Words and Pics

Giant Centipedes and What They Mean

As a subject matter expert, most media related stories in Hawaii on insects come to me. Last week, I received a call about a giant centipede. I won’t go into detail about the call from the reporter but we’ve developed a sense of sensationalist stories and when I finally saw a photo, I knew something was wrong. I issued a statement but it appears like “news” was not interested in true information but was interested in sensationalism and a story that would go viral or sell. They even looked for an expert that would support the sensationalist claims. All of whcih I had to deal with again. 

Here is what we look for… 

1. We always look for something that gives scale. The photos ultimately used were never shared with us

2. We’re always careful of perspectives, You can make ANYTHING look big with funky camera angles.

3. We always want to see the specimen. It’s the only way for us to make a definitive ID.

4. We never trust that photos are taken here or that insects were collected locally.

So do we have a new centipede… I doubt it. Now though, me and my staff, well, we will have to always deal with this!

Mistaken warnings…

It will probably be one of those things that people will talk about over time, will dim in memory for a bit but you will still remember. For me those moments so far are the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger  (sitting in class in elementary school) and the attacks on the World Trade Center (watching the news while eating breakfast and then... more in reality, talking about it with all my staff at work at UH). When my phone blared on the morning of the 13th, I was laying in bed. It had been a hard night. Wired from a fun wedding and then unable to sleep as I kept thinking about ants as I tossed and turned in bed I had finally fallen asleep with my legs stationed where my head is normally. It occurred to me that an alert would be mirrored in other places a I fought to decide what action(s) should be taken. I checked... went to see if an alert was on TV as my dad was watching, checked alerts on news sites and I mentally figured it was a hoax. I sent a few texts, made a few inquires and then I consciously decided to go back to bed. What would it change? My family knows I love them. The people who are dear to me know I love them too. Maybe I need to say it more but inside I know they know. There was no real place to go? Where would we shelter? Better to be with my parents. There was nothing to lose. What 20 minutes, in reality if a ballistic missile launched from the most real place? Give or take depending when it was detected. Not much time. Not much time at all. I did have a niggling emotion that I had not gotten to know better a young woman I’ve developed a fancy for. Everything else was just... optional. 

Maybe it’s wrong of me. I didn’t get upset. oh, I take umbrage to the mistakes happen thing. The reality is, this affects reality— you need double checks so its multiple people making the exact same mistake. It’s not rocket science. Heh. Yes, I did make that joke. 

‘Alae ke’oke‘o

I rarely see the Hawaiian coot around. The hawaiian gallinue (‘Alae ‘ula) seems to be more common and ubiquitous. So seeing this solo bird was a special treat!

Waterfowl (and Chickens) of Hamakua

Fight of Flight at the Hamakua Marsh

This was a fun shoot. The ducks kept chasing each other around or otherwise posing! 

Makapuu and Cockroach Bay- The first photos of 2018

Waikoloa- November 2017

Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

Fountain grass is quite beautiful, but in Hawaii, it’s a nasty weed. It dominates the lava flows of Kona. It catches fire easily and it also has very little redeeming value, aside from appearance. Cattle, goats, and the Kona nightingales do not really use it as forage either….

University of Florida Butterfly House


IMG 7630

© Darcy Oishi 2018