Hawaii: Run or swim with the sea turtles

I needed a pause in my running, a break from the training grind, so I arranged a trip to the Kona Coast in Hawaii. A friend pointed out that I’ve been injured and haven’t run in weeks. I totally forgot about that.

Besides the wildlife, plants in Hawaii are so unlike what we have in Spokane.

Besides the wildlife, plants in Hawaii are so unlike what we have in Spokane.

Ruby Redpepper, owner of Animal Fulfillment Specialists, was doing a seminar about Hawaiian wildlife. I hired Ruby a few months ago as a consultant when I released indigenous, wild animals into my naturally landscaped front yard. She knows so much about animals, and I really, really like animals. I wasn’t about to miss this seminar.

We spent the first day in the classroom learning about island wildlife.

Ruby is second from left, listening to a participant describe how dolphins came onto the beach to lay in the sun with him.

Ruby sips water while listening to a participant describe how dolphins crawled onto a beach to lay in the sun with him.

During our first excursion I put my head in the water and did sea turtle calls like Ruby taught us. After a half hour without any luck, I fell on a sea urchin in a tidal pool. It took fellow group members fifteen minutes to pull out all the spines.

Then Ruby tried and right away a turtle came.sea turtle comingRuby has such a way with animals that it tried crawling out of the water and into her lap. But Ruby says it’s important not to touch the sea turtles.sea turtle comes to RubyWhenever I approached the turtle, it swam away quickly. I grabbed a rock, but Ruby calmed me down. I like sea turtles, but not when they’re uncooperative. Ruby talked in a kind and gentle voice and persuaded the turtle to approach me.Sea turtle come to meGeckos are everywhere in Hawaii. You’ll find them in some stores and homes roaming freely. They eat bugs that get inside.gecko outdoorsThe gecko below lives in the house that I rented. If you get close, they scurry or jump away very quickly.gecko on ceilingI saw a pretty bird in a tree so I climbed up to get a picture. Ruby said there was no way that would happen, but I might see a chameleon. Sure enough, I did, and I got a close-up picture.chameleon

Each day after class, I returned to my rented house so excited by Ruby’s seminar that I read about animals till the wee hours of the morning.animal expert7

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