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4 January 2012

January 13, 2012

We woke early (once again) because of the bird life around us at Spencer Beach. There are lots of doves (don’t know what species), common mynahs, house sparrow, Javan sparrows and the occasional cardinal (yes, cardinals) and they are very loud in the morning. For the second morning in a row, I took I hike around the ceremonial heiau, took a shower and then had a breakfast of yogurt and an orange. We packed a lunch and then headed to Honoka’a to get permissions from people to collect in their yards later that evening. We struck out majorly at the corner of Plumeria Street and Hwy 19. People either did not speak English or who were home but would not talk to us or were home and told us “No” after which they closed and locked their gate as we left. We had better luck at the Salvation Army where a staff member (Anne, in charge of Social Services) and an apparent volunteer (Gary, the trouble-maker wanting to give out the Sergeant-Major’s cell phone number) gave us permission to collect. We also had good luck at the Hamakua Coast Police Department headquarters where Captain Richard Miramoto took our information and told us he would tell the patrol officers who we are and what we are up to. All in all, pretty successful.

Waipio Valley from the overlook.

Since we were over there and the previous day had been so foggy and today was turning out to be very sunny, we decided to head back out to Waipio Overlook so that Elizabeth could experience it in all its glory. It was really spectacular. After taking pictures from the rim, I foolishly asked Elizabeth if she wanted to go down the road into the valley as I had never been and, of course, she said yes. So down we went. It was steep (25% grade was the warning sign at the top). At the bottom, an elderly Australian couple directed us to the falls which were quite impressive (2 very tall waterfalls falling into a steep, bowl-shaped depression that was open on one side to the north, out of which flowed the stream we were currently standing next to that also flowed into the sea at the black

Sign at the top of the road down to Waipio Valley.

sand beach you could see from the overlook). We ate our lunch while gawking at the waterfalls and then headed to the black sand beach that was also quite beautiful. We took some pictures, walked around and then headed back up out of the valley. Now is when the steepness really mattered. I had to stop 5 times on the way up to rest. It is clearly time to lose some weight. Elizabeth, of course, trooped right up it. At the top, I drank a lot of water and we headed back to the campsite. I took a nap and Elizabeth went to catch up on her notes.

We ate dinner (left-over sandwiches) and headed for Honoka’a. We had a terrible time catching frogs at the Plumeria & Hwy. 19 site. It took us 2 hours to collect the 10 frogs we were hoping to get from there. We noticed that it was pretty cool and the temperature being reported on Weather Underground was 58 F. We headed to the Salvation Army where there was one frog calling, which I failed to catch, but that was the only frog we heard. We checked the vegetated bank on the corner of Lehua Street and Highway 240. No joy there either. We headed on to the ILW lodge where we had heard frogs the night before. Hardly any calling going on. The on to the Eucalyptus forest further out of town and nothing happening there. We began to think that it was just too cold for there to be much frog activity so we made plans to return from Hilo some night when the weather was going to be more conducive to frog collecting.

After failing miserably in Honoka’a, we headed to the North Kona sites to check them for calling intensity for the following night’s collecting. We did not hear anything at any of the places where frogs had been reported in the past even though it was currently raining at all those sites. After that, I was dog tired and got Elizabeth to drive the rest of the way home.

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