Aloha mai e nā maka heluhelu, nā ʻohana, a me nā hoa piha i ke aloha iā Hōlanikū. ʻAneʻane pau ko mākou noho ʻana i ʻaneʻi! Hoʻokahi wale nō pule i koe. Hauʻoli loa au i ka hiki ke hoʻolaha i ka loaʻa ʻole ʻana o nā kakā i maʻi a i ʻole make i kēia pule. Uihā! Ua hoʻokuʻu ʻia ke kakā hope i hoʻōla ʻia i kēia Lāpule. Nui koʻu hauʻoli i ka hiki ke hoʻomaha. ʻAʻohe hopohopo no ka manawa. I loko o koʻu makemake e nanea no ke koena o ko mākou nohona i ʻaneʻi, he pono nō ka mākaukau i nā hana hou.
Howzit kākou! Can you believe this is week 24 for us? We have only one week left! After a long, exhausting two weeks of the botulism case with the Laysan ducks, I am super happy to say that we have not found any sick or dead ducks for a whole week! In addition to that, we also found one of the ducks that we have not seen for weeks, crossing her out from the list of prime suspects of this botulism case. I do not want to speak too soon, but it feels so good to have some weight lifted off our shoulders. This week was soooo much better than the previous weeks. Although I am still regaining some energy, this was a week of peace. No eating outside in the cold or the hot sun. No having to whisper or be as quiet as a mouse while in the camp house. No stressing myself to sickness. And finally, no struggling between completing our spray schedule and taking care of the ducks.
Although it is possible that we may have overcome this botulism case with the Laysan ducks (knock on wood), we also have a predator, an owl, that has been taking out a few pākalakala (gray backed terns), leaving its victims along the runway or various restoration areas open for us to see. So far, our experienced birder, RJ, has not seen it during his shorebird surveys or stake outs during the night. Hopefully we will be able to find it during our one of the last nights that we are here, but with the downpour we have been receiving these past couple of days, I do not think I would want to leave my warm bedroom.
After two weeks of dedicated time tending to sick or dead ducks, we went back into action and “sprayed and slayed” some of the last treatment areas for the season. Because of the botulism situation, we fell behind on completing the spray scheduler. But it is what it is. We still do what we can. Rain or shine, we still go! Do I need to remind you that we are all hammahs?
As tiring as it was searching for the ducks every morning, afternoon, and evening, I grow to admire them even more during each encounter and observation, just as I do with the rest of the birds here. I have seen the full cycle of life and death among our many hoa manu. In this case, I have also witnessed the restoration of life. I learn something new every day. Throughout my experience on Hōlanikū, I realized how precious life and time is. Like I have mentioned previously, this has been my time to learn, to change, and to grow. As I have experienced the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly, I have still encountered love daily. Living here has reinforced my love for the land, love for all beings, and most importantly, love for my life!
Well, there it is gangeh. It has been a tough few weeks as we come to the end of this Winter season. It has taken a toll on me both physically and mentally. Despite it all, the experience is still rewarding. Unity, perseverance, and compassion are what drives us to succeed and finish off strong. With earnest effort, we have finally come to see light in this dark situation with the botulism case. Now that we have had some time to rest, it is time we geeve ʻum! So here we go. Down to our last week. Heavy. This is the time to gain as much ʻike, complete the last of our tasks, and most of all, enjoy the time we have left here on Hōlanikū.
Eia ka ʻōlelo noʻeau o kēia pule: “He pō walea, he ao walea i ka laʻi” (A night enjoyed, a day enjoyed in the calm). Peace brings undisturbed nights and days -Ka Puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau a Pākuʻi #917
Mahalo no ka heluhelu ʻana. A hui hou a i kēia pule aʻe. Shoots den menpachis