Day 14: Beauty in a broken world

Nature has offered so many of us solace and sanity this past year. Mountain trails and vistas have been my constant companions since last March, but as much of a mountain girl as I am, I miss the sea. I long to hear waves crashing against the shore. I want the bury my toes in sand and wade in salt water.

Kauai, where I hope to visit again someday

I miss travel in general, and find myself dreaming of places I’ll go when I can again get on the road or on a plane. Hawaii is one of those places, and I enjoyed looking through photos of my last trip there (in 2017, which feels like a complete lifetime ago) to pick out today’s photo to share with you.

If, like me, you’re missing travel, I encourage you to take some time to look through photos of a past trip. Maybe doing so will offer a brief respite from the realities of the pandemic, and perhaps it will nurture hope in you of better days ahead. Where do you most look forward to traveling post-pandemic?

Join me in the hunt for beauty?
Where do you see beauty in a broken world? Want to add your own images during the 31-day journey? If so, feel free to comment below with your Instagram handle, and tag your Insta posts with #beautyinabrokenworld. You’ll find me there @pixofhope.

A bouquet of Aloha

I’m traveling today but wanted to share some Hawaiian flowers (and other vegetation with you). I hope this virtual bouquet brightens your day. Continue reading

Fabulous Hawaiian fauna (mostly birds)

Did you know that of all the states in the US, Hawaii has experienced the most species loss? That’s probably no surprise, given the exotic/endangered/rare flora and fauna that only lives there.

Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite animal pictures from my recent trip to Hawaii. They’re mostly of birds: some you’re accustomed to seeing in the continental US, and others you may not see anywhere else in the world.

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii and want to see amazing birds, check out the Hawaii Audubon Society website for tips on where to visit for the best bird views on each island. On Maui, the majority of our bird sightings happened at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, and its Keālia Coastal Boardwalk. On Kauai, the lighthouse at Kilauea is a must-see area for an amazing array of birds. Even in cases where I haven’t identified the bird, I will identify which island.

The not-so-humble rooster is ubiquitous on roadsides (and pretty much every else) in Kauai.

While you might be tempted to think the rooster is the official bird of Kauai given the fact that roosters are everywhere there, the state bird is the endangered Nene goose: Continue reading

Glittering eyes and the magic of this world

When I was in my twenties, my mom took me with her to Hawaii. Before that trip, I had never heard of the green flash at sunset, not even in my college meteorology class. Then again, my professor was most interested in avalanches, and so maybe the green flash didn’t figure into his lecture notes.

I didn’t see the green flash on that trip with my mother—though we watched many sunsets hoping to see it—and I tucked the idea of the green flash into one of the corners of my mind. From time to time in the intervening years I would wonder: Is the green flash a real thing? Is it a myth? I didn’t know.

Fast forward to the beginning of this month, when my husband and I stood on a mountainside in Kauai looking west.

When we first got out of the car, we realized we had a bit of time before the sun would “hit” the ocean. Should we wait? Continue reading