November 26, 2011

South Point in the US

On the last day, on our way back to the airport, we stopped at a few beaches. One of them, which turned out to be more of a cliff than a beach was the Southern most point in the US, simply called South Point or Ka Lae. Huge Cliffs with a lot of people fishing and the vast blue ocean in front. We were surprised by how crowded it was there with mostly local folks. The drive to this point was about 12 miles from the highway and is paved. We passed an out-dated windfarm and another new one nearby. As you drive here, you will see beautiful scrub trees bending with the  wind with squiggly branches. In the nearby towns you will find everything "southernmost" -- bakery, restaurant, etc.


We went to the South Point first, spent some time, chatted with a few out there and enquired about Green Sands Beach (on the next post).

This is one of the boat pulleys at South Point. These days I think it is just used for cliff jumping.

The water was so inviting. This is apparently the best place to catch a 150-pound yellow-fin tuna!

And there was also this little hole into which some adventurers were diving! And one of them invited us to try it too. No way :)

November 25, 2011

Carrots & Peanut Soup

It's not quite soup season in my home yet, so here is a recipe from the archives. I need this motivation to start thinking about using the butternut squash from our garden this year into a batch of delicious soup! I am a  big fan of texture in food and even my pureed soups have to be textural :)



Ingredients: Carrots - 4 diced, Potatoes - 2 - diced, onions - 1 yellow - sliced; Peanuts - 1 cup (I used raw); Peanut butter - 2 tbsp; Red Chilies - 2; Salt & Pepper - to taste. Vegetable broth
  • In a soup pot, add olive oil (I might have also added a little butter :) )
  • Once hot, add red chilies and let the flavor infuse in the oil for a few minutes.
  • Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes, peanuts and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Add water and vegetable broth. Stir in the peanut butter.
  • Bring to boil, simmer for few more minutes.
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Puree to desired consistency.
  • Serve hot! Mine was garnished with a spoon of yogurt and crushed peanuts.

November 21, 2011

Art Inspirations from Hawaii

One of the best things out of spending two weeks on the Big Island, Hawaii, is finding quite a few artists similar to my painting style. Big inspiration. I hope I am able to find the time to channel some of this inspiration and have some creative fulfillment. Expect to see some of their influence in my future works, especially similar to the last but one (Its acrylic on wood). I couldn't quite keep track of the names of the artists for many of these, and one whose work I have not pictures here, is Pamela Sukham. I am in love with her work! But for now, check out the paintings below and revel!

       
         
         
          

November 19, 2011

Glow of a Volcano

The last two days we have in Hawaii, we are spending at the Volcano National Park. The Halema Ľuma Ľu Crater in the Kilauea Caldera has an active vent that is spewing out gas and steam. Here are a sequence of pictures taken from the outlook at Jaggar Museum. As the evening turns to night, the vista becomes very surreal and there are no words to describe the feeling of being near (almost standing) on an active volcano!

November 7, 2011

Hawaiian Forest Birds

I am in Hawaii this week for The Wildlife Society's Annual Conference! The first thing I did after getting here is to go on a field trip to the Hakalau Wildlife Refuge. The trip was led by the Hawaii Forest & Trail. It was an wonderful trip and we got to see almost all of the native forest birds. The one bird we did not get to see is the Palila. 

We saw the Pueo, a short-eared owl endemic to Hawaii, on the way to Hakalau. The picture above on the right is the Wildlife Refuge. (Click on pics to enlarge).

    
The Nene, is an endemic Hawaiian goose, which is also the state bird of Hawaii. There were quite a few pairs hanging out by where we parked and were quite photogenic :) The I'iwi, Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper, is the bird that I took the most pictures of and got some really good ones too! This is one of the adaptive radiated Hawaiian honeycreepers!
There were also quite a few Japanese White-eye, an introduced species. We also saw the I'o, the Hawaiian hawk, which is also endemic. The day was quite the treat for attending a conference!

Here are other species we saw that day and since then (pics coming later!): Native Birds: 'Elepaio (flycatcher), 'Oma'o (thrush), Hawai'i Amakihi, 'Akiapola'au, Hawai'i Creeper, 'Akepa and 'Apapane. Introduced Birds:  Erckel's Francolin, Kalij Pheasant, Ring-Neck Pheasant, Wild Turkey, California Quail, Mourning Dove, Spotted Dove, Common Myna, Skylark, House Sparrow, Yelloe-fronted Canary, House Finch, Java Sparrow. Visitors / Migrants: Pacific-Golden Plover, Wandering Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone. 

November 1, 2011

One Pot Meal: Vegetable Biryani

Or how I like my food: loaded with goodness, colorful, textured & healthy!

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