Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Are Cruel Landscapes So Beautiful?

Overnight as I woke for various reasons, I could not help but notice the brilliant moonlit snow. Venus was blazing crisply with a clarity that only frozen air delivers.

The moon illuminated trees looked majestic with their snow-laden arms glowing brightly against the deep, dark sky.

It occurred to me that frozen, inhospitable landscapes are often thought beautiful. As are crashing waves, deserts and deep space.

I can understand why clear streams, fine horses, orchards and fine china are appealing. Those things clearly help(ed) us and so why not be fond of them.

As for the frozen landscape, perhaps it's just that we appreciate that once in a while, nature brings everything to a standstill. No birds are flitting, no wind is blowing, nothing is walking. The complexity of life is reduced to a still canvas. Is it just that this stillness is a relief to our senses, which see so many chaotic hours and so few still ones?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Update From the SnowCam

Most of this came yesterday, but it has been dumping snow since 8 am today.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Mt. Haleakala and the Rare Mountain Goose

On our second day on Maui, we visited Mt. Hale'akala. When we got to the visitor's center the first thing we noticed was a firm admonition against feeding Nēnē.

Later on we saw a Nēnē, and though it looked at us with those watery brown eyes, like all it wanted in life was a tasty snack, we did not feed it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maui Aquarium

Maui has a fantastic Aquarium. Their most exciting claim is that they have the only captive Tiger Shark in the world.

However, that barely hints at the high quality of their displays.

This one highlights a program they have where they take broken bits of coral that are found by divers and try to rehabilitate them before releasing them back to the wild:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sons And Surf

Ka'anapali beach surf has a small amount of shallow beach, transitioning quickly into water too deep to stand in. Consequently I could stand in rollers all day while 10-15 feet away the boys were buffeted by crashing waves. Not that I did that. In actuality I took a fair amount of drubbing at the hands of the high seas.

Over the course of our stay the seas got rougher each day. On our second to last day, the surf was bordering on dangerous. But in true Zimmerman fashion all three of us played in it for 2-3 solid hours. Enough time for no fewer than three other adventurous groups of body surfers to come and go, finding the waves too rough to manage.

For myself I'm mildly pleased to be able to report this display of machismo, but I'm truly impressed by my sons who didn't have the luxury of hiding out from the worst of the waves and were submerged by thrashing white-water dozens more times than I was.

Bragging aside, the body-surfing was loads of fun.
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Monday, November 08, 2010


One of the highlights of our trip to Maui was the lovely scent of plumeria on the breeze. Below is a picture of plumeria flowers. If you get the chance you should smell these.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


At the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel Heidi and the boys took a lei-making class led by the wonderful Mahilini who made our stay feel like we were visiting family (in a good way). By the time we had to leave we wanted to take her with us, or vice versa.
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