Day 118: Naughty Nene

Laetitia took her group to Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, which was created to preserve the natural setting of lava flows, craters, and lush rain forests that followed from eruptions of Mauna Loa and Kilauea in the recent and distant past. The group walked through lava tubes and hiked among lava and pumice interspersed with vegetation.

The Nene goose is found Hawaii. It is a close relative of the Canada goose and mostly feeds on the ‘Ohelo berries that grow in the area. The birds are flightless, and in their present habitat flight seems not to provide a selective advantage. The adult geese can be quite aggressive, and an incident involving two members of her group gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

A buxom young hiker named Mary
Who bent down for an ‘Ohelo berry
Flushed an irked Nene goose
Who “goosed” her caboose
So she shrieked, spun around, and slapped Larry.

Day 117: Olivine Scene

One of Laetitia’s pleasures in conducting these tours of the Hawaiian Islands was that the packets of freshly roasted coffee beans that she found next to the coffee maker each morning when she arrived at the Emerald Victorian were 100 percent Kona coffee. Obviously, the mysterious powers that be at Mind’s Eye Limerick Tours had a source. Although pure Kona coffee is easily obtainable in the Islands, what is commonly marketed as Kona coffee in mainland United States is a blend of only 10 percent Kona. It doesn’t resemble the real thing.

One of the attractions on the big island of Hawaii for those who like secluded sun-bathing is Papakõlea Beach, better known as “the beach with green sand.” The sand is composed of a silicate of iron and magnesium called Olivine. Laetitia took her group there. A woman from Ohio named Claire, who had joined her tour, was so enamored with all of the tanned muscular men on the beach that she didn’t want to go home.

Lying there on the beach with green sand
Claire opined that her life was quite bland
Back home in Sandusky
Where men weren’t as husky
And, certainly not as well tanned.

Day 116: Look! Cook

Wherever you go in the Pacific, you see statues or other memorials to Captain Cook, and Hawaii is no exception. The man certainly got around. Unfortunately he met his end in Hawaii. When he first arrived, he was believed to be a god and was treated royally. After he left, one of his ships lost a mast in a storm. When he had to limp back to make repairs, it became clear to the Hawaiians that he wasn’t a god, and they killed him. His monument is near Kealakekua Bay, where he was killed.

Hawaii has a long tradition of ranching and has some very large spreads, like the 300,000 acre Parker Ranch. The Hawaiians were given several breeding pairs of cattle by Captain Vancouver, who came to the islands with Captain Cook in the 1770s and revisited on his own expeditions in the 1790s. With no natural predators, the cattle soon multiplied and became a nuisance. Spanish cowboys were brought over to teach ranching techniques to the Hawaiians. When they finished the job and returned home, some of them left guitars behind. The Hawaiians didn’t know how to play guitar in the Spanish way, so they invented their own method, called the “slack-key style.”

Laetitia and her group went hiking on Mauna Kea and in the evening went to a slack key guitar concert, after which she presented the limerick of the day.

That ubiquitous salt Captain Cook
Has stone shrines wherever you look
Australia, Alaska
New Zealand, not Nebraska,
And Hawaii, the last trip he took.

Day 115: Maui Wowee

Laetitia took her group to Maui. First they did a whale watching tour in the shallow sea protected by Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, where the humpback whales come to give birth to their young, traveling thousands of miles from their feeding grounds in Alaskan waters.

That evening the group went to a Luau. A fellow from Gilroy, California, named Gilbert (Gil to his friends) joined the tour. He hadn’t been to either a luau or any of the Hawaiian Islands before, but he had been to the annual Garlic Festival that his hometown puts on every year. He told Laetitia that he liked to put garlic sauce on everything, which perhaps explained why he didn’t seem to be popular with other members of the tour. His complaint about the relatively bland food at the luau provided one limerick of the day. A local amateur bird watcher who had joined the tour to view tropical birds, especially boobies (genus Sula), provided another.

At a luau, when Gil from Gilroy
Took large helpings of roast pig and poi
He found it lacked zest
And thought ‘twould be best
When smothered with garlic and soy.

A birder who’s from Hala’ula
Could only think of genus Sula
When he saw boobies brown
As the girls danced around
At a Luau, while doing the hula.