Sunday, July 28, 2013


We had some interesting weather on Monday.  A few waterspouts formed out in the atoll.  There was no damage or injuries since they never hit land.  Perhaps this is what occurred at Tern Island last year that caused all of the damage?  

One thing that some of you may be interested in is the murals that hung in the Midway Theater.  They have been removed and will be displayed at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor where a lot more people will be able to appreciate them.  Here is a story and photos:

 The waterspout isn't very large in this photo, but you can still see it out in the lagoon.  It's not as big as the tornadoes that I used to see in North Dakota when I was a storm spotter, but that's perfectly fine with me.

 The albatross chicks are really thinning out in the parade field now.

Now that there aren't as many birds around, the grass finally can stand up. When the adults return in the fall, they'll stomp it all down again and it will almost look mowed.

 Our beaches aren't quite as nice now.  About half of the birds are dead, but the crabs and other creatures will clean them up relatively quickly.  It's sad to see, but that's the way nature works.  And the reason you don't see much plastic on the beach is because Brett spent a lot of his off time cleaning it up.  Thank you Bret!

Here are two birds who were ready enough to walk to the beach, but aren't quite ready to fly off.

 Albatross footprints in the sand.

 A few of the contractors on island took a trip to Eastern Island with me to help check for sick or dead Laysan ducks.  This picture is on the way back to Sand Island.

 Along with saving the theater murals in the link I posted above, we took these decorations off of the theater roof and put them up in our museum.  I'm kind of partial to the "dolphins" in the upper right since I was on a submarine, and that is the insignia of the submarine service.

I think I need a bit more color for this post, so here are some plumeria flowers from one of the yards.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back again for a while

I'm back from my 3 week vacation.  I was mostly moving boxes and furniture.  I got a little time off when I went to celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary in Park Rapids, MN.  The whole family hasn't been together for many years, which is mainly my fault for being out in the middle of the ocean most of the time.  I finally got to meet my nephew for the first time and he's 3 years old.

Everyone on island is busy, as usual.  Checking for Laysan ducks with botulism is one of the things that has been keeping everyone busy. The person who drives around picking up dead albatross chicks has also been pretty busy lately.  We're getting to the time of year where they are either strong enough to fledge or they don't make it.  I haven't heard of people seeing the tiger sharks around, but I know they are out there getting some of the chicks in the water. 

 Here's an evening photo of the river at the cabins where we stayed in Park Rapids, MN.

A Laysan albatross chick is learning to fly near the water tanks at the catchment basin.

 The albatross chicks are gathering at the last hard ground at the edge of the harbor. A few of these birds weren't quite healthy enough to make it off the seawall.  While I was standing here, 5 birds did decide to jump and all were able to fly off, at least for a short distance.  They looked like they would make it.

 I found 2 White-tailed tropicbird nests this week.  They don't usually have good luck raising chicks here, but I hope they can figure it out sometime soon.

Here's another building photo for the people who like to see them.  This is the old radar facility, most of which is underground.  This was surrounded by enlisted family housing, which was taken out before the Navy left.