Super scary close-ups

Below is the link to a great compilation of frightening images from under the microscope.!prettyPhoto-9599/0/

What do the tiny beings in our world look like when you zoom way WAYYY in?  Some are straight up scary looking.  Insects, worms, and parasites of all sorts are among the worst.  I have known this for a while, given my biology background, but none freaked me out quite like the detailed micrographs and drawings of the heads of marine worms.  I did my undergraduate thesis on one such creepy worm and as a result spent a lot of time looking at these pictures – so much time that these freaky-faced worms have invaded my nightmares on more than one occasion.  Yes, the mark of a true nerd.  Their miniscule, little faces are often adorned with tentacles, bristles, and raptorial jaws for maximum (mini) destruction power!  Anyhow, appropriately so, these marine worms occupy at least 3 spots on this lovely list.  Check it out!



Ohe’o Gulch (7 sacred pools)

On the very last day of our trip to Hawaii, we drove around the island of Maui, stopped in Hana, which we would have all together missed if not for our guidebook, and at Ohe’o Gulch (aka 7 sacred pools).  At the gulch, there are multiple cascading waterfalls that have eroded out at least 7 pools.  It was a little crowded at the bottom pools – lots of people clamoring over the rocks to take in the view and kids jumping off the cliffs into the water.  We decided to climb up to the upper pools/waterfalls and found that we had it completely to ourselves.  It was magical.  Our own private Maui waterfall.  So of course we decided to jump off the cliffs and take turns swimming over to and under the waterfall.  What Hawaiian vacation is complete with out a swim under a waterfall!?!?  It  was a perfect way to end our visit to one of my favorite places on the planet.

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Our wedding trip was completely perfect and everything we wanted it to be.  We were able to have our private moment making the biggest commitment of our lives to each other on a beach in paradise and spend the rest of the time cramming in as many wild adventures as possible.  We missed sharing this moment with our families, so in less than a month we will head back home to celebrate with all of them (you)!  See you all soon!!!!

5 caves dive in maui

Here are a few photos from our last dive in Maui – 5 caves.  I have only ever done one “cave dive” in my life and it was this site during my last visit.  Dave was a little wary when I described it to him, but decided he wasn’t going to miss out on such a cool adventure.  We saw lots of fish, eels, and sea turtles (including a couple IN the cave with us).  I also kept finding sea urchins that looked like they were making faces at us!  I did not pose them this way – it’s just how I found them.  Enjoy the show!

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On another note, I just have one more wedding trip post before I move on to all the other amazing stuff that has happened in our lives since then.  Next up, pictures from our drive to Hana and to 7 Sacred Pools.  🙂

Cats can see optical illusion too

Here’s a video that combines a cute kitten and a cool science trick, an optical illusion.  Awesome!

Maui Hike

Finally, I am resuming with the wedding/honeymoon trip photos.  Here are some pictures from a hike we took with our friends, Morgan and Josh on Morgan’s bday.  I can’t remember the name of the area we hiked, but it was a nice long, vertical climb.  The views were astounding, as with almost everywhere in Maui.  We also took a little break for a little jumping photo session as you’ll see below.  I have almost as much fun taking these photos as looking at them!  Enjoy!

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Creepy zebrafish larvae

The power of microscopy…. to freak you out.  These are zebrafish larvae.  Little weirdos.

Photo found HERE.


Also, a few more wedding trip posts to come…

Ziplining through the Kohala Forest

The day after our Hilo-side adventures on the big island, we drove to the Northern tip of the island to the Kohala area to zipline through the rain forest.  We went with a company called, Kohala Zipline, and they were SUPER awesome.  One of those experiences where you have to immediately run to Trip Advisor and rave about it.  Our guides, Litzel and Andy, were amazing, the training we received at the beginning made me feel totally at ease even though this was my first ziplining experience, and the course was awesome!  Not only did we zip along the lines, we also crossed several suspension bridges high above the forest, repelled down a couple of tall trees, and learned all about the ecology and history of the area.  It was neat to think of the crazy battles that had happened below us so many years ago.  The Kohala Forest is supposedly where King Kamehameha spent many years of his childhood.  Overall, the ziplining turned out to be one of my favorite of our activities.


Getting all geared up


Ready to go!


Here’s the vehicle we took to the top of the mountain.


There’s no way to look cool in ziplining gear


Suspension bridge


Dave zipping across


The landing


Another fun suspension bridge.  It was fun to jump around on the bridge and freak people out.




Here’s a nice butt shot of me repelling down the tree.


Resting before the second leg of our journey


Getting ready for take off



Our final repelling station before heading back to the shop.  If you ever find yourself on the Big Island with some time on your hands, DO THIS!  It is well worth the time and money.  And I’ve checked another one off the bucket list….   🙂

Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots hike


After our helicopter ride where we saw all those beautiful waterfalls from above, we decided to go find them and hike around.  We stopped at a couple of Rainbow Falls sites and the Boiling Pots, which is a series of small falls and pools.  Both sites are parts along the Wailuku River, the longest river in Hawaii, and are apparently very dangerous.  The boiling pots are especially deadly when the water is high and people decide to cross through it or try to swim.  The water level was fairly low during our visit making it easy to climb around on the giant boulders.

551Through the forest to get to the falls





From above the falls looking down into the gorge


Hooray for self-timers on cameras


After the gorge the river continues on.




No shortage of strange, gorgeous plant life here.




From the other side of the falls (which were just a trickle on that day).  Our previous pictures are from above the falls/lava cave.




At the boiling pots


The many many pools formed by the rushing water from the falls.





Helicopter ride over Kilauea

One day we drove over to the Hilo side of the big island to take a “doors-off” helicopter ride over some active areas of Kiluea.  It was as awesome as it sounds!  The helicopter fit 4 passengers + the pilot.  We all wore headsets so we could communicate with each other, and in the mean time the pilot played some fun, activity-appropriate  music, like “Danger Zone”.


Here are the doors they took off our helicopter


Control panel


Taking off

397Heading to the volcano



Almost there.  You can see the old lava flows.


The sulfuric gas in rising from the active areas





Bubbling lava in the crater







The smoke trail follows the lava flow heading to the ocean.  While we were visiting, the lava wasn’t making it all the way to the ocean, but it was getting pretty close.



Lava flow


A look back at the crater


The coastline



Weird looking flat topped trees

511Double waterfalls!  I believe these are rainbow falls.







Seafood Sleuthing Reveals Pervasive Fish Fraud

Seafood Sleuthing Reveals Pervasive Fish Fraud

An interesting follow up article to the story I posted about “white tuna” at sushi restaurants (which you can find HERE).


P.S. – I haven’t even posted half of our Hawaii posts yet, so stay tuned – many more to come.  Will have time to edit photos over Christmas!