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Hawaiian Fish in My Nature Journal

Fish are a more difficult nature study topic for our family than I expected! We have been several places where there are fish but we have not seen any up close and personal. Since last week’s challenge was to draw fish, I remembered that I had a journal page with a variety of fish so I decided to share that with you.
Which led me on a merry chase to find some images to share with you too!

I drew lots of fish in my nature journal last November (2012) during our trip to Hawaii. We went snorkeling quite a few times and I was trying to keep a record of some of the more beautiful fish we encountered. Snorkeling is a fantastic way to observe fish in their natural environment which on the Big Island of Hawaii is the coral reef.

All of the photos in this post are from the past….once I started digging through old photos I actually found quite a few to share with you.

Snorkeling is one of those activities that all my children enjoy. It is a really frugal way to spend time in the water and have nature study at the same time! We taught all the kids to snorkel in the swimming pool and when they felt comfortable we ventured into the ocean. My kids are all confident swimmers and they all caught on really fast. We rented their gear the first time but now we all have our own and we pack it along for every trip.

We have seen many fantastic things snorkeling like Green Sea Turtles, eels, Spinner Dolphins, and a rainbow of tropical reef fish. There is nothing more surreal than swimming along side by side with a big sea turtle. They are just as curious about you as you are about them!

My favorite are the Yellow Tangs! There can be whole schools of them along the reef if you are lucky. I think these photos are from the Big Island, Kona side at a place called Kahalu’u. The water is shallow, there is a sandy entrance and it is perfect for beginners to try. This is where I learned to snorkel.

This is a video I found on YouTube and it gives you a really good idea of what snorkeling at Kahalu’u is like…including what it sounds like. All those little snapping sounds are what you hear and if you want to know what it is you can click over here: Little Pistol Shrimp...

This is our favorite place to snorkel on the Big Island of Hawaii….Honaunau Bay or Two-Step Beach.  It is an easy two steps into the water from the rock’s ledges. It is an amazing place…can’t recommend it highly enough.

Here is the view from the shore looking out into the bay. This was a busy weekend afternoon and there are lots of people enjoying the snorkeling. My boys are in the center of the photo walking on the rocks. The water you see off the rocks is a calm area where there are lots of fish and sea turtles. You can see a person sitting on the edge of the rocks towards the left side of the photo and that is where the ledge is to step into and out of the water easily.

The last time we were here there was a pod of resting spinner dolphins just out in the bay. Amazing!

Moorish Idol

I wish I knew the names of all the fish but I decided it is a life project and try to learn a few new fish each time we snorkel. I purchased a field guide and page through it to identify fish I remember seeing.

Some of the fish are really big and don’t seem afraid of you at all.

Some fish swim in large schools and even though the photos don’t show it, they sparkle and shimmer in the sunlight. Sometimes if the light is just right, you see lots of fish and can get carried away swimming after them.

So even though I haven’t found any fish this week to draw in my nature journal, I had lots of fun going through all my images from past snorkeling trips to share with you. I encourage you to try snorkeling if you ever have the opportunity.

Have you seen any fish this week?

3 thoughts on “Hawaiian Fish in My Nature Journal

  1. What a great idea! I am going to shamelessly copy that! Teach my kids to snorkel in the pool and then take them out! We are moving next month to Goa and so sea life will become an integral part of Nature Study! Thanks for the tips! Loved the picts too!

  2. Gorgeous photos, Barb!

  3. Gorgeous photos, Barb!

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