High in the trees…Observing an unusual task…Life among the palms…

 Video #1, coconut tree trimming.
Video #2, coconut tree trimming.
Each of the three workers climbed the trees at different speeds. At this point they were on the ocean side of the property.

Living in a tropical climate not only offers amazing weather, ocean views, unusual and exquisite vegetation and a smattering of wildlife, it has processes that are less familiar to those of us from more seasonal locations.

Nearing the top of a tree in the parking lot.

If its bananas or coconuts are growing in the yard, enormous sea turtles are swimming at the shore at high tides or whales are breaching out to sea, it’s the scenery that we travelers find interesting and somewhat unusual.

A few days ago, three muscular looking men appeared on the property after we’d received a notice attached to the door asking we move our car far from our assigned parking spot, away from the coconut trees to allow for coconut tree trimming.

Another view in the parking lot.

Apparently, some neighbors had complained that the coconut palms had grown full and were blocking the views of the ocean. With whale watching season fast approaching (some have been sighted) it wasn’t hard to understand the frustration of those neighbors on the upper floors who’s view may have been impeded to a degree.

As much as citizens and tourists from Hawaii appreciate the vegetation, their passion for dolphin and whale watching far exceeds their interest in large palm fronds.

They had a special apparatus on their feet that were instrumental in climbing the trees.

Since our condo is on the first floor, we’ve had no such issue. Also, of late, we’ve spent considerable time outdoors with camera and binoculars in hand ready for any sightings. The three guys immediately got to work shimmying up the 100-foot coconut trees in the parking area, later moving to the ocean side of the property.

If unsuccessful in our quest to see whales in Maui, we’ll certainly take it up again on the Big Island when we arrive in a mere 10 days. There are perfect spots on the lanai of each of the two houses to peer out at the sea for hours.

Let me add something here. We are not condo dwellers by nature. We love quiet and privacy. In Hawaii, housing costs are so high, we had no alternative but to spend 11 nights in Honolulu, 45 nights in Maui, and 120 nights in Kauai, living in condos, as opposed to single-family homes. 

At the top of a very tall tree, this worker’s equipment is more easily visible. They each carried a collapsible bucket for collecting the smaller pieces, letting the big branches fall to the ground.

Upcoming on the Big Island, we’ve rented two single-family houses to accommodate the space requirements for our family at a considerably higher cost than any of these other condos. To rent single-family homes in Hawaii is upwards of $400 a night and much more. (We’ll share our actual costs for the Big Island in later posts).

Anyway, back to the three guys shimmying up the 100-foot coconut tree. Running outside with the camera as they worked in the parking lot, I was amazed at the equipment and ease with which they maneuvered their way up the trees as well as the ease they exhibited when using their machetes to hack the heavy palm fronds to the ground.

The larger palms fell to the ground as they whacked at them with machetes. In the lower portion of this photo, you can see the tops of the windmills atop a hill at a distance. I was standing perpendicular to the ocean when taking this photo.

Their caution and skill were evidenced in their quick and fluid movements and the confidence in which they made their way from tree to tree throughout the property.

In less than four hours, their task was completed, the pristine carpet-like grass was cleared of all debris and off they went to their next job, safe and unharmed, confident, and proud of their good work.

Another closeup view or a trimmer atop a coconut tree.

Of course, we couldn’t resist taking photos and a few videos which we’ve included here today. I apologize for the jittery nature on the longer video when a cluster of biting flies attacked me and the camera. I had to swat them away making the camera move.

I’ve finally finished all of the revisions leaving a few that I was unable to edit due to the excess number of photos which always has an effect on editing. In addition, posting during poor WiFi connections in various countries affected the quality of many of the posts. 

Apparently, removing the bulk of the branches didn’t prevent the tree from continuing to grow coconuts and more fronds.

Someday, if I feel ambitious, I may go back and entirely rewrite those posts. But, for those new readers, we wanted to leave them in place until such a time may arise. 

My latest project is cleaning up my thousands of emails still sitting in my inbox. I always attend to new email messages as they arrive, deleting those I no longer need. 

It was fun to watch them palms falling to the ground, although we stood far enough away.

There are literally hundreds of email messages relative to future travel that need to be placed into appropriate folders, many of which I’ve yet to create. This is a task I don’t enjoy, as compared to redoing the old posts which made me smile during the five hours I spent each day for many weeks. 

Once this final task is completed, hopefully by the time we leave Maui, I’ll feel organized enough to begin planning the grocery lists and meals for our upcoming family get together, in itself a daunting task.

These bananas are growing in the yard at waist level.

See, I’m not as organized as one may think. My underwear drawer is messy. My clothing suitcase is not packed in a tidy manner. My single handbag, used only on travel days, is a convoluted mess of this and that. Then again, I set a lovely table, keep the refrigerator clean and pick up after myself regularly. 

Let’s face it, we all have our “weirdnesses” (sic) and I’m certainly no exception. Ask Tom.

                                          Photo from one year ago today, November 21, 2013:

Gucci and Jessie (with the tongue sticking out) were Hans and Jeri’s dogs in Kenya. They visited us almost every day. For a period of time, we happily looked after them when Hans and Jeri went away for several days. We had one laugh after another and became quite attached. As the time neared, again to depart on December 1st, we said our goodbyes to these sweet two dogs. For details, please click here.

Comments and responses High in the trees…Observing an unusual task…Life among the palms…

  1. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    Congratulations on finishing the major editing. I know if feels good to have that behind you.

    That was really cool to see the coconut tree trimmers. That's a really great harness – works well for those trunks. Really interesting stuff to see.

    Have a great weekend- PS, we're making your parmesan chicken recipe again this evening.

  2. Jessica Reply

    Staci, thanks for the congrats! It feels wonderful to have that behind me. As we know, there's no free lunch and although I don't have to get up in the morning to go to work, life is still filled with responsibilities.

    I wondered if our readers would find the tree trimming story worth reading. Thanks for the positive feedback. Sometimes, the most simple things are the most interesting.

    Enjoy that chicken! I just may have to make that chicken one more time before we leave here in order to use up an opened bottle of coconut oil that surely won't be good in a suitcase. Sometimes I make a dipping sauce for it combining Poupon mustard and mayonnaise and a little bit of sweetener, especially when I've cut the chicken in chicken tender sized pieces. Sure is better than McD's chicken tenders in more ways than one!

    Tonight, we're having pork chops, tuna salad (mayo, hard boiled eggs, tuna, celery, onions) and a big salad. If you like avocado, let me know. I just created a fabulous new low carb avocado dressing that is absolutely amazing and takes three minutes to make (no blender requied). I made grass fed burgers last night with sauteed onions, mushroom, swiss cheese and a huge dollop of the dressing piled on top. It was amazing!

    Have a great weekend and Thanksgiving, too. We are just doing roasted chickens, roasted veggies and salad, a perfect meal.


  3. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    We love avocado, so I'm sure we'd enjoy your dressing. The dinner sounded wonderful!

    Since for the first time in 15 years I'm not spending 14 hours a day decorating for Christmas (cruising this year!) we will really enjoy Thanksgiving – going to spend one day with my sister and her twenty-month-old twins, and we'll take Glenn's Mom out on Thanksgiving. It will be a great relaxing time for sure.

  4. Jessica Reply

    Staci, here the simple avocado dressing recipe:
    1 ripe avocado, mashed completely with a fork on a flat plate
    1/2 cup zero carb mayonnaise
    1 cup full fat sour cream
    1 1/2 tsp powdered Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (available at any grocery store)
    garlic salt
    Mix everything by hand and place in a glass jar with lid in fridge. This will keep for a few weeks. It wll be thick so if you want to thin it, you can do so with little with sugar free almond or coconut milk.

    Its easy and delicious. I put it on my burgers or as a meat or veggie dipping sauce.

    Please clarify. Did I miss something? Are you going on a cruise for Christmas? Sorry if I missed this. Do tell!

    I sure get it about the decorating. I used to decorate for the three days after Thanksgiving every year. I don't miss it or the wrapping and baking one bit. It was so much work. It's hard to believe I don't do this anymore.

    Glad to hear you're going out on Thanksgiving. Have a wonderfully relaxing time.

    Warmest wishes,
    Jess & Tom

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