Maui’s Kealia Wetlands

Maui’s Kealia Wetlands, a National Wildlife Reserve, is a 700 acre home to a variety of Hawaiian waterbirds. The Reserve was established in 1992 and is a natural basin for the 56-mile watershed in the West Maui Mountains. A boardwalk over ponded areas allows close-up viewing of native Hawaiian waterbird species as well as migratory waterbirds who come from as far away as Asia, Canada, and Alaska. The ponds were initially created by entrepreneurs beginning an aquaculture catfish venture which closed in 1995. Subsequently the ponds were restored by the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Maui’s Kealia Wetlands Reserve supports one of the largest concentrations of wetland birds in Hawai`i. It is an important breeding, feeding, and resting area for endangered Hawaiian Stilts and Hawaiian Coots, and the refuge was created to protect these two species in particular. During spring and summer when water levels recede, the refuge may harbor almost half the entire population of Hawaiian Stilts. Kealia Pond also supports a variety of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl from August-April. Some species occur primarily during migration, but others are present throughout the winter months. Over 30 additional species of migrants use the wetland on a regular basis, and numerous vagrants have appeared over the years, making Kealia Pond one of the top sites for wetland birding in Hawai`i.

Maui's Kealia Wetlands

The large central pond undergoes an annual cycle of flooding in winter and drying in summer. The hydrological and biological changes associated with this cycle are important in maintaining a healthy wetland. Water depth ranges from approximately 20 cm in summer to 145 cm in winter. The variable water depth and extensive mudflats that surround the pond provide valuable foraging habitat for a variety of birds. Several small islands provide predator-free nesting habitat, and additional nesting habitat is present among shoreline vegetation that surrounds the pond.

More information about the Kealia Wetlands can be found at the Audobon Website

Additional images of the boardwalk and beach can be found on a previous post.

Maui's Kealia Wetlands


Buckeye, Arizona

Buckeye, Arizona is the western most suburb of Phoenix, 30 miles away. Largely an agricultural area, it is developing, as suburban areas tend to do. But, agriculture remains one of the dominant uses of land in the area, as depicted in the short aerial drone video above.

“Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy.” – Allan Savory


Red Rock Landscapes of Sedona, Arizona

A picture postcard sample of the stunning red rock landscapes  found in the Sedona, Arizona area. Scroll down to view an audio-visual slideshow of this geological wonderland.

red rock landscapes of sedona arizona

Sedona, Arizona, is a uniquely scenic area showcasing stunning geological formations, and the subject of many a photograph, by myriad photographers. While visiting a friend in Phoenix, I had a little time to drive around Sedona and capture some images. Sometimes, photography is about what you get, in terms of weather, lighting, time of day. In this case, I was offered a partially overcast sky with scattered clouds giving a nice, soft, diffused lighting effect.

“The deep red color for which Sedona is famous is due to the presence of hematite (iron oxide, otherwise known as rust) that stains the sandstone of the Schnebly Hill and Hermit Shale layers. The steepness of the terrain is due the fact that the top layers of the strata are composed of basalt and limestone, which are harder than the underlying sandstone. Water running off the edge of the escarpment eats away at the lower layers, creating the shear cliffs. Eventually enough soft material is weatherd away that it undercuts the cap layer, which subsequently breaks off in large slabs and falls into the canyons. This exposes new soft material and the process starts again, with the cliff face now twenty-odd feet further north than it was before.” –

The Red Rock Landscapes of Sedona, Arizona Audio-Visual Slideshow

A Piece Of The King’s Trail – Maui, Hawaii

Think not that early Hawaiians had no roads, for they indeed did; wide, solid and well built trails which could accommodate people, horses, livestock and the movement of goods from one location to another around the island. The King’s Trail, also known as The Hoapili Trail, at one time circumnavigated the island. Now, only sporadic remnants remain, and make for enjoyable hiking. The King’s Trail segment pictured here is a few miles long and begins at La Perouse Bay in south Maui.

For more comprehensive information on the King’s Trail, click the link below:

The King’s Trail

The Pokowai Sea Arch

The Pokowai sea arch on Maui’s southeastern shoreline, in the Nuu and Kaupo area, at the coastal base of Haleakala, the 10,000 dormant volcano, is a result of Haleakala’s past eruptions, as is the entire island. The Pokowai sea arch is a particularly striking feature and worth a visit to see. But, you won’t see it from the perspective of a flying camera; so, if you will, hop on the back of a small bug and fly around the Pokowai sea arch and view it from some different heights and angles….

The Panorama below shows not only the lava outcropping that is Pokowai sea arch, but the massive Manawainui Gulch. As one might imagine, when the rains are heavy, such as in a tropical storm, which are not uncommon in the summer months, the Manawainui Gulch is a lively flowing river. The word ‘manawainui’ translates as ‘large water branch.’

pokowai sea arch panorama