Sunday, April 20, 2008

Musings: Moonlight Madness

The moon was full at 25 minutes after midnight, so some of us decided to meet at the beach around sunset time yesterday to watch it rise, have a bonfire and pulehu some teriyaki chicken.

I was driving north on Kuhio Highway, with a friend in the passenger seat and Koko on my lap, when all of a sudden, I heard the mad fluttering of wings and felt something feathery brush past my ear. I thought I’d hit a bird, and that the carcass had bllown past me. But then I heard a commotion behind me, looked in the rearview mirror and realized a rooster was running around on the folded down rear seat of my hatchback.

I immediately pulled off the highway, causing my friend to gasp; he thought I’d been hit and we were about to crash into some boulders along the new coastal path. He quickly recovered, jumped out and opened up the back, and the rooster, after some shooing from Koko and me, flew out, much to the amusement of a couple strolling along the path, who had apparently witnessed the whole scene.

“Oh, look, that damn chicken broke your light,” said my friend, and indeed he had — the brake light in the rear window was dangling by its wires. I suppose I could make a claim on my insurance. I do have a few rooster feathers and a small pile of kukae as proof, and since my agent’s on Kauai, I’m sure he’d understand. Or maybe I'll just do the crazy glue/duck tape routine.

We proceeded on to the beach, laughing and talking about the escapade, and when we got to the parking, I heard my friend gasp again. He was looking at the tree carnage that I’ve written about previously.

As we walked down the trail, he let loose with a commentary that in the course of two minutes took him through the classic stages of grief:

Wow, what the f***?

Ho, this is what you was telling me, I nevah see yet.

Wow, they just mowed ‘em.

F***, I’m mad. And they wonder why I like snap, flip out.

Me, I no could work this kine. I’d walk off this job. I’d put down my chainsaw. Let them get someone else for do their dirty work.

Why are we doing this?

What are they thinking?

Is this legal? Can we stop them?

You know, we been putting up with this kine shit for over 40 years and it's just getting more worse. Now you get a glimpse into how I stay.

Well, at least the pohaku can see the sun yet.

And it made me think of how those of us who care about Kauai mourn these kinds of little deaths every day.


Anonymous said...

Thought your rooster event was most interesting tho scary. You should have had him for dinner.

Anonymous said...

Tree carnage at Kealia Kai? Those lots are so windswept (as the owner who cut down his windbreak will soon find out) that they ought to just put the windmills there. But that must be in an SMA zone and require real permits (as opposed to after the fact ones) to alter the landscaping. I also believe that part of the bike-path land swap involved the stipulation that houses would be set back and landscaped so as not to be visible from the path. I guess that went out the window in the strong wind.

Want to see more carnage? Drive Olohena Road. Kulana is just starting with some big dirt roads being graded (no dust fence or runoff barriers to be seen). But then you reach the curvy area near the one-lane bridge, and you have to stop and gasp. For about 500 feet of frontage and way up the foothills (quite literally) of the Sleeping Giant, all that was standing are palm trees, a whole forest gone. And the diggers were still hard at work last Friday. You can actually see the bare spot from the Kuilau trail picnic shelter, probably 5 miles away.

Granted this was all secondary forest, regrown over the pasture that was probably here before (the neighboring hills are still pasture), but still, whatever happened to actually preserving the forest, or at least some nice parts of it. Or what about a buffer between the road and the property? As it is, whatever monstrosity they build at the top of the hill will have the sound of cars and trucks wafting up with the breeze.

Saw a while back that the Big Island was struggling with this same slash-and-bulldoze mentality. Buy your acre of rain forest cheap, and hire a crew to make it flat, and who cares if a unique environment is disappearing. The state should control forest rights, just like water and mineral rights (just guessing, maybe they don't even bother with those in Hawaii--maybe our resident lawyer can enlighten us).