Pristinely protected and preserved

Researching a “little Galapagos” for my nature-loving husband, my attention was caught by the Channel Islands, 17 miles off the coast of California. I was delving through a travel guide on the national parks when I saw (beyond a photo of cliffs rising from ocean frilled by white breakers) the intriguing statement, “Discovering the Channel Islands is like tumbling through a time warp into a California everyone assumed had long ago vanished.”

Whistling ‘for the birds’

Here we are one week into May, sunning up slightly with clouds girdling the high center of our island like a soft, white cape resting on purple shoulders. Summer hopefully is on the way. Sun = drying out, warming up.

Wishing aloha oe to the humpbacks at blue moon time

Back in January 2014, on a sunny afternoon, a friend and I enjoyed a “whale walk” along the coastal path heading north from Kealia Beach. My second “Green Flash” column told how we soon spotted a spouting whale and watched the emerging curve of a humpback whale as it breached.

Stretching the miles, and a special place

Someone told me recently that they considered attending an event in the next town, but it seemed too far to drive on a cool, rainy night. We chuckled, and I realized that kind of thinking was not foreign to me, even though I know that our homeland is only about 35 miles wide from shore to shore in any direction from a bird’s eye view.

‘Dog days’ arrive with Chinese New Year

What do Winston Churchill, Mother (Saint) Teresa and Elvis Presley have in common? They were all, it turns out, born in a Chinese Year of the Dog, which will run from Chinese New Year on Feb. 16, 2018, to Feb. 4, 2019.

Mobius strip tripping and using beach common sense

The ocean waves have been torrential, particularly where northern currents assault our coasts, beaches and bays. It’s thrilling to witness the “white horses” gather and rise to boom on the shore, to smell the salt heavy in the air, to feel the damp mist of the feathering spume coat skin and hair.

On happy endings and new beginnings

With 2018 but a week old, we can still consider it fresh and new, even as our calendars begin to fill up with future deadlines and appointments, and leisure time plans. Old Man Time peers back over his shoulder along with the stork, and along comes the tortoise of time, moving inexorably — steadily, relentlessly.

Praising the tree of life: ‘How lovely are thy branches’

The young Norfolk pine tree in its black plastic tub seemed to be awaiting me in the entry of a local shop about five years ago. This would be no Charlie Brown tree, with its perfect shape — almost as perfectly layered even at its 4-foot stage as a kid’s representational drawing of a standard Christmas tree.