Posts Tagged ‘Kauai’

Kauai, oil on canvas, 12/19, 20 x 20

If you want to know why the title of this painting is Kaua’i, here is the story.

We spent Christmas 2018 on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. One of the things we noticed immediately was how many feral chickens and roosters there were everywhere on that island. Where do they all come from and why aren’t there any on the other islands? Here is a post with a picture of chickens in it.

The hurricanes Iwa in 1982, and then Iniki in 1992, destroyed many domestic chicken coops. This released the chickens into the jungles. The domesticated birds then mated with the wild red junglefowl that was brought to the islands by the Polynesians hundreds of years ago.

The current feral chickens have no natural predator, so they are procreating at a prodigious rate.

There is no way that you can travel to Kaua’i and not notice the ubiquitous chickens and roosters. There is no way you can spend a night on Kaua’i and not be woken up at 4:30am by a rooster outside your window. They are everywhere.

Kaua’i is roosters, and roosters are Kaua’i.

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and it rained buckets. The rain came down so hard on our cabin, the roof seemed to vibrate. I drifted in and out of sleep surrounded by the white noise of the rain storm.

In the morning it was clear and we decided to go on a drive to see some waterfalls.

One the way we stopped at a scenic overlook, and the most scenic part of it was the abundance of wild chickens that seemed to converge on any parked car. They must have learned that these creatures in their cruising tin boxes were the bringers of crumbs.

The highland of Kaua’i is lush, green and apparently a paradise for horses.

We stopped so Trisha could scratch the heads of a couple of horses, and they thoroughly enjoyed our attention.

When we got to Wailua Falls they were very swollen and completely brown. Normally those falls are beautiful, white and blue. But the heavy rains had stirred up the waters. The rivers and the waterfalls were all reddish-brown and fierce.

Later, at the ocean at the mouth of the Wailua River, it was an altogether eerie picture. The ocean was deep brown and wild. Driftwood covered all the beaches, and as far as we could see, brown water. The rivers wash the brown earth into the ocean, and the currents push it back to the beaches.

The island of Kaua’i is about 5.1 million years old and in another 5 million years, it will have largely been washed into the sea and become an atoll. Today, I was able to see this process of erosion in action, in front of my eyes. The brown ocean was my witness, as I stood, a bystander only in the eons of time, like dust in the wind, watching the dust in the ocean.

It put me in my place on this very different Christmas Day.

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