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Let's Try That Again

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Jun 15, 2011

This photo was a mistake.

If the image was clear, you’d know the fish was a classic reef fish, known as kihikihi in Hawaii and Moorish idol elsewhere in the world. They grow to about 8 inches in length, and use their pointy, orange and white snouts to find food in small crevices, as their signature trailing filament wafts in the water behind them. Some translations of their Hawaiian name are “curves,” “corners,” “angular,” and “zigzag,” which gives you an idea of their shapely shape and their movement in the water. You’ll commonly find these fish in pairs or small groups, anywhere from the surge zone to 100 feet of depth, and around the world, from the Red Sea, the coast of Africa and Indo-Pacific to Hawaii. As such, they are not endemic.

We’ve all heard that some inventions started out as mistakes. Take silly putty. It was considered a failure when it was first created, because it didn’t harden. In 1930, when Ruth Wakefield made chocolate cookies, she substituted semi-sweetened chocolate for baker’s chocolate, and instead of chocolate blended smoothly throughout her cookies, she wound up with cookies with chunks of chocolate in them, and we now have chocolate chip cookies. And, of course, penicillin was discovered by accident when 47-year-old scientist Alexander Fleming left a sample of staphylococci bacteria on an open window sill and one thing led to another having to do his bacteria eating mold that had blown in through the window and, today, penicillin has saved millions of lives. Velcro. Post-it notes. Safety glass. All mistakes.

Now, I don’t think this image is going to save lives. But I do like it. A lot. In my mind, it veers from straight, representative, underwater photography to something approaching art. I got lucky.

Mistakes. Sometimes, you get lucky. Sometimes they turn out to save lives. Sometimes mistakes create a cool new product the world can’t live without. Other times, mistakes are just mistakes.

Take my last blog post. I thought we were all ready to start accepting comments. I was wrong. Darn technology. So, can we try again? If you haven’t read the previous blog post, will you? And, then, will you take the time to introduce yourself? It’ll make me feel a little less lonely and a lot less stupid. And silly. And embarrassed.


Wendy McIlroy | Jun 16, 2011 05:03 AM

Yay! There's now a "submit" button!! So where were we....ah yes, Kim wanted her readers to introduce themselves. Since Kim already knows me, I will introduce myself to the rest of you. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh (and yes, I bleed Black and Gold!), of Scots and English heritage. I am a retired equine veterinarian now living in Oregon. I spent a few years living on beautiful Kaua'i, one highlight of which was getting to know Kim! I love hiking, scuba diving, photography, books, and, of course, travel. I'm looking forward to reading about her other readers.

Jill Mcntire | Jun 16, 2011 12:00 PM

Intoduce? OK, I don't live in Hawaii, and never have, although I manage to visit as much as I can. Kim is a result of meeting while counting albatross eggs up on Midway, and what a wonderful introduction that has proven to be! Now every trip participant we have on a Sierra Club National Outings trip is given Kim's blog as a wonderful way to "meet" daily Hawaiian living, people and habits. Way to go, Kim!

Sheila | Jun 16, 2011 07:55 PM

We are absolutely looking forward to seeing more posts and comments from fellow readers!

Susan | Jun 19, 2011 07:42 AM

Love the photo. I would put it way up in one of your Top 10 All-Time Best! Today Charlie gets his Hawaiian Shorebirds book to inspire his lighthouse docent days. It will accompany a hike out in The Gorge. Happy Trails to you.

Ryan Byrne | Jun 21, 2011 07:06 AM

I LOVE fish! Great post.

Joe Tell | Jul 07, 2011 10:09 AM

Really Interesting post. I like it

Kyle Starkson | Jul 08, 2011 04:20 AM

The ocean has so many amazing things. I love it.

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