New Flowers!

These are my newest favorites, especially “Sunflowers.” It’s gorgeous as a cellphone case, too.

Just click on the links below the images to go to the website. Play around with the options for framed prints, art prints, cellphone cases, canvases, etc. It’s fun!





"Kauai Beauties"
“Kauai Beauties”



Empty Nest Update

Oh, my. Was I really that fearful? That clingy? I can laugh about it now.

I looked back at a column I wrote a couple of years ago and had a little chuckle. It was all about my fears as we took our son to his university for freshman year. Here’s what I wrote about settling him into his dorm in West Virginia:

“The first day I texted him about five times until he ordered me to stop. His cease-and-desist text sounded grumpy, so I did.

But it was hard.

The next day was better. I waited until afternoon to call. He’d had a stressful and confusing day trying to figure things out, so he sounded glad to hear from me. But after a few minutes he announced he had to go to dinner.

I took the hint.

The third day we swung by to drop off a couple of items I was sure he’d need. He was happy to get the stuff, but after just a few minutes of chatting (while I scoped out the messiness of his dorm room) he looked squarely at us and said cheerfully (and rather forcefully), ‘Bye.’

Well, OK.”

Helicopter parent? No, not quite, but I was almost ready to start swinging my arms around and hovering …if he’d allowed it.

Oh, what a difference two years make. He’s grown up a lot — and so have his parents. I don’t know who had the harder time of it, but we’re all in a better place now.

Two years ago the thought of my son flying solo kept me awake in a cold sweat and, yes, he was nervous, too. Now? No sweat. I still feel a bit of a twinge, still insist he text me from each airport. But no traveling trauma for any of us anymore.

I used to be fixated on details: Is he cleaning his room? Doing his laundry? Doing his homework? Is he too hot? Too cold? Does he have the right shoes? Is he eating too much? Too little? Gaining weight? Losing weight? Is he happy? Does he have friends? Is he lonely? What if he gets sick?


In looking at my list — which doesn’t even come close to all the things I worried about — I realize something.

Our boy needed to get away — far, far away from us.

Because who can grow up with Mom (and Dad, too, to a lesser extent) fixated on every single aspect of your life? Talk about being over-protective. I cringe when I look back. Was I really that overwhelmingly, smotheringly bad?

I hang my head in embarrassment. Yes. Yes, I was.

The truth is, he does quite well on his own, with a little help at appropriate times. We prepared him as best we could for 18 years, and it’s become apparent to his dad and me that he learned more than we gave him credit for.

Now we talk to each other once a week and text occasionally. He texted me today, in fact, excited about a grade he earned on one of his midterms. He was happy. I was happy.

Lesson learned. I think we’ve all grown up a little.
Twitter: @JadeMoon1

Inflicting Pain in the Name of Love

My Moonlighting column in MidWeek, posted on Sept. 24, 2014.


I looked at the pictures of the bruises, welts and cuts on a little boy’s legs and felt sick. This was done in the name of love, the father said in all sincerity. It was how he was disciplined as a child, he said, and was why he was so successful. Tough love molded him into the man he is today.

That man, Adrian Peterson, is a celebrated athlete. He is also a 6-foot-1, 217-pound man who takes a switch to his 4-year-old son and leaves cuts and bruises on the tiny boy’s legs, buttocks and scrotum. The pictures I saw were taken four days after the beating and the injuries still looked bad — red and painful.

Is this love? If it is, we need to change the way that love is expressed.

I’ve seen and heard too many people say things like, “But that’s how I was disciplined as a kid, and I turned out all right.”

“My parents spanked me, so what?”

“What he does to his own kids is his business, as long as his intentions are good.”

First of all, this wasn’t a spanking. I don’t endorse spanking, as I think there are better, more effective ways of disciplining and teaching young minds. And although I disagree with it, a spanking is not child abuse.

But what Peterson did, I do believe, was child abuse. You wouldn’t call kicking a child or slapping or punching a child in the face a spanking. Why would you call pulling down a child’s pants and beating his exposed skin with a wood stick a spanking?

A spanking is open hand on clothed buttocks, period. It may leave the area a bit red, but it does not leave welts and cuts. People and news organizations should stop calling it a spanking.

What happened here was a beating. I have no doubt Peterson believes the “whoopings” he received as a child molded him, but perhaps not in the way he thinks. They are not the reason for his success. After all, there are many, many excellent athletes who achieved success — even in the rough and tumble game of football — without the “benefit” of childhood corporal punishment.

What the “whoopings” did to Peterson, apparently, was convince him that it is OK and even desirable to be the kind of father who beats his own kids in the name of love.

And for those who argue that their parents did it, I say, so what?

My parents smoked like chimneys. Most of us nowadays wouldn’t dream of smoking while pregnant or around babies or kids. And people nowadays don’t drink when they’re pregnant, even though their moms did. We’ve learned that these are behaviors that are harmful to children.

Our grandparents may have thought racism was OK, and homo-phobia, too. Domestic violence was swept under the rug.

But the world has changed, is changing, and so are these attitudes. At the very least, they no longer are tolerated openly in much, if not most, of society.

The world turns. People and societies evolve. Some evolve more slowly than others (NFL, I’m looking at you), but it is inevitable.

Although I think Peterson should be prosecuted for child abuse, I don’t hate him or condemn him. If he’s as good a person as his friends think he is, and as he believes himself to be, then there is hope he can understand where and why he went wrong.

He’s young. He can learn. He can change. He can evolve.

And maybe, someday, he can use what he’s learned to break the cycle of violence in his own family, change the attitudes of others, and help further the evolution of those who remain mired in old, tired and harmful beliefs.
Twitter: @JadeMoon1


Is there a flower more — hmm– erotic than this?

Probably. But right now I’m staring at a vase full of deep pink, red and white anthuriums, trying to capture an image that isn’t phallic or otherwise suggestive. Like this. (Or is it just me?)



I think I’ve succeeded. This one looks rather sweet.

Pink on Brocade
Pink on Brocade


Mmmmm…  alien?

anthurium macro wm (2)



Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang

Just pretty.

anthuriums on lanai v wm


Visit my website:

If you want an image you see here that isn’t on the site, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.


Black Out Lily

“If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a lily.”

The Chinese proverb had it right. Even if you have only two pennies in your pocket, use one to buy a lily. A loaf of bread will nourish your body. A lily’s beauty will feed your soul.

Red Lily
Red Lily

Lilies are said to bring good luck and in Chinese language symbolizes “to be forever in love.”

lily macro wm


Lily macro
Lily macro

Lilies were used to treat depression and toxicity. But watch out, they’re toxic to cats!


high key lily wm (1)


This beauty is called the Black Out Lily. I shot it in front of various backgrounds and with different lighting set ups, including the high key image above. Overexposing it makes it look delicate and ephemeral.

But it’s known for its deep red color and blackened centers. I adore it.


Black Out Lily
Black Out Lily

Hibiscus Dream

Hibiscus Dream

I found inspiration in our yard, where a tiny, foot-tall hibiscus plant finally bloomed.

First bloom
First blooms

I bought this and one other plant from Jill Coryell, aka The Hibiscus Lady, whom I’ve profiled in this blog, here:

These mini hybrids are exquisite– straw yellow backs, purple and pink in front. Like little floral gems calling out to be plucked and displayed.

So the next day, when another flower unfurled, I did.

Hibiscus and Candle
Hibiscus and Candle

To give you an idea of scale, I placed it in a tiny Japanese teacup.

Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus Tea

Jill named this flower Joe Friedman, after a man who played one of the little people in the Wizard of Oz. Such a prosaic name for this delicate beauty, although I appreciate the story behind it.

I hope “Joe” lives for a long time and is prolific, unlike my poor gardenia plant, which met a tragic end– the victim of an unknown disease.

Farewell, sweet Gardenia
Farewell, sweet Gardenia



Genie, you’re not free (and we miss you)

Before we get to the article, which was posted in MidWeek on August 20, I’d like to share an email I received just this morning in response to the column. I (of course) have not included the person’s name. 

“Aloha – 

I appreciate your August 20, 2014 article in the Midweek regarding the untimely death of celebrity Robin Williams, and the chain reaction it may cause for his loved ones and others suffering from a similar diagnosis; I am one of these people. Your article targeted all the emotions and symptoms I struggle with daily and simultaneously presents tangible methods to deal with it.

“I’ve filed the article and will refer to it often, especially during moments of uncertainty; and reflect on how my actions will affect my loved ones once I am gone. I appreciate your insight and caring voice, the voice of reason, which will carry me through another day.”

My column below. Please share it with a friend or loved one who is troubled.

There was a picture circulating right after Robin Williams’ death that disturbed me. Williams, in his Genie character, and Aladdin hugging. The caption: “Genie, you’re free.”


Robin Williams is not “free.” He is gone. And it’s permanent.

What’s more, he has left behind loved ones who do not see him as being “free,” just gone. Forever.

I know it is human nature to try to make sense of things we don’t understand. I know people try to romanticize, sentimentalize, soften a tragedy that is so, so hard to bear. But think about the message you’re sending to others who are so depressed they’re thinking of ending it, too.

They’re looking at that and thinking, “Ah, he’s free. And everyone loves him even more. I can be free, too.”

Because that is what they long for and maybe, just maybe, this could give them the “permission” to carry out the act.

Dr. Martin Johnson, founder of Hawaii Center for Psychology, says this is a dangerous time for people who are depressed.

“Whenever there is a widely reported suicide as has been the case with Mr. Williams, there is frequently an increase in the suicide rate. This is thought to be a product of many people who are depressed and having suicidal thoughts being influenced by the act of a famous celebrity.”

Martin says it’s critical to use this time wisely. Encourage people to reach out for help by talking to a mental health professional, or calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Now is the time to think very carefully about what you’re saying and the messages you’re giving. Realize that your words could be very hurtful to others who have the same disease, and to the loved ones fighting to keep them alive.

Let’s turn our attention to the people who hurt the most after a person commits suicide: the survivors.

They’re already asking themselves some terrible questions . They’re dealing with incredible pain.

Recognize, Johnson says, that grieving for a loved one is difficult under any circumstance. In the case of suicide, it can be even worse because of intense survivor guilt. “People often get caught up in the question of why. It’s difficult to accept that often there is no answer to this question.”

That guilt and uncertainty may be the hardest things to accept. Because you’re already asking and asking: What didn’t I see? What could I have done? Why wasn’t I there? Why did I miss the signs? Why couldn’t I stop it from happening?

Martin says it’s better to focus on questions of how. As in, “How do I take care of myself? How do I honor the memory of my loved one? How do I make meaning out of an otherwise senseless act?”

Martin says that after being exposed to “the ultimate form of self-destruction,” it is important to be kind to yourself and to others.

And this, he says, includes allowing for the possibility of feeling angry. Anger is quite common in cases of suicide. “After all, suicide is a form of abandonment.”

Survivors are surprised by these angry feelings, which makes them feel even guiltier.

But Martin stresses that all of your feelings are legitimate and worthy of expression and sharing. Talk with someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, a loved one or a professional.

Now, here’s where we as a society could do better.

We tend to talk and talk about depression and mental health whenever something shocks us — a high-profile suicide, a mass killing. But after the initial shock and grief wear off, we drop the ball. We forget all our good intentions until the next tragic incident.

Martin says we need to do better.

“I recently have started talking about a simple but some might say radical idea that everyone get a mental-health checkup. We should treat psychology like dentistry — we spend time in the chair, some spend more than others, but there is no shame in that. It’s just something we do for our health!”

If you’re depressed and thinking of taking your own life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you’re hurting because of the suicide of a loved one, please reach out and talk to someone.

The number for the Hawaii Center for Psychology is 538-7793.

The important thing is to get the help you need.


dahlias and roses HDR wm

These are images clients are buying right now

dahlias and roses HDR wm
Summer Dahlias


Pink Pansy Plumerias
Pink Pansy Plumerias


Purple Tongue
Purple Tongue


Morning Dew
Morning Dew



Kate Welch

The ‘Aina cries for help. A young girl answers.

My column in MidWeek gives voices to many people. I am impressed with Kate Welch, a Ho’ala middle schooler who is wise beyond her years. This column ran in the July 9th issue of MidWeek, but I think it deserves a wider audience.


What kind of Hawaii are we bequeathing to our children?

Kate Welch thinks about it. She thinks about it a lot. The Ho’ala School seventh-grader wrote an essay, Ka’ena: A Journey Through Time, that earned her a spot as one of the winners in the 2014 My Hawaii Story Contest.

I read it and was impressed, saddened, encouraged. Impressed by the writing skills of this 13-year-old girl. Saddened by the reality of what she is seeing all around her in her Island home. Encouraged by the beauty of her vision — and by her response to the cry of the earth.

I don’t usually do this, but I’m including most of her essay as is. Kate wants the story to be shared by as many people as she can reach, and I’m happy to help. This is a young woman who deserves to be heard.

I’m walking on the beach as water and sand swirl around my ankles and between my toes. Waves crash upon the rocks, and salt spray fills the air around me. Looking toward Ka’ena Point, I feel relaxed and at peace.

As I continue my trek along the coast, my happiness is shattered when I look up toward the nearby land and notice broken glass, food wrappers and cigarette butts spread across the dirt roads made by trucks, ATVs and dirt bikes. Along the coast, fishing line and plastic bags are entwined throughout the cracks and crevices of the uplifted coral reef.

I almost trip over a clump of feathers, mixed with pieces of plastic and bones. I look closer and discover it’s a Laysan albatross carcass. 

I’m filled with sorrow and rage. This glorious and beautiful bird died because of our negligence. It ate our plastic trash bobbing on top of the ocean, thinking it was food to be shared with its baby.

Over the ear-splitting sounds from dirt bikes and trucks racing passed me, I hear the voice of the earth goddess, Papa, on the wind whipping around the coast. She cries and calls out, “What have you people done to your home? Your ‘ ina? Hawai’i?”

The voice fades away when I start walking towards the point. There is less and less trash. I hike until I reach the protective fence.

As I open, then walk through the gates, it feels like I’m going back to the time of our kupuna. Here, there is no trash! Here there are no dirt bikes, ATVs or trucks. I see the m l , flying freely over the cliffs and the ocean. The koa’e kea squawk and call out to each other while they search for caves to build their nests.


As I look along the beach, I see four ‘ lioholoikauaua (including one pup) sprawled out across the beach. Watching the monk seals makes me tired, and I drift off to sleep in the shade of the naupaka.

I dream of many wa’a off-shore. They are paddling back to land with mahimahi and ulua to share with their people. There is no plastic floating in the ocean. On land, there are no roads, only footpaths. The air is filled with the sounds of ancient oli, thanking the gods for providing food for the day.

It’s here in her essay that Kate wakes from her dream.

But — was it a dream? Kate, who wants to be a writer, marine biologist or environmental scientist, figures it was a message from a land crying for her help.

The clap of thunder in the distance snaps me out of my slumber. The ‘Īlioholoikauaua hear the storm as well and return to their underwater home. I move on and pass by several ‘ua‘u kani burrows. Nobody is home.

I remember hearing from my kumu that these birds only return to their burrows in March and lay a single white egg in June. This is the season for mōlī to nest at Ka‘ena. I walk until I find a very cheerful and fluffy mōlī chick waiting for its food.see that it’s turning late and the sun is starting to set over the horizon. The kohol are breaching in the distance. I thank the gods for showing me the Ka’ena of the past, and why we need to take care of our ‘ ina. This protected coastal ecosystem shows us what it could look like if we all cared for the rest of this spectacular coastline.

As I trek back to the trailhead, I notice the pa’u o hi’iaka and ‘ilima reclaiming the land. I pick up as much trash as I can possibly carry out of there. The bags are heavy and the trash smells horrible, but I’m helping to heal the ‘ ina.

I hear a whispered “Maika’i” from the gods. I will be back soon, and I will bring friends. Together we will care for this land we call home.

Mahalo, young Kate Welch, for giving voice to our ‘aina, and to our children.

Kate Welch