FAREWELL TO MAUI, RAINBOW SHOWER FIRE CEREMONY

Well, today was my turn to start to say farewell to Maui and to the Rainbow Shower. And I did the way a shaman does these things – with a sunset fire ceremony.

No, I am not leaving Maui just yet. But this will be the last Sunday I will be spending here. A week from now, I hope to be on a flight from Honolulu to Phoenix. As to when I might return, who knows? When the Rainbow Shower (property) either sells or leases out to the next caretaker.

But first things first. I could not just leave and not take care of the most sacred part of the Rainbow Shower, the Anahata sacred place and shaman’s altar. So I spent most of the sunny part of the day repainting all the railroad ties I used as beams to form the Anahata heart chakra shape.  The last time I did it was in March of 2015, I found out afterward.

This was a result…

I waited till the evening after the sun had set to do a proper farewell fire ceremony. In time, I will post here the videos of it. For now, here are some still shots from it.

As usual, after I was done with my prayers and invocations, I put on a couple of burgers on the sacred fire.  That was my dinner. The corporal meets the spiritual. 🙂

Here’s a short video about the fire ceremony…

Farewell to Maui Fire Ceremony 9-25-2016 – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – https://youtu.be/ExxANXd8ATs

 * * *

READER COMMENT

THE LITTLE PRINCE AND THE ROSE

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

There are some friends you acquire on your travels through life with whom you connect only occasionally. But each time you to, it’s like a high voltage wire that goes straight to the heart. It doesn’t kill you. It ignites all sorts of positive emotions from the heart.

Andrew Cohen of Dunsborough, Western Australia, is one such a friend of mine. We used to be neighbors when I designed, built and owned the Bolt Hole in 1997/98, my first 3D work of art architected in Aussie bush home style.  After I sold the Bolt Hole in 2005, Andrew and I stayed in touch. Infrequently. Maybe once or twice a year.  But each time, it was about something important.

Such as when he and his friend Michael sesouth-beach-photot a world record running over 100 km Cape-to-Cape in December 2010. (see  Two Aussies Set New Record for the Ages – http://yinyangbob.com/Essays/Cape-to-Cape.html).

Last year, when I returned to my all-time favorite property in Western Australia with Elizabeth, Andrew and his wife Lindsay played gracious hosts to us several times. They made me feel I had really returned home again to Western Australia.

Tonight, Andrew did it again. He touched my heart with this FB  comment in reaction to this story:

“I can’t help but think of the Little Prince, sweeping out his volcanoes for the last time before leaving his planet (and his rose). All the best.”

I had tears in my eyes when I read this. Because Andrew seems to “get me” better than most people I spend time with day in and day out, including my family. So I replied:

“Wonderful analogy. So sweet. I am touched and honored you compared me to Little Prince. I am not sure if I will be leaving the planet just yet. But I am ready if my spirit guides think it is time. There will be no tears, just like the rose shed none in Little Prince until after he was gone. I feel only gratitude for the time I spent on Blue Star Earth and the friends I made while here, such as yourself.”

For those of you who may not be aware of this wonderful children’s book, the Little Prince was published in 1943. And this is the chapter to which Andrew’s comment referred.littleprince

Summary: Chapter IX

On the day of the little prince’s departure from his planet, he cleans out all three of his volcanoes, even the dormant one, and he uproots all the baobab shoots he can find. He waters his rose a final time. As he is about to place the glass globe over the rose’s head, he feels like crying. He says good-bye to the rose. At first, she refuses to reply, but then she apologizes, assures the little prince that she loves him, and says she no longer needs him to set the globe over her. She says she will be fine without him to take care of her. Urging the little prince to leave, the rose turns away so he will not see her cry.

 

 

ELIZABETH’S FAREWELL TO MAUI

Ever since we moved to Maui in 2009, Elizabeth has been talking about how she would like to open up a B&B (bed and breakfast) at this spot in northeast Maui – Kahakuloa.

maui-rock-of-gibraltar

Well, that has not happened. But today we did return to Kahakuloa during Elizabeth’s farewell tour of West Maui (she leaves for Arizona in a few days).

For me, this spot resembles Maui’s Rock of Gibraltar.

“Only smaller,” Elizabeth added as we continued our drive up in El Jeepo and around the wild and beautiful northeast coast of Maui.

This may well be also our farewell drive in El Jeepo. I have just put it up for sale after he served us faithfully for seven years.

Our next stop was this pretty lonesome cove.

eliz-cove-9-11-16

We have been here before. Around Labor Day 2012, I think.

Only now, the beach seems to be rougher. The ocean had thrown up more debris on it. We have had quite a few storms this year. Which is probably why.

ne-maui-cove_panorama1

After that stop, we continued on to Kapalua and Lahaina, and returned home along the northwest coast of Maui.

A nice outing, we both agreed.

 * * *

MAUI’S FAREWELL TO ELIZABETH: ANOTHER FLASH FLOOD, OR THREE…

Foot bridge washed away for a second time in 8 years!

Elizabeth said her farewell to Maui on a beautiful weekend drive around West Maui (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2W6). But Maui was not yet done with Elizabeth. Last night, a roar of the Rainbow Shower creek, clearly audible all the way up at our home, some 80 ft above the gulch, signaled that another flash flood was under way.
It was not until this morning, though, that I had a chance to go down and assess the damage. For a second time in eight years, the power of rushing water washed away my footbridge, even though this time it was anchored by four rebar rods.

Also for the first time ever, the flash flood had overflowed the big Giraffe Bridge, ripping out some of the wooden boards in the process, nails and all.

By this morning, the creek appeared meek and mild back in its riverbed.

“Who me? I didn’t do that,” I almost heard Goddess Namaka’s pleading voice emerge from the murmuring stream (Namaka is Hawaiian goddess of water and oceans). 🙂

Well, it must have been Maui then, the mythical God of Fire and Fishermen. It was his powerful farewell to Elizabeth who leaves for Arizona early tomorrow morning.

As for me, I will be staying to clean up and repair the damage once the rain finally stops. Which is does not look like it’s going to happen before the weekend.img_6606

NOTE: In Polynesian mythology, Maui was a powerful trickster god best known for creating the Pacific islands. A son of the god Tangaroa and a woman, he performed many deeds to improve the lives of humans, such as making the sky higher and the day longer. Endowed with magical powers, this small but exceedingly strong god and culture hero tried but did not succeed in achieving immortality.

Maui created the islands while out on a fishing trip with his brothers. First he fashioned a magic fishing hook from his grandmother’s jawbone. Then, as his brothers looked on, Maui cast the hook into the water and began to pull up from the ocean floor the islands on which the Polynesians now live.

Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Le-Me/Maui.html#ixzz4KAwH1N1c

UPDATE SEP 13, 2016 – 1:15 PM

DELUGES CONTINUES…

This is what the Rainbow Shower looks like at the moment, from the ground – my office window – and from high up – radar/satellite view.

Just now, 1:15 PM, I got an emergency alert from the National Weather Service, warning of another flash flood this afternoon.

Just like last night, when they sent us a similar message, they are closing the barn door after the horse is already gone.

“That’s a National CYA Service for us,” I joked with Elizabeth. “As if we can’t see this deluge with our own eyes.” 🙂

Flash flood of Sep 13, 2016 – Round 2 – PM

Here are the latest shots from Elizabeth’s send off “gift” from Maui.  Bottom line” (so far).  This has been the worst flood I have seen in years. Worse than any that even the recent hurricanes had brought to Maui.

My neighbors’ property (the brown terraced hill in the bottom right shot), which used to be mine until early 2016, is practically washing away into the creek. They are in a process of building an orchard but have cut the terraces to slope downhill, instead of into the hill (as I had suggested to them a couple of months ago). And so now they are suffering the consequences. By comparison, the damage at the Rainbow Shower is relatively minor.

ELIZABETH’S “FAREWELL TO MAUI” PICTURES

On our way back to the house from Elizabeth’s final tour of the Rainbow Shower, she asked me to take a picture of her on “her” bench.  I took two.

Why is this “Elizabeth’s bench?”

Because in early 2015, when I decided to put the 5-acre part of the Rainbow Shower on the market, Elizabeth asked me to move one of the two 250-benches to this spot. It’s about half way up from the bottom of the gulch (an 80-ft elevation difference). So she figured she could rest here and catch her breath, while enjoying  a lovely view across the gulch to the west. And also sunsets if she timed it right.

Double Bench Day 4-10-15

That was quite a project. Because it entailed moving two 250-pound benches down and up 50-foot hillsides half a mile apart. “Elizabeth’s bench” is the one on the right – the longer route. And there she is now.

She leaves for Arizona first thing tomorrow morning.

 * * *

 

FLASH FLOOD UPDATE SEP 14, 2016

HARD LABOR IN LULL BETWEEN THE STORMS: BRIDGES ARE BACK UP IN OPERATION

After taking Elizabeth to the airport, I used this morning’s lull between the two storms and three flash floods to clear the flood debris and repair the Giraffe bridge.  Look at the map to see how Spirit has been kind to us after all these floods. The Rainbow Shower, one of the wettest spots on Maui, has been the only dry one this morning.

During this calm between the storms, I was even able to retrieve, drag and reinstall the footbridge.

The latter was a Herculean task (for me, anyway) as it weighs probably over 200 pounds. I had to drag it up and down and across the two river banks and through ankle-deep mud to reach its original mooring spot. Then “cast it” across the creek to the other anchoring end.

ABRACADABRA: FOOT BRIDGE MAGIC

Now you see it, now you don’t…

Actually, it is the other way around in this case. Yesterday, it was gone. Now, it is back. 🙂

To give you an idea of the physical effort required for all this – I lost 5.5 pounds in 1.5 hrs doing it. 🙂

UPDATE SEP 17, 2016

RARE CLEAR SKY RAINBOW

 

Perhaps I should stop using the term “rare” in reference to clear sky rainbows here, at the Rainbow Shower. For nowadays, they seem to come several times a year, usually during or right after my morning prayers and invocations.

That’s what happened at 8:08 this morning. As usual, I finished the opening of the sacred space with these words:

“I now invoke the light of the Rainbow Ray to guard, balance and protect Elizabeth and me, and our families, and our extended families around the world (you) in all time frames and realms.”

I opened my eyes expecting to see nothing but blue sky. Instead, there it was… a beautiful clear sky rainbow in all its splendor, looking like a giant heavenly smile.

clear-sky-rainbow-9-17-16

But the Spirit realm were not done with me yet. When I walked out to the lanai some 40 minutes later (8:55), there was another rainbow of a smaller arc (2nd photo).

[FYI – rainbow arcs get smaller as the sun rises]

Have a blessed day! (or night, depending on where in the world you are right now).

img_4856

 

 * * *

RAINY DAY LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

UPDATE SEP 9, 2016

RAINY DAY LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

The rain in southwest Maui is about as rare as in Arizona or Sahara. Which is why we call this part of our island “Africa.”
Yet today, the day Elizabeth and I picked to cash in (for a third time) on a gift voucher I received for my June 3 birthday, it rained. Yet back home at the Rainbow Shower, where it rains on and off most days, it was sunny and warm.
wailea-panorama-9-09-16
Go figure… Which is why I also bring you below some photos of the Grand Wailea resort, one of Waldorf Astoria properties, on a “normal” (sunny) day for them.
After our delicious luncheon, we thought we would go to the nearby Makena beach for a quick splash. As it turned out, our outing was rained out. No kidding. A beach visit rained out!
By the time we got near Makena Beach, it was pouring rain.
“So what’s the point?” I said to Elizabeth before turning the car around and heading back to Haiku. “We can always get soaked like that at home.” 🙂

But not today. When we got back home it was still nice and sunny.

 * * *

ANOTHER GRAND LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

Who Says There Is No Free Lunch? 🙂

We had lunch today at Grand Wailea. We normally never eat lunch, especially not at such a fancy resort. And for a second time in a row, it was on the house!

Go figure… who says there is no free lunch? 🙂

Here’s what happened on July 14 when we had lunch at Grand Wailea for the first time:

Who Says There Is No Free Lunch? 🙂

“But the best part was yet to come.  I asked for the bill and handed the waitress my gift card. She returned a few minutes later, card in hand, and a big smile on her face.

“We are having some problems with our gift card machine,” she said, “so your luncheon is on the house.”

I was stunned. “I don’t understand,” I said. “There is $100 on that card.”

“I am sure there is. We don’t doubt your word. But don’t worry about it. Everything’s been taken care of. So just enjoy the rest of your day.”

Elizabeth and I looked at each other in disbelief.

“That’s what the resort management should have done by way of apology for the gift card hassles they put us through,” I said. “Guess now our spirit guides have remedied their sloppiness and indifference to customers.”

“So we’ll just have to come back again for an encore,” Elizabeth said. Indeed, the $100 should be still in our gift card (an excerpt from a Short Story “Grand Wailea” – http://wp.me/p3R16m-2PU).

All I can say about out today’s experience at Grand Wailea is – ditto, ditto. The exact same thing happened as on July 14 except with a different waitress and at a different table. The Waldorf Astoria resort keeps giving and giving… us free lunches.

Thank you, thank you, Grand Wailea!

Here are some pictures we took on our walk along the shore after the luncheon. It was quite windy and the surf was up (as much as it gets up on the west side of Maui). There were lots of people in the water, body-surfing the waves. Quite fun.

All around, it was a wonderful afternoon… playing tourists at home at a five-star resort – for free. Thank you, spirits!

 * * *

A Short Story

July 14, 2015

GRAND LUNCHEON AT GRAND WAILEA

Another Unexpected Magical Experience

When I did my morning meditations and incantations, I realized that today, July 14, 2016, was also an auspicious date. Not just because it is the Bastille Day, the 227th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which marked the start of the French Revolution. 7-14-2016 is a septuple #3 day numerologically (i.e., #21, which is also a #3, the day of magic which brought me here to Maui eight years ago -see “Maui Calling…“, Dec 2008).

I just did not know what this would mean in our lives today. I found out this afternoon as we enjoyed a grand luncheon at the Grand Wailea resort on the southwest (touristy side of Maui. It was an unexpected magical experience.

IMG_6438

What were we doing on the touristy side of our island?

Well, my daughters sent us there. Figuratively. They gave me a Grand Wailea gift card for my birthday, which was June 3.  By the time we drove over there to collect it, it was the third week of June. What followed was a charade of incompetence by the staff and management at one of the fanciest resorts on Maui – owned and managed by the exclusive Waldorf Astoria chain of hotels. I will spare you the details. Suffice it say that even a Motel 8 would have delivered a better customer service.

So we did not expect much when we showed up today to cash in on my gift card. Considering how expensive everything is, we thought maybe we’d have a couple of soft drinks and desserts. And that’s about all the gift card would have covered.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised the reasonable prices at the resort’s terrace restaurant, offering beautiful beach and ocean views and a great light menu. So we decided to have a luncheon there. Except we don’t eat lunch. So call it a 3 PM dinner if you like.

The food was delicious. The views were great from the corner table which gave us complete privacy (see above).

But the best part was yet to come.  I asked for the bill and handed the waitress my gift card. She returned a few minutes later, card in hand, and a big smile on her face.

“We are having some problems with our gift card machine,” she said, “so your luncheon is on the house.”

I was stunned. “I don’t understand,” I said. “There is $100 on that card.”

“I am sure there is. We don’t doubt your word. But don’t worry about it. Everything’s been taken care of. So just enjoy the rest of your day.”

Elizabeth and I looked at each other in disbelief.

“That’s what the resort management should have done by way of apology for the gift card hassles they put us through,” I said. “Guess now our spirit guides have remedied their sloppiness and indifference to customers.”

“So we’ll just have to come back again for an encore,” Elizabeth said. Indeed, the $100 should be still in our gift card.

And then I also remembered. This was not the first time something like that had happened. When we visited the Rainbow Shower for the first time in December 2008, we stopped in Paia to get some smoothies. And after chatting with the owner while he was making it, I asked how much I owed him.

“Nothing. It’s on the house,” he replied.

“But why?” I wondered.

“Just because. I like you,” he replied.

Our real estate agent, who was with us at the time, was stunned. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she said after we left the shop.

“That’s a sign from the Spirit,” I replied. “We are welcome here on the north shore of Maui.”

Eight years later, it would appear we are now also welcome on the southwest shore of Maui. 🙂  And yes, I now understood how the septuple #3 day manifested itself through this unexpected magical experience. I raised my head to the heavens and thanked my Spirit guides silently.

COASTLINE WALK THEN AND NOW – IN 2008 and 2016

After the luncheon, we went out for a nice walk along the coastal path. That’s also what we did in December 2008 during our first stay in this area. Here are some shots from that little trip down the memory lane.

This evening, I was stunned to discover that I took the above left shot from almost the exact same spot during that walk on Dec 1, 2008. Except, being a winter season, it was close to sunset and the light was different. Take a look…

 * * *

An Evening at the Historic Iao Theater in Wailuku

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

“DARBY” THREATENS HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

Is Already Causing Flash Floods at Rainbow Shower
Flash flood 7-23-16 Panorama2

Just last night, after I completed my evening rounds of the Rainbow Shower, Elizabeth asked me, “how is it?”

“As perfect as can be,” I replied. “Wish I could freeze it like this.”

I had been working like a slave for three days this week to bring the four Rainbow Shower lawns into perfection, along with the shrubs, tree and other decorative plants on our property.

“But I know that’s wishful thinking,” I added.

We did not have to wait long to prove me right. As soon as I awoke this morning, hearing the roar of our creek, some 70 feet in elevation down in the gulch from our home, I knew we were experiencing another flash flood.

So I grabbed my umbrella (to protect the camera lens from rain), and walked down there. Butt naked. No sense in getting my clothes soaked. And not even birds are out and about in this kind of weather.

Here’s a 1.5 minute video clip I brought back:

FLASH FLOOD NUMBER…? [DARBY IS COMING]

 * * *

You will hear me conclude the broadcast by saying, “this is not the end.”

At the time, our internet was out. So I had no idea that this was not even a beginning. All this rain was just a forefront the tropical storm Darby is sending our way, I found out when the internet was restored. Packing winds of 50 to 65 mph, the eye of Darby is expected pass over the Big Island this afternoon, over Maui tonight, and exit the Hawaiian chain of islands over Kauai on Sunday night.

So “we ain’t seen nothing yet,” as my intuition suggested when I saw the flash flood down in the gulch this morning.

Here are some still pictures, too…

Here’s a weather report about Darby – for those of my FB friends who live in Hawaii:

TROPICAL STORM DARBY WILL CONTINUE TOWARD THE BIG ISLAND THIS MORNING. THE CENTER OF DARBY IS APPROACHING THE BIG ISLAND AND WILL PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… THE BIG ISLAND TODAY. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY… WITH THE CENTER OF DARBY EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… MAUI COUNTY TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. THEN… THE CENTER OF DARBY OF EXPECTED TO PASS VERY NEAR… OR OVER… OAHU LATE ON SUNDAY AND PASS VERY NEAR KAUAI COUNTY SUNDAY NIGHT. RAIN AND WIND WILL INCREASE WELL AHEAD OF THE CENTER AS IT MOVES ACROSS HAWAII.

 * * *

DARBY STORM UPDATE 2

July 23, 2016 1:15PM

SO FAR, SO GOOD… THE BRIDGES ARE STILL STANDING

Just got back up to the house after revisiting the gulch. And I am pleased to report that both of our bridges are still standing.

The foot bridge tarp has been ripped by the power of water. But it’s nothing major. I even crossed the foot bridge onto the other side to inspect the irrigation and drainage work I did there back in the spring. And the water is flowing normally through that new ditch into the main creek.

So, so far so good. But the worst is yet to come, probably this evening and overnight when the eye of Darby is supposed to pass over or near Maui.

Stand by for that…

 * * *

DARBY STORM UPDATE 3

July 24, 2016 8:147 AM

SERENITY NEAR THE EYE OF THE STORM

 

What a difference 24 hours can make. Yesterday at this time, our creek in the Rainbow Shower gulch was raging and flooding over our bridges (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-2QQ). This morning by contrast is wonderfully calm and serene. Hardly any wind. Plenty of moisture in the air. But our creek is back in its normal riverbed, happily running down the slopes of Haleakala.

Who would suspect then that the eye of the tropical storm Darby that caused all this upheaval in the last few days is about AS CLOSE TO US AS IT WILL BE.  Take a look at the radar and satellite maps I have just updated.

Only 50 miles or so to the southwest of us, the Eye of Darby is churning its way across the Pacific in the northwesterly direction toward Kauai.

So how can things be so calm here at the Rainbow Shower?

It is all because of Haleakala. The giant 10,000-ft volcano on whose northern slopes our property lies is acting like a giant windshield between us and Darby. So Darby’s winds and rain and spinning from the south around Haleakala – toward Hana in the east and Kihei in the west. This is leaving us in a safe cocoon of Haleakala’s wind shadow at the normally windy northern coast of Maui.

Our usual trade winds come from the northeast. Which is why north is called the Windward coast in Hawaiian islands. But not today. Today, we are experiencing a sort of a “pole reversal.”  The normally dry (and touristy) south and west coasts are getting pelted with rain and buffeted by wind, while we are enjoying a peaceful and serene Sunday morning.

RAINBOW BOOKENDS: LUNAR AND SOLAR

EXTREMELY RARE LUNAR RAINBOW PRECEDES MORNING DOUBLE RAINBOW

June 22-23, 2016

Ever seen a lunar rainbow? If so, raise your hand.

And by that, I don’t mean a halo around the moon. The real lunar rainbows are just like the solar ones only far less bright. And extremely rare. No wonder I don’t see many hands up in the air. 🙂

On very rare occasions – only four in eight years – I have even seen lunar rainbows. In fact, moonbows are so rare that many people are not even aware they exist.  They do. But you have to be up at odd hours to see them.

Last night, just before midnight, I finished my nightly meditations and incantations and was getting ready to get back into the house. As I looked toward the west a faint light stopped me dead in my tracks.

“A lunar rainbow?” I wondered more instinctively than by sight.

I looked again. There it was. Clear as a bell, at least to my naked eye. I went into the house to get the camera and see if I can document this extremely rare celestial event. I did not hold out much hope for a clear picture. The light was so faint. So I recorded live my narration of what I was looking at.

And then, some eight hours later, a double rainbow formed across the southwest sky. I looked at the clock. It was 7:42 AM.

“Rainbow bookends,” I whispered in awe. Just like on Oct 19-20 of last year (see LUNAR RAINBOW LAST NIGHT FOLLOWED BY CLEAR SKY RAINBOW THIS MORNING – http://wp.me/p3R16m-2gY).

IMG_6349

 * * *

LOOK WHAT “FELL FROM THE SKY” ONTO OUR LAWN YESTERDAY!

AND THEN LOOK WHAT TOOK OFF INTO THE SKY FROM OUR LANAI TODAY!

JUNE 21-22, 2016

The last two days have been pretty momentous for Elizabeth and me, the Rainbow Shower owners and caretakers (https://www.facebook.com/rainbowshowersacred/).

Three landscaping problems that I have been having to grapple with for the last two months disappeared this afternoon. Just like that. Poof! And they were all gone.

Of course, I did ask my Spirit guides to help me with these issues. But I did not know when or where they would choose to grant me my wishes.

First yesterday, the Home Depot delivered my new riding mower. No, strike “delivered.” It felt more like they just dropped it in from the sky like a caged animal. Take a look at the crate. Like a prison cell.

And I had to rescue it from it. It took several hours of axe and hammer work to break its wooden bonds. Then try to get it out of there. Which I could not do on my own. Had to pay someone $25 to help me. Then test it. Then fuel it. Then…

Get the picture? It was totally a “do it yourself” project. Which I hate. I can do pretty much anything I can set my mind on. But I hate being a “handyman” or a mechanic. So today I called the Home Depot manager to give him a piece of my mind about that kind of
“customer care.”

AND THEN LOOK WHAT TOOK OFF INTO THE SKY FROM OUR LANAI TODAY!

That was yesterday. Today, it was the opposite. Our jade and travertine tabletop on the lanai was used as a helipad for a drone shoot. That also took a lot of doing.IMG_6346

First, the six satellites required for navigation took their time lining themselves up for us. Then the camera malfunctioned. Then the memory card. Then the drone battery.

Finally, after almost an hour of arm-wrestling the modern technology, the drone took off into the sky. And we took some hopefully wonderful photos. I will share them with you when I get them from the photographer.

So it goes… something comes down, something goes up. 🙂

FINALLY, THE THIRD TIME, THE CHARM!

Ever tried to get rid of a non-functioning riding mower? Hope you never have to. Because mine has been a constant irritation ever since it failed some two months ago.

In its final dying moments, the rear wheel locked up tight. So I could not even tow it properly with my trusty El Jeepo to a scrapyard. But I did manage to literally drag it several hundred yards up the hill and along our gravel driveway to within 50 yards or so of the road. Its wheel plowed two deep tracks in the gravel. Which I have had to fill in and level manually.

That’s where it had been sitting for the last week or so. Because the local scrapyard owner failed to keep her promise and send her truck to pick it up. When I called Maui County “solid waste,” they said they only pick up “white trash.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“You know, fridges, stoves…”

“Well, I can paint my mower white,” I joked. “Will you come and get it then?”

At first the County clerk did not get my joke. Guess they don’t get to talk to many taxpayers with a sense of humor. But when finally the penny dropped, she cracked up and laughed heartily.

Bottom line? I was still stuck with my RED wreck of a mower.

And then I had an inspiration this morning. I’ll spare you the gory details. But with a combination of brain, brawn and luck, I was able to use El Jeepo to tow the old Red Wreck about a mile up and down the hills to the scrapyard – with the rear wheels locked up tight.

How?

Well, that shall remain my secret. 🙂 It suffices to say that it was a dangerous undertaking. That’s where the luck and my spirit guides help came in.

screen-shot-2014-08-02-at-3-41-27-pm

EL JEEPO TO THE RESCUE AGAIN!

El Jeepo is our hero. Late yesterday afternoon, he performed another rescue mission. While riding my new mower down the steepest slope from the Upper to the Lower Rainbow Shower, I temporarily lost control of it. The brake would not hold. So the mower and the rider were skidding and hurtling toward the creek and the AHA (my sacred place) like stunt drivers.

Eventually, we stopped, the mower lodged atop the AHA between the two railroad ties which acted as brakes. It felt as if I put the mower back in the crate, only deeper. ☺ There was no way I could budge the mower out of that position. So I had to walk back up the hill to the house, get El Jeepo out of the garage, and then bring it down to the gulch for another rescue mission.

It worked. And nobody got hurt. The mower and I went on about our business and finished the cut before sundown. Then I thanked my spirit guides. Because both the mower and me could have been in for a lot of hurt the way we were hurtling down that steep hill. So to make sure we know better the next time, as the final act for the day, I drove the mower down the same steep hill. Kind of like teaching a dog new tricks. 🙂

 * * *

A LIZARD SIESTA ON A LAZY SUMMER AFTERNOON

June 24, 2016

I went down to the gulch to do my usual rounds of the Rainbow Shower in mid-afternoon. I noticed this green lizard on our green Giraffe Bridge soaking in the sunshine.img_3661

He did not mind me. I did not mind him. So I just left him enjoy a lazy summer afternoon.

When I finished my chores, though, about half an hour later, my new green friend was still where I had left him before.

I took a closer look. His eyes were closed. He was evidently having his afternoon siesta.

“How cute,” I thought.

I hiked up to the house to get the camera. “Wonder if he’d still be there when I get back?”

He was. So I took these pictures.

In fact, when Elizabeth joined me for another walk in the gulch, some two hours later, our friend was still there. Only this time, his eyes were open and he was shifting his weight from one foot to another.

Elizabeth looked uncomfortable.

“Surely you’re not afraid of a little lizard like this?” I asked.

“Maybe he could jump up at me?”

I was lost for words after that remark. 🙂

Anybody knows a proper biological name for this happy creature?

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAY AT 800-FT ABOVE THE OCEAN

OUR BIRTHDAY PARASAILING ADVENTURE

We are back from our parasailing adventure off Ka’anapali Beach and an early dinner in Lahaina.

All is well. We soared up to about 800 feet above the ocean and got back in one piece, with no injuries and mishaps. It was great fun. For me, anyway. I’ll let Elizabeth put it in her own words. 🙂 You’ll hear mine on the video I made.

Elizabeth screamed her lungs off most of the time. On takeoff, in the air, upon landing. That’s just what she does. Part excitement, part fear.

“FRAYED KNOT” (name of our boat) a.k.a. “AFRAID NOT” (clever pun, huh?)

Some people walk through fear. Some walk away from fear. Elizabeth flew through fear. Screaming.

I remember her also screaming like that as well during our Zodiac ride off the Napali coast of Kauai in Dec 2009. We were then going at 30-40 mph into a 30 mph head wind over 20-30 ft waves. Which was much more dangerous. And it wasn’t even my birthday… 🙂

When we got back home, she just crashed… physically and emotionally exhausted. But happy that she has done it.

I had no idea she was so stressed out. She knows how to hide her fears. I am not sure if that’s good or bad. But she pushed through them and did it anyway. Which is more than I can say for most people. So I am really proud of her.

Anyway, this is just a quick pictorial update from our parasailing adventure. As I find the time this weekend, I will also share the videos I made and other photos.

Soaring closeup 6-03-16 A high altitude selfie…

Notice the green parachute in front of us, flying at at a much lower elevation? (right shot).  Gives you another reference point about how high we were.

By the way, that’s the island of Lanai in the distance.

These still shots from our Lahaina dinner and my birthday cake.

 

Our Birthday Parasailing Adventure –  a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – June 3, 2016 – filed off the Ka’anapali Beach in Maui, Hawaii

 

 * * *

THE LANDING: OUR VIEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE BOAT

Finally, some fun with words on board the boat. The owner of this company must be also a writer with a great sense of humor…

LATE SPRING FLASH FLOOD

This does not happen often at the Rainbow Shower. In fact, I don’t ever remember seeing something like in the spring during the nearly eight years we have lived here. But one of the wonderful things about a marine climate like that we are enjoying on the north shore of Maui is – YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

So best not to make any plans. Which suits me just fine. I like surprises.

During the past week or so, we have had unusually dry weather for this time of the year. So when I woke up this morning and saw the clouds gathering from the north and the west – also very untypical as we get most of our weather from the east and northeast – I figured, “GREAT! Let’s have it.”

I had just finished my many landscaping chores, part of my “farmer’s yoga.” So a good soaking would be most welcome for the thousands of different plants that comprise the Rainbow Shower.

But I never expected this… Noah’ Ark. And the Rainbow Shower looking like the Scottish Highlands in the mist. 🙂

Little did I know that it would end up being a flash flood.  Take a look at this video I shot this afternoon around 2:30…

A NEWS FLASH ABOUT A FLASH FLOOD

 * * *

WEATHER CHANNELS BLEW THIS ONE

Want to hear something funny? Or sad, depending on your point of view?

This entire time, while the Rainbow Shower was practically floating down  to the ocean with this flash flood, the Weather Channel and the Wundermap kept showing this part of Maui as sunny and dry!? Take a look…

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Ah, human technology! Great when it works. Sucks when it does not. Which often happens.

Want to know what my weathervaning technology was eight years ago when I bought this property?

My index finger. I would stick it into the wind to see which way the weather was coming. It still seems to be the most dependable forecasting tool. 🙂

Here are now some other still shots I took while walking around the riverbed at the bottom of the Rainbow Shower gulch…

 * * *

FLASH FLOOD CONTINUING… DAY 2

May 8, 2016

I just got back from the gulch. And the flash flood is continuing. No surprise there. I has been raining non-stop now for about 18 hours.

Here the latest pictures I brought back of the raging creek which has now been joined by an additional stream from the West Kuiaha Rd.

FLASH FLOOD CONTINUING… DAY 3

UPDATE MAY 9, 2016

BEWARE: FALSE AND MISLEADING WEATHER MAP INFORMATION FOR MAUI?

When Elizabeth gets back home later today, she’ll be in for quite a show of Mother Nature. The flash flood down in the gulch is continuing after three days of rain and more to tome. ☔ Take a look at the picture I took a few minutes ago, You can see the debris lodged against my footbridge as well as the high water marks from earlier this morning.

Three days ago, I posted a story about the weather channels showing clear skies over this part of Maui while we were experiencing actually a deluge and flash floods.

The situation is still the same three days later. We have been having practically continuous rains. The creek at the bottom of the Rainbow Shower is raging and growling like an angry bear. But the weather maps are still showing clear skies over us.

So this morning, I decided to try to get to the bottom of it. And I found at one of the websites that the radar on Molokai, which presumably also tracks the west and north Maui weather, is “temporarily unavailable.”

What a time for a weather radar to break down!

Worse, you’d think that the government would warn people when something like that happens. I had to hunt all over the place to find out why the weather maps showed clear skies over us while we are being washed away to sea by the deluge.

Government… No wonder with radar technologies like that they bomb hospitals and kill innocent people all over the world.

They did issue this verbal warning this morning… three days AFTER the flash floods had already started:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HONOLULU HAS ISSUED A FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR MAUI.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH FROM 7:01AM HST MON UNTIL 6AM HST TUE…

Makes you wonder what the source of this “flash flood warning” is? (given that the radar is not working). Field reports like mine?

By the way, I did write to the national weather service about the possible radar malfunction three days ago but have not received a reply.


FLASH FLOOD… DAY 4: FINALLY,  A BREAK IN THE WEATHER

UPDATE MAY 10, 2016

Finally, a break in the weather.  It’s still cloudy, mind you, with occasional drizzle. But this morning, I saw some blue patches in the sky for the first time in four days.

“It’s nice to see we still have blue skies,” I told Elizabeth. 🙂

Even Father Sun has been making an effort to drop it for a visit in between the clouds. But shyly. It’s been mostly just a hint of sunshine here and there.  But no complaints. We’ll take what we can get after four days of rain and flooding.

When Elizabeth left for her art class, I went down to the gulch to investigate the damage. Overall, not bad.  Both of our bridges are still there. The foot bridge has been severely tested, especially by this big limb lodged against it since yesterday morning.

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But the bridge has stood its ground. My four steel anchors I drilled into the ground a couple of years ago are still holding.  But when I tried to dislodge this limb yesterday, I could not. At least not safely balancing precariously on a one-foot wide slippery foot bridge over the roaring river.

So I went back to try again this morning. Still no luck. I walked over to the other river bank to see if I could move the limb from there. No go again. The limb was firmly imbedded into the river bank as if drilled in by some pneumatic hammer. Such is the power of water.

Then I tried a different tack. I took another big piece of wood and tried hitting the big limb with it.  Finally, it gave way.  And the river grabbed it like a hungry shark swallowing its breakfast. But it did travel far. Only about 15-20 ft. Then the limb got stuck again between two big rocks. And the last I saw, it was still there, trying to fight off the now receding creek from carrying it out to sea.

Here’s a pictorial of this story…

Back at the house, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one trying to get out enjoy the fresh air and the shy sun.  Take a look at this green lizard on the ironwood block we have in front of our lanai.  He looked like a happy camper, too.

PRETTY BAD, BUT NOT THE WORST FLOOD OF ALL TIME

Overall, I have to say this has been probably one of the worst floods we have had recently. And that’s compared to some pretty bad ones we experienced last year during El Niño. It was not the worst, though.  The worst was probably the Great Flood of 2013.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of that flood was that I had actually seen in a dream a couple of months BEFORE it happened- http://yinyangbob.com/2013/Feb%202013.html.

Dream vs Real Flood 2014.png

The reason the more recent and more frequent floods have not caused as much damage as that one in 2013 is just that – that they were more frequent.  Meaning, the water has deepened and widened the riverbed.  So now it has more room to expand and does not clog up the ground in front of the bottleneck – the two-culvert bridge from which the above photos were taken.

Anyway, it has just started raining again… 🙂  So it goes.

 * * *

FLASH FLOOD… DAY 5: “BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER” STILL STANDING

UPDATE MAY 11, 2016

I spoke too soon yesterday when I said, “finally, a break in the weather.” For, it was shor-lived. By mid afternoon, it was raining again as hard as ever. And the rain continued all through the night, heavy at time.

So no wonder by the time I went down to the gulch a little after 7 this morning, that the flooding was even worse than yesterday morning. And so was the damage after more than 16 consecutive hours of rain. At that point, the water level had risen again and a part of the raging creek was running over a part of my our footbridge.

But the footbridge held.  When I went down again a few hours later, the flood had receded by about two feet, and out “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was still intact (I borrowed the title from Simon and Garfunkel 🙂 ).  I can’t say the same for the wooden boards and the red mulch that once formed the western Panax tree-lined boundary of our property.

Here are some other pictures I brought back of the flood scenes…

PERENNIAL AVOCADO TREE

The silver lining in all this is that the plants and trees of the Rainbow Shower are very happy. Take a look at this Avocado tree, bursting with orange bloom (these are actually new leaves which are orange at first, before turning green).

IMG_6152.jpg

This particular tree has a colorful history. We got it in April 2009 as a small potted plant as a housewarming gift from a neighbor. I planted it at the top of our property. It died after a few months.

But I did not accept its death as final. So I dug up its roots and replanted it at the Lower Rainbow Shower, about 50 yards to the right of its current location in the above picture. Again, it lived for a few months, and then died.

Once again, I refused to acknowledge its passing. I dug up the roots again, and replanted it at the above location. And look at it now! Ever seen a happier young Avocado tree?

In fact, in the last couple of years, it even gave us a few Avocado fruit as a “thank you” gift. Not many. But just enough to express its gratitude and happiness with its current location.

 * * *

UPDATE MAY 13, 2016

DRAINING THE SWAMP, LITERALLY

DITCH-WIDENING AND IRRIGATION WORK TO ALLEVIATE FLOOD WATER FLOW

About six months at the end of the El Niño season, I created a little engineering diversion to protect the new Panax tree boundary and the red mulch on the ground between the seedlings (see A DITCH-DIGGING AFTERNOON, Dec 23, 2015).

irrigation-work-12-23-15.jpg

The new irrigation ditch did the job admirably until now. But after five consecutive days of rain, it was overwhelmed by the flow coming down from the West Kuiaha gulch.

So this morning, I went down to try to drain the swamp by widening and deepening the ditch. And by building a new little berm to protect the Panax line.

The work was hard but the reward was almost immediate. The water flow increased substantially through the ditch, and practically diminished elsewhere where it was doing damage to the trees and the red mulch.

This is what I looked like at the end of this ditch-digging adventure… covered in mud but three pounds lighter after about 2 hours of hard labor. So success all around… 🙂

UPDATE EVENING – MAY 13, 2016

ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: FROM DITCH-DIGGING TO GALA CONCERT AND RECEPTION IN JUST A FEW HOURS

A few hours after the grueling ditch-digging and irrigation work at the Rainbow Shower, Elizabeth and I attended a gala concert and reception to celebrate 35 consecutive years of the Maui Classical Music Festival.

MACC on stage.jpg

The event took place on stage at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC). So it was limited to just 150 people who could be fitted on the stage.

“So we are now sitting the chairs on which the symphony orchestra players sit,” Elizabeth remarked. “They are quite comfortable.” 🙂

And so they were. Here are some pictures from that performance. I have transferred my ditch-digging “outfit” to the MACC concert hall to illustrate how easily one can transition from earthly to the sublime.

UPDATE MAY 14, 2016

RAINBOW SHOWERS “Ménage à Trois:” GREEN LIZZY, RED CARDINAL AND PINK JELLYFISH

When I headed down to the gulch to see how my new and improved drainage ditch is working, I was stopped dead in my tracks by this lovely “mé·nage à trois” on our lanai.

Ever since I moved out this big and very heavy block of ironwood, with the beautiful Jade and Travertine stone table top, our Green Lizzy has been hovering around it. And this morning, he decided to climb right on top of it. A perfect camouflage with the Jade top and the green grass. And a wonderful contrast to the Red Cardinal and the Pink Jelly fish inside that crystal ball Elizabeth brought for me one year from Sedona (AZ).

And yes, the new and improved drainage ditch is doing its job. The excess flood water is no longer running over the boards and the red mulch. What read mulch? Most of it is gone down the river. And what’s left is more the color of mud than red 🙂 ].

UPDATE MAY 25, 2016

ANOTHER FLASH FLOOD ROARS THROUGH THE RAINBOW SHOWER AS SUN SHINES

I heard it before seeing it. Even from 600 feet away, up at our Rainbow Shower home, I could hear the roar of the rising river.

“Another flash flood,” I said to myself.

Only a few hours ago, I was down there at the bottom of the gulch, walking around and inspecting the weed-whacking job my landscapers did yesterday. That’s how quickly flash floods can develop around here. And not for the first time, either. I remember a similar one in March 2012.

So I grabbed my waterproof camera and headed down into the gulch. I needn’t have worried. The iPhone could have done the job, too. Interestingly, the sun was trying to shine through the clouds as the raging river was making its presence known at the Rainbow Shower once again.