STAR-BULLETIN / 1996
Sweeping vistas from the mountains to the sea are part of the package when you take a hike at Makapuu.
Spring Equinox began at 2:07 a.m. Wednesday, Hawaii Standard Time. Are we finally nearing the end of the long dark rainy days? Is your family itching to get out and get moving?
There will be plenty of reasons to enjoy the outdoors as we head into April. Between now and my next column at the end of May, Hawaii residents will have observed the birthday of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, Passover, Good Friday, Easter, Astro Day and Earth Day. Add the riot of color and variety in plant adornment and symbolism that can be seen at the Merrie Monarch Festival -- beginning April 8 in Hilo -- and spring should be thoroughly welcomed.
There is a waiting list for the Waikiki Aquarium's close encounters with hermit crabs and animals that glow in the dark during spring break for the young ones, but visit the aquarium Web site for up-close views of some of the residents via webcam ... and for upcoming activities (www.waquarium.org).
Earth Day activities are also being planned. In previous years, volunteers working with Celia Smith's students in phycology -- the scientific study of algae -- have raked in the muck of invasive alien algae in Waikiki. Look for notices of Hawaii Nature Conservancy 2007 Earth Day activities at the Web site www.nature.org/hawaii, as well as field trips and other volunteer events.
In the meantime, a good Web site for Earth Day curriculum and online activities can be found at www.picadome.fcps. net/lab/currl/earth_day/default. htm.
The spring months could also bring Hawaii's endangered monk seals to your favorite beach. Should you find yourself near a monk seal, give it space and warn the young ones in your family not to approach.
As charismatic as they are with their big eyes and wobbly adjustment to land, they did not come ashore near you to be admired. In fact, a mother monk seal might have chosen the beach just because it looked to be a quiet, safe place to bring her young into the world.
» Moonwalk at Waimea Valley Audubon Center:
7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa. Bring a flashlight and comfortable walking shoes for this 1.5-mile walk. Gates close promptly at 8 p.m. Cost is $5, $3 children. Call 638-9199 or visit waimea.audubon.org
» Hawaii Audubon Society Hike at Makapuu: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Meet at new Makapuu parking lot. The hike takes in great views of Windward Oahu, and possibly humpback whales and a variety of seabirds (tropic birds, terns, 'iwas and whatever else flies into view). Bring binoculars, sunscreen, good hiking shoes and water. Trail is paved but expect some weathering. Bring lunch and stay for a picnic and "talk story." Call 254-2736 or visit www.hawaiiaudubon.com.
» Birding Tour at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden with Ron Walker: 7:30-10:30 a.m. April 14. Call 522-7064 or 375-8611 or visit www.hawaiiaudubon.com.
» Sixth Annual Astro Day: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 21, Prince Kuhio Plaza, Hilo. Exhibits covering Mauna Kea, Hawaiian culture, astronomy, science and culture. Also, student science projects and slack-key performances by Keoki Kahumoku, Brittni Paiva and Rupert Tripp Jr. Visit www.astroday.net.
» "Kolea -- from the Pacific to the Arctic": Lecture at Windward Community College by O.W. Johnson of Montana State University, 7 p.m. April 26 at Windward Community College, Hale Akoakoa Room 105. Call 235-7433.
» Keiki WaterFest: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28, Hawaii's Plantation Village, Waipahu. Free family fun. Call the Board of Water Supply, 748-5041, or visit www.boardofwatersupply.com.
teaches botany, ethnobotany and environmental science at Chaminade University. "Nature Calls"
runs on the last Monday of the month. E-mail her at email@example.com