Tag Archives: French Polynesia

My life as a dog on Anaa

My host had two dogs, and such harmonoius dogs! Being a total stranger I would suspect a greeting of loud barks and jumping to and fro. Not these dogs! Approaching them and simply giving attention and petting them was well received, with pure joy and friendliness in return. Most of the time they were just […]

Anaa shell desert

Some areas the shelldunes stretched far and wide, and it resembled a desert more than an atoll. The enormity of shells deposited is is a grand display of how rich the ocean is here. The strangest of all things here was the absence of human waste! There was nothing! Not even a tiny bit of […]

Anaa shell dunes

In the lagoon there are huge deposits of shells in formations similar to what you see in the snowy and windswept mountains in winter. The different ages of shells are like the snow, where the fresh snow is the whitest on top, and here the newest shells are the whitest all the way down to […]

Anaa ocean channel

This is one of many openings in the chain of dry land and during storm surges the ocean will flood through here and rearrange shores and islets and deposit shells, coral and other dead material in the lagoon. In 1983 Anaa was hit by a hurricane which destroyed the bridge over this channel. Only the […]

Heliotrope Tree (Tournefortia argentea)

Native to Anaa and grows widespread here. I found none in bloom the few hours I was on Anaa, but my host put the flowers to scent the bathroom, so they were still in bloom a few places.

Hermit crab (Paguridae)

This Anaa beach was teaming with hermit crabs of sizes from just a few milimeters to about 10 cm. A sign of good health on many levels, as the crabs need food as well as a supply of empty shells to fit their ever changing sizes. With insufficient food supply for the shells, the hermit […]

Pemphis (Pemphis acidula)

Endemic to Anaa and is the the dominant plant in some places. It grows right above the reaches of the high tide, and is battered by sea salt and wind. Some can grow to form beatiful bonzai trees. Those who grow on deeper soil can form 2-3 meter tall forests. They are pollinated mainly by […]

Great Crested Tern (Sterna bergii cristata)

At this particular beach the terns were very inquisitive and unafraid. They flew to and fro many times, and hovered low in the sky. They are common thorughout the Pacific and here on the Anaa atoll where this was shot.

Anaa coral reef

Anaa is incredibly diverse, and here the coral dominates the landscape. The outrcops are fossilized coral or limestone. When the outcrops eventually erode away, the remains will flatten to a beach seen here. This in turn is battered by endless waves grinding coral pebbels over the surface until it’s as smooth as seen here. I […]

Pacific Pigweed (Portulaca lutea)

Endemic to Anaa, and grows widespread and in particular on disturbed coral ground like roads or paths where it can grow to large specimens like this one. Once larger plants and bush take over it will not receive sufficient light and will eventually diminish.

Creeping Half-flower (Scaevola paulayi)

Endemic to French Polynesia and the Anaa atoll, where it grows commonly. I didn’t see many insects on the flowers, so it’s perhaps pollinated at night.

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia cyathophora)

Not endemic and comes from Latin America. Here on Anaa it is a small plant, no taller than 30-40 cm. I found it growing alongside the coral dirt road in the coconut groves close to the village.

Triumfetta Vine (Triumfetta procumbens)

Endemic to French Polynesia and grows commonly here on Anaa. It’s a creeping subwoody plant. The flower has a slight resemblance to the Hypericum.

Rosy Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)

Grows commonly in the coconut groves and alongside the coral dirt road around the village. Introduced species that is native to Madagascar.

Indian Mulberry (Morinda citrifolia)

When this fruit is ripe it turns white and smelly – some therefore call it cheese fruit! It’s rich in carbohydrates and fiber. Both ants and humans alike find it edible. Juice is also made from it.

Indian Mulberry (Morinda citrifolia)

Endemic to French Polynesia and the Anaa atoll, and grows commonly here. The flowers are a magnet to ants which flows to each and every flower during its blossoming hours. It grows to a few metres and is bushy and decorative, and thus some have this in their garden.

Honey bee (Apis sp)

Anaa has a healthy population of honey bees, and they were busy pollinating the flowers in the interior as well as on the windward and salt sprayed shores where there is an abundance of Pemphis. It’s a strong flier and the wind must be quite strong to dissuade it from visiting the Pemphis on the […]

Coat Buttons (Tridax procumbens)

Grows commonly in the coconutgroves, and is an introduced species to the Anaa atoll and French Polynesia. It’s native to latin America

Polynesian Beach-Spurge (Chamaesyce fosbergii)

This plant is endemic to French Polynesia and the Anaa atoll and it grows widespread. The population of bees is abundant and they are the main pollinator, but also various flies visit these flowers.

2010 total solar eclipse

The first photo is right before the totality begins (second contact) with the Baily’s beads. I viewed this eclipse from the Anaa atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago east of Tahiti. Time difference from Norway is 12 hours, so this is a faraway place in every way. The arrangements was made by UK based Astro Expeditions, […]

July Milkyway from the Anaa atoll

Going to this remote atoll in the south pacific I was in anticipation of a clear sky and no light pollution. The sky was not entirely clear, so I had to wait for the small clouds to pass between shots. The amazing thing is that with no visual aid I could see the shadowbands of […]

In for landing on the Anaa atoll

Anaa is 1 hour 20 minutes flight from Tahiti, and is one of the closest of the atolls in the Tuamotu archipelago and the location for the viewing of the 2010 total solar eclipse. The captain was kind enough to take a couple of sweeps over the atoll before landing, so we could take photos […]

Lookout point to Tahiti from Moorea

Overlooking the coral reef and lagoon in the foreground and the deep ocean between Moorea and Tahiti in the distance. Tahiti has mountains more then 2000 meters high, and this creates an almost permanent cloud cover and rain in the interior. Moorea highest mountains are “only” about 1200 meters, and this too generates clouds and […]

Giant fern (Angiopteris evecta)

In the interior and higher elevations of Moorea this huge fern is common in the forest. Looking towards the sunlight from under the fronds is a different perspective than most people see this and most other plants in the forest. The dark border on the leaves are the sporecapsules.

Large Purple Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata)

Some will know this orchid from the florist, and it grows commonly here in the forest at mid elevations and upwards. The leaves resemble coconut sprouts or the first two simple leaves coming out of the coconut and it’s thus easy to recognize when it’s not in bloom.

Moorea caldera

Moorea has dramatic and sharp peaks, and is as breathtking when viewed like here from inside the caldera as it is from the ocean. There are several hiking trails and some go all the way up to the peaks. I was unforytunately not able to take a hike to the peak with the hole (Mouaputa), […]

Oponohu Bay, Moorea

Facing west by the river mouth. One of few places I did not see any houses or man made structures. Almost all of the seaside around the island is developed – either with homes or hotels. Public access to the ocean is thus very limited. Being by a river mouth you can see the beach […]