Shells from Guam.
Cone snails and urchins and trochus OH MY! There are some gems here. I still don’t know how to properly display my millions of shells from that part of the world… This made me so happy.
Toads are a dime a dozen on Guam (most sadly as flattened shadows of themselves on roadways) but this one had something special. This was surely a cousin of the one Kate and I chased, but just as snazzy. Too bad that first pic is out of focus.
I’d been telling the Tanis all week about the toads we have around the condo, but we hadn’t seen any yet. But when we all came home late one night after a few beers (OK, many beers) and spotted this bugger, we were on his tail! Toads don’t have tails, and there were all those beers, so things got confusing. We ran after him as he hopped around the building, flashing our cameras with wild abandon hoping he’d be caught on camera. And he was! I’m glad, because he’s a cute one. Look at that stomach! I should point out that it was mainly Kate and me doing the chasing, out of fairness to The Professor and KJ, who were just amused from afar. Little did I know there were more toads in my future…
The Professor and I branched out at the Fishermen’s Co-op from our usual tátaga. It was mafute time! That’s the funny-lipped guy on the bottom. This is an emperorfish, but I’m not sure which one. A good-eating one at least!
I had some local lemons in the freezer, thanks to The Professor’s generous colleague.
Everyone gets lemons!
Post-oven, those lovely fish gave up lots of meat.
Paired with some local long beans and sprouts, it’s a perfect meal! Thank you to the fishermen of Guam and the fish that died for our dinner.
Back in January, and freshly certified, The Professor and I got together with The Suttons for a little afternoon dive. I’d published a teaser photo that Christy took (and Photoshopped appropriately with The Professor’s head) and am now finally getting around to posting the rest of their photos. Their post about this day is here.
I’d been debating investing in underwater photography equipment, but I’ve kind of decided that I don’t want to get, ahem, immersed in that very expensive world. I’ll just keep all the truly amazing sights filed away in my memory. It is, however, harder to share those with you, so thanks to Aaron and Christy, you get to see a tiny bit of what I get to see underwater.
Some disclaimers would include the reminders that this is one small, albeit biologically diverse, dive site on Guam. It’s a marine park popular with tourists and people learning to dive (like me!), you see fish-feeders and such. And wow, check out this video of the SeaWalkers! Crazy. At any rate, it would be hard to sum up my diving experiences with one photoshoot, but thanks to the Suttons, you’ll get an idea! Christy so nicely optimized the colors on many of these photos, and some are in their natural state: colors wash out at distance, so you can just imagine everything brighter and more colorful. Thanks again, guys!
Love those anemone clownfish!
The Professor and yours truly!
Huge purple starfish everywhere always.
Curious? I don’t have any food!
Parrotfish here, parrotfish there…
Aaron and Christy!
I am getting better at staying in the proper horizontal position…
Goodbye, Fish Eye! See you soon!
Harry (and you know, let’s call him Gilligan from now on; Mrs. Howell thinks it works somehow) got these great shots of some playful dolphins off our dive boat a few dives ago.
I’ve never been this close to a pod of dolphins! As usual, click through to get a bigger image.
Now if they would only come around while I was in the water…
This was somewhere between The Crevice and Hap’s Reef.
My first day back at my day job after I got back from Saipan, I was greeted by my friendly local herd of carabao. The baby isn’t pictured here, but he’s growing and growing! And the one in the front had two birds on him! In diving terms, this is a cleaning station. I was just happy to see birds on Guam…
As usual, click on the image for a bigger size.
After visiting Mt. Tepuchau, Banzai Cliff, and PauPau Beach, The Professor and I made our way to Bird Island. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only seen maybe a dozen birds on Guam, but Saipan does not have the devastating snake problem, so they have a whole island! There was some lovely scenery along the way, in true Saipan fashion.
Is it just me, or does this rock totally look like a monster?
Bird Island was beautiful! I wish we’d had time to boonie stomp down there. I’ll let Beautify CNMI show off the area, and just revel in the CA-ness of it all…
And on our way back from Bird Island, I really thought Suicide Cliff looked like one of my favorite parts of France, le Quercy. Do with that what you will.
Thanks to the benevolence of The Professor’s co-worker, we were able to hit the island of Managaha after the crowds of tourists had left. This lifeguard tower above had served it purpose for the day. It’s evening purpose was apparently to look snazzy for this shot.
The Professor and I could have walked around the perimeter in about 25 minutes, but stretched it out to at least 35, between the picture-taking and various activities, as such:
Our first activity was observation of beach trees. Don’t judge; I love me some exposed root.
Guess what lives in a place with trees on the beach? BIRDS! I really couldn’t get over the birds all over the place. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed them on Guam. I’m grateful Saipan has successfully kept out the terrible bird-killers, unlike Guam.
I tried to explain to this crab that I was a Cancer, so we could be friends, but he said that he heard about some new astrological thing on facebook and couldn’t trust me.
Birds actually nest here without fear of the brown tree snake chowing all the eggs. This is assuming that “baby home” means “nest” of course.
More roots! This time, in driftwood, nay, drifttree form. This is pretty much the only kind of beach little I support, even though I have no idea how they got there.
Frolicking young ones in a slowly setting sun.
Well, hello there, little guy! I’ve noticed this little gecko hanging around my planters on the lanai. And he’s more bold than before. He’s welcome, as he surely must eat bugs, no? Oh, and he has really cute feet.
…even though I know they come bigger. Saw this beauty in the elevator this morning. Since it seems to be a popular ride for large bugs, I’m just excited as to what I’ll find next.
Just as PepsiCo welcomes diversity, cultural sensitivity and Chamorro issues through their marketing campaigns, Exxon Mobil Corp embraces all sea life. So they made these lovely posters about it so we could educate ourselves about the delicate ecology of the sea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Prince William Sound, AK poster. I can’t imagine why; it seems like there should be some connection… Hmm…
Although I make some vague attempt to keep this blog family-friendly, I can’t resist this biology lesson: When a mama gecko and a papa gecko love each other very much, they twist their tails around each other on the wall near the Coke machine on the ground floor of an apartment building on Guam. Then, baby geckos magically appear later to hang out and watch TV.
I did score some pumpkin blossoms from a stand that was also selling this bunny. I’m only assuming that it was for a pet; the vendor’s son explained that they were just selling it and what happened to it afterward was not their business. Well, I could hold it in the meantime, I guess.
Peep the bananas (the local ones are tiny, sweet and keep forever; what a shame that people pass them up at PayLess for the Ecuadorian ones), and all that yummy pickled stuff on the counter. The bunny is not into being held by yours truly.
The market was crawling with boonie dogs; this one was a cutester.
On my way out, I picked up a nice papaya for $1/lb. because it was underripe (perfect, since I like them to decorate the condo for a few days anyway). I’ll be back, but about three hours earlier…
My first morning back on island, I spotted a tiny lizard next to my mesclun. I think he was on vacation from the spinach since I saw him jumping out of there yesterday.
And then our parking lot palm overlord greeted me with a nice little sunset. I’m pretty much over the jetlag at this point, but the way the sun rises and sets around here, I don’t think I’ll ever get over those pink clouds.