both really pleased with the results.

I styled the image in the top banner with a combination of things supplied by Leigh and an assortment of our own flora and seashells (all from local sources). Conn helped me out with gathering and positioning the elements. I must of snapped a zillion photos before we arrived at the perfect one. Leigh had the vision to have the logo letterpress-printed into beautiful calling cards by Meimiko. I took a photo of the card in the cello-envelope because I liked how the label complemented the design on the cards. They did a great job in the printing and color matching. Beautiful paper too. Letterpress is a wonderfully tactile medium, so nice to actually "feel" the design rather than just see it on the computer screen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


It just dawned on me today that as of yesterday we have been living on and in our little slice of paradise for 3 years. It feels like more and less at the same time. We don't remember too much from last year with all of the construction and as you can see, we still have yet to paint the main house. It's going to happen soon... well sometime in April or May. Just look at how much things have changed around here. Mind boggling really. Here's to (at least) another 3 years. Thank you to all who have stopped by. We truly enjoy your comments and are happy to have met so many new friends via CFC.
A hui hou!

Right after we moved in and a shot from today.
We have also planted many plants or just allowed others to grow in rather than scalping them in addition to the construction. Here you can see some of the coco palms we planted soon after moving in. They were about 18" tall with 2 - 3 fronds each. Notice the potted palms nestled in under the teenage palms? There are about 45 of them... waiting to go in the ground.