Last September, we embarked from Shanghai on a 17-day cruise that made port at Nagasaki, Japan; Busan, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Vietnam; Bangkok, Thailand; and finally Singapore. My story (with photos) of the journey is featured in the Spring issue of TravelWorld International magazine, starting on page 6. http://issuu.com/travelworld/docs/_twi_magazine_spring_2015/1. Please enjoy the tour.
Two of my Hawaii photos have been selected for magazine covers recently. The voyaging canoe was taken on the North Shore of Oahu, and the sunset at Anaeho’omalu on the Big Island of Hawaii.
It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. A baby goose—a gosling—nestled in the pocket of a teenager’s shirt.
I had been visiting friends in the town of Penticton, Canada, a beautiful place surrounded by mountains and lakes. Their outdoorsman son had found an abandoned goose egg and brought it home. He kept it warm, and within days, the shell cracked and a fluffy little gosling emerged. For the chick, it was love at first sight. Thinking the boy, Craig, was its mother, the little goose attached itself to him. Outside, Craig carried the gosling everywhere in his shirt pocket. Indoors, it had the run of the house, its webbed feet padding after him wherever he went.
The gosling also accepted the rest of us as fellow geese, showing no reluctance to approach us. I held the tiny creature in my hands, felt its little feet in my palms, the softness of downy feathers, and I was captivated. We enjoyed watching our new baby waddle through the garden, nibbling small flower heads with its tiny beak. When Craig’s sister played her guitar, the gosling positioned itself within inches of the strings, listening intently and watching her hands pluck and strum.
But Craig knew the adorable little bird didn’t belong in a human environment. He had seen a mother goose and her new hatchlings in the area where he had found the egg and felt sure this was the baby’s mother, so he made a plan, hoping she would recognize and accept her own.
Since I had become as attached as he, Craig took me with him. Together we paddled his canoe across the mountain lake, the little bird rustling around in his shirt pocket. When we spotted the mother goose and her brood near the shore, we drifted as close as possible without alarming them, then placed our charge in the water and started paddling away.
The gosling followed us, its paddle-like feet working overtime.
Realizing this wasn’t going to be easy, I plucked it out of the water while Craig maneuvered the canoe back to our original drop point. This time, after setting the little goose back in the water, we each grabbed a paddle and jettisoned away as fast as possible. The gosling followed once again, honking in desperation. I could hear the distress in its little voice. It broke my heart. I could feel tears welling up, the salty drops trickling down my face. I begged Craig to turn around or let it catch up, but he was resolute. And, as it turned out, he was right not to stop.
Finally we had pulled far enough away. Our little bird stopped swimming. It sat in the water, watching us. It must have realized it couldn’t catch up.
Then an amazing thing happened. The mother goose and her brood glided out of the shallows gently honking at the stranger. In response, the gosling turned and swam towards them. After a brief introduction and some nuzzling—perhaps a goose way of checking I.D.—the whole group glided back to the shore, our gosling among them.
I was sad and overjoyed at the same time. I would miss the little Canada goose, but it was with its family, back in the wild where it belonged.
(published as Back to the Wild, in “The Ultimate Bird Lover,” HCI publications 2010)
Many years ago, I was walking the country lanes in Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii, when a pack of angry dogs attacked. That story, “Four-Legged Angel,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles. I just heard this morning that my story will get a second life. It was chosen for Chicken Soup for the Soul’s newsletter, “Positively Pets.” You can sign up to get the free newsletter here: http://www.chickensoup.com/form.asp?cid=signup
During my 35+ years in Hawaii, I’ve been fortunate to meet and photograph many knowledgeable and dedicated people in the Hawaiian community. One of these is La‘akea Suganuma. He’s not only president of the Royal Hawaiian Academy of Traditional Arts and descendant of Mary Kawena Pukui, but also a senior practitioner of lua—a form of ancient Hawaiian martial arts—and a master craftsman who creates finely carved and polished spears, shark-tooth war clubs and other weaponry modeled in the ancient Hawaiian style.
In this image published in DK (Dorling Kindersley)’s, “The Way of the Warrior,” a book detailing martial arts’ systems throughout the world, La‘akea and his son demonstrate a lua fighting stance.
It always feels good when one of my favorite images finds a second, third, etc. home. This shot became the cover of Hawaii magazine several years ago, and recently it was purchased by Alaska Airlines Magazine. So how did this image come to be in my portfolio? Some friends were in town and we all went to the Paradise Cove Luau, held amid the stunning scenery of Oahu’s southwestern shore. These three guys were getting ready for their roles in the imu ceremony (where the roast pig is removed from the imu, or ground oven), so I asked them to pose before the unearthing got underway. At first, they stood on the grass above the beach. “Can you go down on the beach?” I asked. Somewhat reluctantly they moved but they were still too far back, so I asked them to move closer to the water. “You want to get us wet, don’t you,” one joked. But photographers are thinking of one thing only—get the best shot. I knew they had to get back to work, so once they were in position I shot quickly: several frames, different compositions. And they didn’t get wet. When we were finished, one of them asked hopefully, “Are we going to be on a magazine cover?” As a matter of fact….yes, although I didn’t know it at the time. When I’m shooting for stock, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see where my pictures end up (one of them was printed on 75 ostrich eggs and given as gifts to clients of a South African public-relations agency). So a big mahalo (thank you) to my three models, wherever they are today. I hope to see them in print again someday.