Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Return to Mo`omomi, Part 2

Last week, I mentioned that Lil showed us a partially complete basaltic adze. Well, this is the spot where the artisans did their work. These stones are the remains of a workman's shelter not far from the quarry where the stones are obtained. It does not look like much now but I imagine that there were wooden beams and palm frond walls and roof that could provide some shelter from the fierce winds and frequent rains that occur here.

As we continued hiking, we spotted some more of the lithified sand with its strange shapes further sculpted by the winds.

It is truly amazing what the blowing wind (picking up abrasive loose sand) can do to transform rock. You begin to feel like you are on another planet.

In some instances, it even begins to look the work of a sculptor. Is this the head of some giant pre-historic beast?

This humble little plant is a Tetramolopium Rockii — sorry I do not know the Hawai`ian name. It is endemic to Hawai`i and is threatened with extinction. It is known only to grow here at Mo`omomi — therefore Lil asked us to be very careful not to step on one. They grow on the sandstone ledges behind the first line of sand dunes. Now that is a restricted habitat.

This plant caught my eye because of the berry clusters — it looks a bit like an octopus. If you wanted a scary looking alien to spar with Sigourney Weaver in her next Alien movie, this would be a good candidate. I asked Lil what it is and she said it is an alien. What do you know, I was right (for the wrong reason).

I mentioned that the Nature Conservancy is working to remove the non-native plants from the Preserve. Here we find a good example of what they are up against. Much of what you see is Keawe. You could think of this as "before".

And here we have "after". Quite a difference. It will be interesting to see the Preserve a few years down the road as they continue to reclaim it for the native species.

Time to walk back. Fortunately, this path was blazed by vehicles and the going was much easier — especially because the dunes and vegetation (even the alien Keawe) provided a bit of shelter from the wind.

Upon returning to Mo`omomi Bay, I noticed how much prettier the sky was than when we started our hike. The wind was still fierce and the waves still intimidating but a bit more photogenic. If you have forgotten what it looked like, just click here to refresh your memory.

Finally, back to our starting point and the 4WD vehicles that would return us to the modicum of civilization that Moloka`i has to offer.

A great big thanks to Sue (on the left) and Lil for a great hike. I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to anyone who plans to visit Moloka`i. In fact, it is a good reason to schedule such a trip.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com