Monday, August 26

Monk Seal Monday....

Yes, we're LOCALS!!!
This is probably one of my favorite shots of a Hawaiian Monk Seal. This is RW20 and was taken in 2009 on the shores of Molokai. He was just a weaner then and a such a cutie!!

Here's some Monk Seal Facts
*endemic to the  Hawaiian Islands
making them LOCALS :)
*they are marine animals
*one of the most endangered animals in the world,
at the present time they are approximately 1200 animals
(most of those are in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands)
*Their Hawaiian name is 'ilio-holo I ka ua ua, which means "dog that runs in rough seas"
*adult seals are 6-8 feet in length and weigh 400-600 lbs.
*Can live to be 25-30 yrs of age
*solitary animal--unlike the California Seals 
*head looks like it has a hood like a monk (hence the name :)
*Hawai'i's official state mammal
Got a question about the HMS (Hawaiian Monk Seal)??
Please leave questions in the comment section and I'll address them next Monday.
Seal ya,
In case you missed the first post concerning HMS, CLICK HERE!!

Friday, August 23

Coming Soon....Monk Seal Mondays

Starting next Monday---Mondays  at My Girlz Got Paws will focus on the Hawaiian Monk Seal!! So we'll be calling our Mondays---Monk Seal Mondays!!
A few of you have asked some questions that deserve some detailed answers and I plan to share that information with you. Please feel free to ask questions concerning monk seals. If I don't know the answer(s) I will get in contact with the professionals/experts that do and it will be posted on Monk Seal Mondays.
Today, I wanted to give you a taste of what's to come....On Tuesday's Blog Post titled "WHISKERS", the lovely Lily Belle and Muffin asked, "Could you perhaps tell us more about being a Responder and what that entails??"
My work shirt :)

Here goes....

Hawaiian Monk Seal Program here on Kauai consists of 60 volunteers who assist NOAA, PIRO (Pacific Islands Regional Office) and PIFSC (Pacific Island Fisheries Center) in many seal response issues. Here are a few of the situations that a responder may encounter.
Me, checking on 2 seals 
(when we lived on Molokai)
  • a call is received from the public stating a seal has hauled out (hanging on the beach) Responder will go to assess the situation and health of the seal and report findings to NOAA/PIFSC
  •  we may have to erect a SPZ (seal protection zone) if the seal has hauled out on a busy beach, this is for the protection of the public as well as the seal
  • we may be asked to help monitor a Mom seal and her pup
  • we may be asked to take photos and collect other important data for the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center.
  • may be asked to help in seal relocation under NOAA and PIFSC supervision
  • we may be asked to help in de-hooking or entanglement of a seal
  • may be asked to help with a animal stranding or a necropsy
  • provide public outreach and education
  • may be asked to collect seal poo and spew!! That's a fun one :)
  • **the above information was taken from the Hawaiian Monk Seal Volunteer Responder Manual
 Dead Humpback Whale
Molokai 2010
Science folks preforming necropsy on whale.
 Molokai 2010
 My pal Diane and me keeping watch over the infamous seal named KP2 (more on him later)
Kp2 is located just slightly above the yellow sign.
He had decided the wharf on Molokai was a great place to hang out, NOT!!
and yes we have heavy coats on, it was cold--for Hawaii!!

Hope this gives you an idea of what I may be doing as a responder. Okay, next question!!!
 Seal you on Mondays!!!

Aloha, Val

Tuesday, August 20


Monk Seal Whiskers
Tuesday I attended a mandatory training for those individuals wanting to be volunteer
 responders for the Hawaiian Monk Seal.  I had been a volunteer responder when we lived on Molokai. I needed to attend the Kauai group training because they have a few different situations that were not common on, dealing with tourist in the monk seals face. So today I learned to set up a SPZ (seal protection zone) and how to deal with the public or maybe I should say the Monk Seal paparazzi! It was an interesting and insightful training  and  I am looking forward to being a responder again.
These shots were taken last sunday, while R and I were at a beach on the north shore. This seal is a two year old female known as RK52, who has recently molted(basically she shed all of her hair and a layer of skin) and decided she wanted to snooze on the beach.
 a beautiful animal, all shiny and sporting a new gray coat
 dozens of peeps now have photos of her to show folks "back home"
some got a little too close...
 Here you see one of her identification tags,  K52
Red Tag--means she was born in the Main Hawaiian Islands
The "K" denotes the year she was born--2011
The 52 is like her social security number
She enjoyed her nap on the beach....paparazzi and all.
***please note all of my photos were taken from an appropriate distance with a zoom lens***

Monday, August 19

Tasty Tuesday...

Well, my mom finally got her act together and made us some tasty fruit treats.
Can you guess what they are??
Bet our friend SUGAR would know!!
Mom got this cool kong mold to hold our yummies.
Schatzie is checking to see if they are ready for consumption
I'm thinking YES!!!
 Have you figured out what kind yet....
and look, they look like little tiny kong treats!!
 tastes a little like banana...
 oh, I can taste strawberry...

Mom, you're killing too!!
Yep, this is our new favorite treat made with our very own mangos from the tree out back.
Mom threw strawberries, bananas, mango, yogurt and a dab of honey in the blender and then put that smoothie mixture in our new mold and stuck it in the freezer. We had to wait for like 87 years for them to freeze, but after that long wait we got to indulge....
Yummy  frozen goodness!!
p.s. mom and poppy can eat em too, it's a family treat.

 We are joining our 1st Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop--Join US!!

Sunday, August 18

The largest float/buoy yet....

Saturday we took the girlz walking to the beach area that I do "clean up". Looking down from the walking trail we could see a large float/ buoy bobbing around in the surf. My husband knows me well, saw the look in my eye and agreed to escort me to the beach to retrieve it. So here's a rare photo of me, Gracie and the float!!


Friday, August 16

The woman with the blue bucket...

Since the end of July I have been going out to a nearby beach everyday and
picking up "stuff" and jamming it in my blue bucket.
 If you missed the first post concerning my bucket you can Click Here
This stuff includes marine floats, plastics, toothbrushes, light bulbs, ball caps, ropes. After I canvas the beach I usually sit and just watch the waves and yesterday I was saddened to see some debris in the waves, rolling over and over again and in time this debris will be dumped upon our sandy shores.
So with my two feet and my blue bucket I will continue to pick up stuff, knowing that my efforts are just a drop in the bucket but, I am doing what I can. Maybe, just maybe one fish, a turtle or my beloved Hawaii Monk Seals will be spared from eating this awful stuff.

 Here are just a few of the floats I've "rescued" think my count is now 10
 My blue bucket filled beyond the brim.
I think I need to jazz up my bucket....Got any ideas???
 More floats
 so much plastic...
 One day I found a single fin....
 some treasures....sea glass!!!
I think it's Mother Natures way of thanking me.

 one of the most unusual items...some sort of radio from Lockheed Martin.
 the largest...part of a boat
approximately4 feet wide

item that traveled the greatest distance perhaps???
anyone know what it says??

Watch for more updates...and if you have ideas on jazzing up my bucket leave a comment,
oh and I'm still looking for that glass ball.CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 15

Hanalei Sand Art Contest...

Last Saturday we went to Hanalei Bay to enjoy the Sand Art/Castle Contest.
Some really talented peeps on this island

 Work in progress

 cute cupcake
 even the dogs were involved
 one of my favs--submarine
 this was a replica of the island of Kauai...very cool
This dragon even had fire coming from his nostrils.
yep, I think we've found the spot!!

Tuesday, August 13

Our First 30 days...

I can hardly believe it, but we have been on island 30 days (as of yesterday).  So much has happened in that time. Thought I would share a few fun photos to celebrate.
After 1640 miles in the car  from Nebraska to California
2400 air miles from California to Kauai
we were finally "home"
The Girlz were glad to have their feet on the solid ground.
 Within the first couple of days I had found a Hawaiian Monk Seal
 Here's my stash of marine floats that have been rescued from the sea.
This is part of my Woman on a Mission--collecting plastic from the ocean.
 The flowers, the aroma!!
Chickens everywhere....even in our backyard
Walks on the beach
 Trips to waterfalls

 Snorkeling with turtles
 The taro patches on the north shore
 Locals at work
 Threw this one in for Tex...Hawaii isn't all sunrises and sunsets.
Walks along the coconut coast
 {Seeing Beautiful} day at a time
now it's time for a nap.