Small but Interesting Critters

We live in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. It’s a tropical paradise, teeming with life, but you’d be surprised at some of the animals we don’t have here.

For one thing, there are no snakes in Hawaii. Also there are no squirrels. Weird, right?  And there is no rabies virus, but there are strict quarantine rules to keep it that way. But on to some critters we do see here:

Of course, I’ve already talked about the evil centipede.

Here are some other interesting little animals we’ve found on the ground recently.

Photo_6D569241-46B5-396F-15B7-49CF40EBBC0D

This little guy is a Jackson’s chameleon, a three-horned lizard that was apparently “accidentally” released into the wild here in the 70’s.

Photo_CA2E7653-1F66-E986-4F9C-F63B9F5C2DE6

This is an Oahu tree snail, and it’s native to Hawaii. Wikipedia says it’s endangered (all 40 different varieties!) but I’ll tell you, there’s an awful lot of them and they are HUGE. They don’t seemed threatened in any way.

Photo_254142A6-4C5A-60F4-49AA-D3E76AF66C2A

Ah, and this is one we like to call Exhibitionist Barbie. We found her sunbathing nude on our lawn. Judging from her pallor, I don’t expect she’s a native.

Dolphins and Penguins and Sharks, Oh My!

Over the weekend we went to Sea Life Park, which is here on O’ahu.

Photo_2624F681-8D3C-58BC-A8EE-B5658DA4831B

(My friend had discount passes. Score!)

I had heard it was not as nice as bigger parks like Sea World in Florida but I was pleasantly surprised. It was small but there were a lot of nice animals to see. Plus the location right beside the ocean made the view unbeatable.

The dolphin show (see above) was the best part; the kids really enjoyed that. While waiting for the show to start, we passed out snacks to the kids.

My friend had packed peanut butter crackers and apple slices for her kids. (Good Mom Points for preparation and healthy snacks!)

I had forgotten to pack snacks and had instead stopped at the convenience store on the way for sodas, cookies and chips. (Bad Mom Points for forgetfulness and junk food.)

When Boo opened her Dr. Pepper it spewed sticky soda all over her lap and the surrounding bleachers. Whoops.She blamed me for shaking it up in my purse. I said, “Oh, EXCUSE me for carrying your refreshing chilled beverage through this hot park on my own back!” (Bad Mom Points for sarcasm.)

Our group sidled away from the spilled soda puddle and pretended not to notice when some foreign tourists came over and discussed the mess at length. I hadn’t brought any napkins or wet wipes, so there was nothing else to do about the spill but ignore it. (Bad Mom Points for unpreparedness.)

My friend’s kids, who had been eating their nice healthy snacks, caught sight of my kids Pile o’Junk Food. Of course they immediately began clamoring for chips and cookies.

I did make my kids share with their junk-deprived friends. (I’m not sure if that’s Bad or Good Mom Points,actually. Sharing is good, right? Corrupting your friend’s children is bad, though.)

In any case, the kids had a great time at the park and got to feed the birds, pet the sea turtle, and view the penguins, sharks and dolphins at length.

Photo_0863AA8F-4C72-8116-D08E-FB0A6EBB2B06

Maybe I can have some Good Mom Points for a day of fun at a discount price…