Kauai and the Kuilau Trail: Fighting Anoles. Pesky Wives.

To read my Kauai journal from the beginning, click here

This morning, Martin, ever-hopeful, went out into the wind and stormy cloudy weather, hoping for pretty sunrise shots. I took up happy residence on the lanai, watching the surf and heavy clouds, admiring the flocks of birds.

Sunrise, Kauai

A pretty good sunrise in Kauai

I teased Martin when he arrived home – wow, how about that sunrise, huh? Pretty nice, huh? – and he silently reached over and flicked on his camera, displaying dramatic shots of orange light streaming through darkened clouds.

Oh! Well, yeah!

That’s a pretty good sunrise.

We decided to retry the Kuilau Trail that we’d abandoned yesterday due to rain. As we left the condo with backpacks and hiking boots and high spirits, rain started spitting down.

I glared up at the skies. Unbelievable! This again?

We drove back up to the jungly arboretum where the Wailua River spills over the road. The trailhead was just this side of the river, thank goodness, and went gently up the mountain. At first it was very sloppy gloppy wet and goopy, but then it turned into a nice trail with sweeping lush tropical views on one side (banana trees, tree ferns, tall African-looking trees with vibrant red flowers in the canopy – Martin informs me it’s the African Tulip Tree – green green green everywhere), and a hillside crammed with ferns and who-knows-what plant greenery on the other.

3-12-144_01The two-mile trail, ending at a wooden bridge, is purported to take three hours or so, round-trip. But our day lasted six hours. We had a lovely time, wandering slowly up the trail, stopping often to admire views, or inspect flowers, or search for birds, or take pictures, or shoot videos.

And oh, the video fun we had! We got videos of us hiking happily and maturely up the trail. Videos of us stopping to serenely bird-watch or point out views, of us wandering along, just a couple of happy hikers. But then, when Martin had the material he wanted and turned around , the camera captured me chasing and pestering him back down the trail.

Now that’s the more accurate footage! He’d swat at me desperately while I flitted around his face, pestering, flapping, hounding. He’d run; I’d run faster. I’d wave my hands in front of the camera, kiss the lens, squawk crazily as he fumbled to turn it off. I did it every time.

“You know, no one’s ever going to see this!” he’d say crossly, with a hint of exasperation, sporting a grin.

I don’t care. It’s fun.

One time, as I badgered him back down the trail towards the camera, flapping my arms, giggling wildly, I ran almost headlong into an older couple coming staidly up the trail.

“Oh!” I exclaimed, whisking off my sunglasses in surprise and embarrassment, hurriedly trying to compose myself, trying to remember – quick! – how adults are supposed to act. Cringing inside. I looked like an idiot. Again.

They raised their eyebrows in reply, nodded a bit stiffly. I smiled weakly as Martin shook his head, chuckling to himself: When will she learn?

They continued up the trail, glancing back at us uncertainly now and then.

And the next time Martin announced he had the video footage he wanted, and we could turn back? Did I murmur, “Yes, dear,” and accompany him quietly and demurely down the trail?

No way! I pestered and badgered him wildly back to the camera, cackling with abandon, acting like a total idiot. As usual.

I can’t help it. It’s who I am. It’s wonderful that he loves me.

One of the highlights was when Martin somehow spotted two green anoles (that’s a type of lizard) on a clump of green leaves, in a long green bank of green shrubbery, within the green landscape.

How did he spy them? Everything was green!

Green Anole

Green Anole

It turns out they were in pitched battle. Lots of head-pumping up and down, throat-displaying, and opening mouths wide to show the smooth pink insides. Lots of circling around, sizing the other up. They jumped at each other. They grabbed each other’s necks with their mouths. They scrabbled about on the leaves, shaking each other.

This was not Disney. It was mortal combat.

Martin was in a frenzy of excitement, shooting videos and still photographs. I was a little relieved when one of them finally backed off and withdrew soundlessly, melting away into the shrubbery, yielding that particular tangle of leaves. Come on now, let’s all be friends!

The return trip was, of course, much faster, although we continued to stop often for birds, and discovered another bank of greenery bursting with anoles – some brown, some green. There was also an enormous – I don’t know, bumblebee? black fly masquerading as a small bird?  –  a huge black furry monstrosity, practically golf-ball-sized, buzzing loudly and ominously, flying heavily from flower to flower.

That thing was terrifying.

We showed it lots of respect. You want through? Come on through then, let me just step aside for you, no problem! You want here, now? Sure, I was just moving! Take your time, I’ll just stand over there for a while. Whatever you want is fine, no complaints from me. Really.

That night, sitting on our lanai at dinner, several nearly-transparent geckos poked their heads out of the cracks in the walls, squeezed out onto the ceiling, and hung above us, clinging with their bulbous toe pads, and watched us amiably with their huge brown eyes.

Green anoles, transparent geckos, pretty birds, gorgeous trail. Photos, videos, laughter.

I’d say that adds up to a pretty good day.

Although I’m sure Martin could have done without the buzzing monstrosities and pesky wives.

1 Comment Kauai and the Kuilau Trail: Fighting Anoles. Pesky Wives.

  1. Karen Gake

    I loved the video…I could totally picture you in my mind, badgering Martin, being a pest, but to have it captured on video…that was amazing! And then to hear Martin say “You know, nobody is ever going to see this” Priceless! 🙂


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