Vote for Hawaiian Monk Seals!

I submitted this photo to the annual Nature Conservancy photo contest. Last year, they received over 17,000 entries. This year, I made their Top 100 list, and I’d love for you to vote for this photo as your favorite.

My Year of Tracking Twain

For four months now, I’ve been tracking Mark Twain’s movements around Hawai‘i. Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of his departure from these Islands. During Twain’s time in Hawai‘i, I made visits to the same islands as he during the same weeks he visited. Just 150 years later. I went to O`ahu, Maui, and Hawai`i Island….

Tracking Twain into Hawaiian Language Newspaper Archives

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Mark Twain was back on O‘ahu, after five weeks on Maui and three weeks on Hawai‘i Island. When I was on O‘ahu a while back, I met James E. Caron outside Morning Glass Coffee in Manoa Valley. He’s tall—taller than I am—with grey in his beard and bushy…

How Extreme Birds Inspire Us to be Better Humans

Memorial Day. Graduation. Father’s Day. The solstice. For most people, one of these marks the beginning of summer. For me, these calendar events signal the coming completion of albatross season. Albatross? You mean those big white birds with wingspans longer than I am tall who glide over the surface of the sea as gentle as…

Tracking Twain into a Volcano

It’s lunchtime at Volcano House inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sitting in a rocking chair, I gaze out a wall of plate glass windows at Halema`uma`u. Two miles across the rocky landscape, lava erupts from a hole in the ground 4,000-feet above sea level. I have to remind myself of that. That below me an…

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #12: Kilo’s Adventures Continue

I stood in the coffee aisle at Costco a few weeks ago with tears in my eyes. It wasn’t the price of coffee that made me cry. It was an email. Ordinarily, I don’t read emails when I’m shopping, but I was on deadline for a story and waiting to hear from a source. That…

Tracking Twain: Finally, I Met Mark Twain

Celebrity. What makes it? I’ve thought this often since a friend’s boyfriend left college a credit or class or paper—there are many stories out there—short of graduating and went to Hollywood to become Brad Pitt. Actually, he was already Brad Pitt, but in Hollywood, he became the famous—and wealthy—actor Brad Pitt. Our society likes celebrities…