Hidden gems await you when you explore the seemingly mundane.
I’m making it a point more and more to go out and explore the things that I see every day and take for granted. I recently started going to another spot that I have occasioned over the years, but never really explored. Recently I packed my macro setup and set out with the intent to capture whatever happened across my path. I was rather glad I did.
A peacock flounder skitters along the sandy floor.
Granted, many of the critters I encountered were ones I have seen in other places, but I managed to find a special one or two that made the spot anything but run-of-the-mill. In the sandy areas I found what you would expect—crabs and flounders and the occasional fish.
A whitemouth moray eel peers out from its nook in the coral.
The patch coral was even more interesting. Honu lounged about, munching on the limu that grows on the live rocks. Juvenile fish of all stripes took shelter in the corals. Miniature sergeants and butterflyfish
A closeup of a honu mid-lunch.
clung together under the overhangs. A half-dozen juvenile Hawaiian dascyllus sprouted from the fingers of a cauliflower coral, only to quickly dart back in at the slightest motion. Juvenile dragon wrasses peeked from under the occasional coral.
A juvenile dragon wrasse rises to begin its day.
Hidden on the flats and in the sands were well-camouflaged ambush predators. Lizardfish would peer out from their perches on the coral or from their sandy covering, waiting to spring on small prey.
A lizardfish awaits smaller meals.
Devil scorpionfish and sculpins also await the unsuspecting wanderer. One of my favorite finds was a
Sometime an eyeball is the only recognizable part of the ambush predator as it awaits its prey.
frogfish. I don’t see a whole lot of them—partially because they blend in so well and also because I don’t normally go to places where they are known to abound.
This is the business-end of a frogfish. Look for the two eyes and a pronounced frown.
Often it is the eye that gives away the body.
Here is the full-body shot of the frogfish.
Traveling on the way back, I pulled in closer to shore to explore the shallow areas. I saw a lot of the usual suspects, but was surprised to come across schools of fish as well. I saw a seasonally-late school of
A school of weke blurring past in the early morning.
oama as well as a larger school of grown weke. Right as I left, I saw a flash off to the side and saw a nice school of aholehole darting in and out of the seawall pukas. Not too shabby for a place I thought to be devoid of anything very interesting. It got me to thinking… where to next?
A small school of aholehole was a joyous find on the swim back in.
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