Pete's Stuff

The Lanipō Panorama Is Here...

So, my first vacation panorama is assembled. This is a 180 degree view, NNE from the lookout at the end of the Lanipō Trail, the same place as the video in my previous post.

The link below leads to a 2.5 megapixel version, but there's also a 25 megapixel version and a 250 megapixel version. The original is even larger, about 42,000 pixels wide, but it starts to get a little fuzzier and doesn't reveal much more detail than the 250 megapixel version.

One of the original photos. A bit of a hazy day, this.

This panorama was processed pretty heavily; it was a voggy day on the islands and I had to significantly increase the contrast, especially in the distant areas in the valley and out to sea.

The promised Seattle panorama is being stitched together right at this moment, so that will be coming in the next couple of days. The Makapu‘u Point panorama, although my favorite, has proven quite a bit harder to assemble because the large amount of ocean makes it difficult to align the photos. So I need to spend another couple of nights on it, I think.

Panoramas on the Way

As a follow-up to my first effort at a high-resolution, panoramic photo, I made sure to take a couple more while on vacation. It'll take a couple days to stitch them together, but I'm looking forward to the results.

As a teaser, here's a annotated video panorama of the last one.

Behold, The Mighty Albatross!

The Laysan albatross, that is (Phoebastria immutabilis), also known as not-so-mighty "gooney bird" thanks to its short legs and consequent ungainly look on land. They are surely masters of the air, however.

A bird sweeping low over the dunes; both sexes incubate the egg, so it's not clear whether this one is male or female.

On Saturday I hiked to Ka‘ena Point, the westernmost tip on the island of O‘ahu. A few hundred acres at the very tip have been made into a fenced nature reserve that preserves a coastal dune ecosystem frequented by plover, shearwaters, green sea turtles (honu) and Hawaiian monk seals (‘ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua).

I spent a quiet hour and a half there, but only saw a couple dozen pairs of this relatively common albatross, and none of the other species (late afternoon into sunset might have been a better time.) But it was still a great opportunity.


More Odd Flora

And some more odd flora from the past couple of days.



Another batch of photos from Sandies, Makapu‘u, Mau‘umae Ridge, and Ka‘au Crater...



Some portraits.

At Makapu‘u, overlooking Kailua Bay.


Tantalus Trails

Just an average Tuesday, in a perfect world.


It may be nearly December, but things are still blooming in sunny Hawai‘i.

More photos below the fold.


The Great (November) Escape

Less than a week now until I'm on my yearly escape from the November gray. This isn't a very good month in Minnesota - too cold, windy, and cloudy to be a continuation of fall, and too warm for most winter sports. And, it's going to be so much fun where I'm going.

First it's Thanksgiving weekend in Seattle to visit the newest member of the family.

Dan, Zach, and Jane.

Annie is flying in from Honolulu, and Jane and Dan generously gave my parents an early Christmas present of plane tickets, so the five members of the Curtis family are going to have a holiday reunion of sorts.

Then it's on to paradise (not Paradise, although that's pretty close to Seattle).

Tropical rain and coconut palms.

And finally back home in mid-December. Even better, all the flights are nonstop and all three for $800 including fees. Sweet... except maybe for the inevitable near-nude pictures of me that, although I don't really care about them specifically (people are way too prudish about the human body), are totally unnecessary for the joke that is airport "security".

By the time I get home, I'm hoping for a full 20+ inches of powdery snow all ready for some serious skiing. The only downside is that I'll miss this year's Possum Trot, thus allowing Ian to lengthen his lead in the lifetime standings by virtue of attendance.

We, the Navigators, Remember

(photo by Will Kyselka)

The Hawai‘i news has been busy lately with the news that Mau Piailug has passed away at the age of 76. He was the navigator of the Hokule‘a on its maiden voyage from Hawai‘i to Tahiti, a teacher to David Lewis, Nainoa Thompson, and many others, and largely responsible for ensuring the survival of traditional Polynesian oceanic navigation into the 21st century.

Although my wary personal relationship with water may keep me from ever setting foot on a voyaging canoe, I'm still amazed by what he, his peers, and his students have been able to accomplish.

Knowledge can be a fragile thing, at times. Thank you for keeping it alive, Mau.

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