Saturday, May 16, 2009
I haven't given the blog much time in the past week as I prepared to go home. It is amazing how much stuff can be accumulated in 3 months. My stash included rope and net from the debris pile for use in various craft projects. I also had borrowed books from friends, work and the library that had to be returned. I had snorkeling gear that had to be returned to the boathouse and many people to thank and tell goodbye. I had last pictures to take of new friends and addresses to be exchanged. I'm now on my way home. I'm in a hotel room in Waikiki after a 4 1/2 hour flight last night that ended about 3:50 a.m. so I'm moving a little slow today. It was a wonderful 3 months and I'm already scheming on how I can return. I found this graffiti scratched into a concrete project near the outer end of the breakwater. It seems an appropriate end!
Laysan Ducks were moved from Laysan to Midway several years ago to establish a separate population of this very rare and endangered duck. Two populations make it less likely that one catastrophic event would drive the bird to extinction. The populations on both islands are monitored very closely and seem to be doing well. They show up just about everywhere on Sand Island including wandering through the garage at U.S.F.&W.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I've had a wonderful time snorkeling and taking pictures over the past 3 months. We went to a new spot today and saw interesting things and got pictures of some new fish. We swam along the rip rap seawall from Cross Point to the WWII submarine pier and returned through a little deeper water, although nowhere was it more than 5 feet deep. I've put these pictures in separate posts so I can identify the photographs.
Midway House was built in 1941 for the Commanding Officer of the base on Midway. It is a very close neighbor to the house where I live and some of these photos were actually taken from our back yard. Midway house was designed by Albert Kahn, an architect of international renown and who,as of 2006, has approximately 60 of his buildings on " The National Register of Historic Places." The house has an interesting history and began life painted in camouflage and survived the "Battle of Midway." In June of 1969, then President Richard Nixon, and South Vietnamese President Thieu met in the house for lunch and informal talks to discuss the war in Vietnam. It has been recently restored and is beautiful inside and out. Barbara Bush slept in the house on her trip to Midway several years ago and I was invited there for drinks Friday evening by our Refuge Manager Matt Brown.
The following pictures are all of nudibranchs or sea slugs, that I've taken under the cargo pier. They are usually found on the shady side of pilings or cement structures under the pier. They are very colorful and if you look carefully you can see the filamentous external gills. All of the animals pictured are under 2 " long.
Friday, May 1, 2009
This has been the week for snorkeling. The winds have been very light and the days are getting long enough to swim for a while after work. I can pick up dinner by 4:45 and put it in our refrigerator and be in the water by 5:00. Tonight I saw a Frogfish which I had seen several weeks ago with the leader of one of the Oceanic Society trips that came to Midway. It is an unusual fish at snorkel depth. It has a lure dangling in front of its mouth and waits for prey to swim close. It opens its mouth and expands many times its original volume and sucks in the prey. It looks like a bright yellow blob of jello but if you look close you can see eyes and mouth and fins that help anchor it to the substrate.