Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Time to start posting again

May 30, 2012

I’ve been so busy since the birth of my new grand-daughter and my focus has been far away from both travel and blogs.

sweet baby june

Over the past months l have traveled.  I went to Portland, OR.   It was frugal because we stayed with family.  There are two important rules when staying with family while traveling, don’t stay too long and always rent a car.

The trip was too short for my liking we only stayed for a week.  It was gloomy almost every day and we experienced a rare Portland snow.  The city had many choices for food and brew and we enjoyed both.

The city of Portland was much like many other cities and really not the kind of vacation adventure I enjoy.  The highlight of our trip was family and we spent as much time as possible with them as Mount Hood stood in the distance on constant vigil.

the family

We had the best time when exploring rural Oregon.  Now that’s an adventure.  We explored along the Columbia River and found ethereal forests draped in green fern and moss.    Waterfalls gushed from mountain crevasses filling our ears with a deafening roar and anointed us with an enlivening mist.

We also drove through a mountain pass and took a ride down the coast.  Rough waters carved the coast line, crashing waves and tempting tidal pools abound.

The following photographs of the Oregon coast are courtesy of

There was also a treacherous ride in a snow storm through the pass on our return to Portland, driving a rented Crown Victoria.  I can’t believe they don’t use road salt in Oregon.  Their cars don’t rust,  but if there is snow and ice you just might better not go out.

Some day we’ll return for and explore more of what the real Oregon has to offer.


All New (to me) Hawaiian Wardrobe, and a little something more.

October 15, 2010


October in Kauai


I arrived on the beautiful Garden Island on Wednesday, October 6th.  While still shaking off the jet lag I was off to the garage sales by Saturday.  A very small carry-on is a gift in 3 ways, light to carry, arrives with you to your destination and makes it a necessity to buy new clothes.  As a frugalista I find garage sale shopping for specific items like a sporting challenge.  To win in this event, the first step is the plan of action.  I scour Craigslist and The Garden Island News classified online the day before the event.  I make a list breaking down the sales by town.  Starting with Kekaha and moving onto Lihue.


The ocean view from our new digs in Kalaheo


Live in Kalaheo so I usually only shop the west, south and east.  The north shore excursions are a special occasion that I usually plan with another activity.   I usually end my “garage sailing ” excursion in Lihue, as a conservation measure.  I get my gas at Costco, do my Wal-Mart stop, and pick up some fresh produce at the Kauai Community College Farmers Market all in the same trip.




I list the number and street address under each town category along with the time that the sale opens.  The earliest garage sales usually open here at 7am.  I scour the listing of items in the ads to see which early sales may have the items I need and plan to attack them first.  I also note next to the address if there are specific directions to the location in the ad. Then I peruse the list to see that I know the location of all the sales. If not, I google the addresses and make notes regarding their location.


petal soft


My daughter tells me I can just put them all into the GPS and  the GPS would map us the best route.  I believe for me that would be time prohibitive, as it take me forever to type things into it.  I like to just cut and paste.   Hey, is there an app for that?


contrasts for the senses


This was my first outing of the season so this time I opted not to head too far west, as there were only 2 sales in Kekaha and none in Waimea.   The initial approach was made in Hanapepe.


hot hot hot only one per pot


Hanapepe is a quaint artsy working class town that’ s just a little rough around the edges.  I find it a photographic treasure trove, but poor pickings for garage sales today.


just a taste of Hanapepe


The next stop was Eleele, residential working class community that loves their dogs.  Found the pot of gold in Eleele.


my new friend Kala


Two wonderful garage sales with like new clothing in just the right sizes for me and lots of wonderful maternity wear for my daughter.  I was able to purchase 4 complete island style professional outfits, comfy soft jammie pants, 2 tank tops for golf, a stylish and  cotton comfortable orange and white dress, 3 ball caps, 1 aloha shirt for Chris, a 50 ct of golf tees,  a few maternity frocks for my daughter, Erin, all for under $30.00.


woman's best friend


Next stop home to Kalaheo.   Two sales here and a quick check in home, then on the road again.  Kalaheo is rural to residential, upscale to working class, with houses carved into and perched on the hills to take advantage  of extraordinary views.  Breezy, green and beautiful Kalaheo is my favorite place to stay on all of the island.


slender trees arc in the wind near my Kalaheo home


Today we’ll skip Koloa, Poipu and Lawai, but make a quick stop at a moving sale in Omao.  I made a small purchase at a big sale 3 bars of dove soap, 7 candles, and a tiki salt shaker for $3.50.  I think there is mainly just one road in Omao with just a few offshoots.  This is hilly ranch land with mountain, valley and pacific ocean views.  The livestock seems to like it.


eggplant gleam in the sun


Last stop today for the sales is Puhi, working class and a comfortable commute to the big city of Lihue.  Puhi is also home to Kauai’s only college.  We found many nice baby items here.  Many people in this community are having keiki (pronounced “kay-key”) is the Hawaiian word for “baby” or “child”, literally meaning “the little one”.




Here in Kauai, so many are growing keiki.


tropical mixer


Everyone loves keiki, their mothers and the mothers to be.  There seems to be no better place to grow and give birth to them.  I am so glad my own daughter gets to experience her pregnancy here in this wonderful island place bathed in love and the spirit of aloha.


blue skies in paradise


People are asking, what kind of camera are you using to take your Kauai photos

March 13, 2010

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 4MP Digital Camera

I’ve had this camera for several years now and I’ve been very pleased with its reliable performance.  Originally I chose this model because it was the most optical zoom I could buy in a digital camera without using separate lenses.  I wanted a camera that was easy to use but gave me lots of options.   I desired a high optical zoom for wildlife photography and the DiMage Z2 has delivered.  This camera is a good buy at $220.00.  Great camera for the creative hobbyist.

Flying high over Port Allen

Mauka Hanapepe

Misty morning makai side Kekaha

Wig out

Private swimming pool

Rainbow end to end

Red rocks at the Salt Pond County Park

View from the Port Allen Airport toward Hanapepe and beyond.

Waves carve the rocks.

The glow of rainbow light. I see a version of this almost everyday from our deck.

The tide pools in from under rocks.

Brace yourself for landing.

Lowest tide I’ve seen in Kauai

March 1, 2010

An extremely low tide allows out of water photography of the reef.

It was so nice to swim in the ocean the day after waiting for the pending tsunami.  Most things along the shore seemed back to normal with the exception of the lowest tide I’ve experienced here since my arrival.  I donned my tabis and took to the exposed reefs with my camera.

Life on the reef.

This was the first time I was able to get this close without the threat of crashing waves.

urchin and hermit crab

I wondered if the post tsunami currents, the earthquake after shocks in Chile, or the full moon were the reason for the extreme low.

Possibly the full moon and the tsunami affect the tides for an extreme low.

Whatever the reason, I enjoyed exploring.

Sea urchin photo, pleasantly distorted by the movement of the sea.

It had been about 10 days since our banana harvest started ripening.  Then a few mornings ago when I went out to gather my breakfast bananas, to my surprise about 30 were at their peak of ripeness.  What was I to do with all of these bananas.  My internet research netted me many options.  I chose to freeze about a dozen for either daiquiris or smoothies and to dehydrate the rest.  I found my car to be an excellent dehydrator.

Dehydrated bananas from the Acura brand dehydrator.

I took only perfectly ripe bananas.  Sliced them.  Dipped them in lemon juice, to protect their color. Then placed them in a single layer on waxed paper in a shallow cardboard box.  This box I placed in the back window of the Acura, in the sun with the windows closed.  Within the first hour the banana slices started dehydrating and scented the car pleasantly.  The process took 3 days.  I like the taste of them but they are not like banana chips, they came out slightly leathery and chewy, like a dehydrated apple.  I found some things I would do differently next time.  A cookie sheet may have been a better surface as the slices stuck a bit to the wax paper and I think if the days had been sunnier the drying time could have been shortened.  Free dehydrated bananas, life is good.

Kauai’s beaches are the best place to go.  Exploring the beaches.  Kauai tourism at it’s best.

On the Outside Looking In…….Rene makes local headlines

January 9, 2010

Today I had the honor of having one of my photos printed in the local newspaper, The Garden Island News.  On the coaxing of my favorite Kauaian  friend I submitted the images that she selected, and voila.   3 days later I’m featured in the paper.

On the Outside Looking In....Rene makes the news....

I also have high hopes of being honored again as I received the following email:

LIH Copy Desk <> to rene halligan <>
Jan 7

Aloha, Rene! Thank you for the submission of photos. Your images are beautiful. We are planning to use the cattle egret in tomorrow’s paper (Friday, Jan. 8 edition). I forwarded your e-mail to the editor (Nathan Eagle) so more may be used in the future, as space allows. Mahalo for sharing your art with our readers … and please thank your friend, too, for encouraging you to send them in!

Thanks again,
Viviane Stein

beautiful giant begonias, so big like none I've ever seen before

Mahalo, Connie and Viviane …..I am honored.

Odd Brown Kukuiolono Golf Course

Clouds Over Kalaheo

Fruit for Free in Kauai

December 29, 2009

morning's welcome

I’ve written about fruit in Kauai before, but there is so much to be had right in my new backyard that I am inclined to write about it again.  This new place in Kalaheo had a vegetable garden already started.

garden on arrival

So I got right at it and cleaned it up.  It’s already giving me roma and yellow pear tomatoes and tons of  Hawaiian hot peppers, which is great for me because I like things spicy.

green roma tomatoes grown in red dirt

I can mix up a guacamole from  pickings in the yard, buttery green avocados, colorful little hot peppers and tiny tart key limes.

Hawaiian Hot Peppers

Deliciousness abounds.

avocado trio behind banana leaf

The banana harvest hangs from the ceiling of the deck, and serves up enough bananas for all of our needs.  These are small sized bananas but have much the same flavor and texture of the bananas I was used to in the supermarkets on the mainland.  Chris likes these best.  I prefer the custard-like sweetness of a fat apple banana, but i’ll always enjoy those that are free.

the banana harvest ripens, giving us plenty of bananas for our cereal every morning


Papayas have many uses.  They can be eaten raw and are melon like.   Papaya can be used green and cooked like a squash or a root vegetable.   The seeds are edible and can be used as a black pepper substitute and to make a wonderful papaya seed salad dressing that is very popular here.  For tough meat…..unripe papaya can be used as a meat tenderizer.  The unripe fruit also contains a latex.  The stalks can be used to make rope.  They are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C.  It seems if you have papaya you need little else.

plump, sweet, moist, giant fig

The trick with figs is letting them fully mature on the tree.  A fig picked too soon will ooze a white liquid from the stem and never ripen completely.  Remember the birds are keeping and eye on the ripening figs too.  It can be quite a contest to see who gets them first.

wax or java apple

Wax or java apples, hang from a tree just off our deck.  In my research I found the white or “pearl” wax apples bring the highest price at market.  Our’s are free.  They are of unusual flavor slightly acidic and sweet with a moist crunchy texture. It doesn’t taste like an apple, nor does it have the flavor or the density of an apple.  It’s refreshing and juicy.  To eat, the core is removed and the fruit is served uncut, in order to preserve the unique bell shape presentation.  In island cuisine, the fruit is frequently used in salads, as well in with lighty sauteed dishes.

We planted a coconut.....and we have germination

How to grow a coconut palm:

Find a coconut.  Stick it in moist soil – half buried – for a month or two and if a shoot doesn’t emerge then it is a sterile seed.  No time to waste fooling around month after month with sterile seeds.   Do it the Rene way, find one already sprouting, throw it in a pot with dirt, place on deck, water and enjoy.