All posts tagged: Nature

Pilihonua Notecards

Movement has always been my creative outlet, but now that I’m back to dancing and we’re doing a lot of it, it was time to turn my attention toward reconnecting with my visual art-sy side. I’m in no way a designer, but I do dabble with this website, photography, and graphics. To thank our hosts in Yurihama, we normally bring makana (gifts), which have historically ranged from chocolate covered macadamia nuts to anything related to Hawaiʻi. This time, instead of heading down to buy calendars, I decided to make one-of-kind cards. No small feat, considering I’ve been incredibly busy. Here’s the end product: I used the following native plants in this batch : Hala (Pandanus) – Most commonly used for weaving and plaiting, the word hala, is also defined as “passing”. Hala lei are still seen at occasions that mark rites of passage like graduation and funerals. Ulu (Breadfruit) – Although other parts of the ulu can be used for its wood, sap, and leaves, the fruit is most known as a food. It was often used as a primary staple in some areas and even …


Leaving familiarity behind, or so what I thought, was difficult. The forest mist engulfing the native plants and birds, though it does have its invasive and non-native species, it was home. Upon our arrival on Johnston Island, after a three day boat ride on the Kahana, I was pleased to finally see for myself that there were so many familiar things. Greeted with plumeria and hibiscus leis, it was official; we (1 leader and 4 volunteers) were the next Crazy Ant Strike Team (CAST), no turning back! I found myself taking a liking to the Ironwood trees as they are some of the taller trees in great density, creating their own non-native forest of relaxing howling sounds as the wind blows on by. As I explore the nooks and crannies of the island, I find more and more plants that bring me comfort like the Naio, Hala, Hau, ‘Uhaloa, Pōhinahina, ‘Ilima, Naupaka, Pōhuehue and the list goes on. I picked up the Atoll Research Bulletin No. 192 – The Natural History of Johnston Atoll, Central …

Pop of Color (Photo 101, Day 11)

I came across a few pūkiawe bushes with bright pink berries today. After I took the photo, I noticed that although the pink stood out, the green leaves were amazing in their own right. I should have saved a few photos from yesterday’s post for today because some of the dancers’ pāʻū were an amazing orange, so I’ll repost just because I love the color and texture of the pāʻū. Finally, I’ve not known what to do with this photo that I took last summer at the Esprit Dior exhibit in Seoul last year, but on display was Charlize Theron’s Dior dress from Cannes 2015 and the yellow popped inside that darkened room.

Solitude (Photo 101, Day 5)

On a hike to Sanbutsu-ji Temple, the cliff temple, I took this picture of my hula brother at a rest stop. Our hula tradition is based upon the concept of environmental kinship, so as he looked out at the mountains and the trees in foreign Japan, I could tell that he wasnʻt just resting and admiring the beautiful view, but that he was syncing himself and connecting to the environment around him. His breathing steadied, his body relaxed, and he would occasionally close his eyes to feel the gentle breeze on his skin and once, he was in harmony with his surroundings, he inhaled deeply and turned to me and smiled.

Weekly Small Pleasures (#5)

Diet Overhaul:  If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen those food videos from the likes of Tastemade and Cooking Panda that speed-up the prep and cooking of different dishes. The dish is shown from start to finish in a matter of a minute and only after my newsfeed was inundated with these videos was it confirmed for me, the amount of sugar and salt that’s in the American diet. Getting older means my body is evolving, so I can’t eat like I used to, not just because it’s not good for me, but because unhealthy food and large portions just don’t taste good or satisfying to me like it used to. Late last week, I decided to cut sugar, salt, pork, and beef from my diet for three months for a necessary detox. I’ve been told it’s commendable, but yesterday was day 3 of smaller portions, veggies, and tofu, and truth be told, I had a multi-sensory dream of eating wafu steak and a “traditional” loco moco the night before and it was not pretty. Being from Hawaiʻi, where food is so much a part of our local culture, it’s not surprising that …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

Share a photo which describes what spring means to you. The light during today’s late afternoon hike at Puʻu Huluhulu was absolutely magical. Spring is here! Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring! |

Transition to the Mundane

My first trip to Japan was so wonderful that I want to linger in the experience and not catalog it as a memory just yet. I’ve been home for 2 days now and am still transitioning back from idyllic Yurihama to my life in Hilo. I’m also struggling with articulating my thoughts, especially since I was in a kind of dream-state for the better part of the week, opting to empty my mind and allow new experiences to flow through, so I’ll share with all of you, my favorite images from this trip taken in Yurihama, Misasa, and Kurashiki. We all know all good things must come to an end, but I’d like to savor it for just a bit longer.