The Cafe Haleiwa one of our breakfast spots in the area. It is frequented by hard core surfers who are always clean as if they just came out of a washing machine.
The Cafe Haleiwa one of our breakfast spots in the area. It is frequented by hard core surfers who are always clean as if they just came out of a washing machine.
At 4:30 a.m., it is still perfectly dark. We awake to what seems to be a major disturbance in the force. Back home you may hear a snow plow dragging in the distance but winter mornings are a quiet time. Here in the dark there is a growing volume that rivals any big city. Only these aren't city noises.

First there is the rooster. I'm talking about the one closest to our window. The one louder than anybody's alarm clock. Apparently he is calling to a vast collection of buddies across the valley and they all answer him — over and over and over. This is before there is any hint of sunrise.

Then there is some general strange, building hubbub that I can only imagine might be a sound that you would hear upon entering a large poultry facility. I'm no farmer but I can tell there are no chicken barns in sight. I have no idea what this noise is; it is unlike anything I have heard in the north, even in the summer.

Layered on top of this "X-Files" sound is the general sound of the jungle. There are birds out. Lots of birds who apparently like to communicate in the very early morning. As the sun comes up, the mystery sound recedes into the background and the birds, frogs and other creatures take to competing with the roosters for top billing. Just to put this into perspective, there is a secondary highway a couple hundred feet from the cottage and occasionally you may notice a vehicle speed by but most of the noise coming from the highway is masked by the racket emitted by the local fauna.

This all begs the question, if there are so many chicken sounds here, why is the price of eggs so high at the grocery store? What came first: the chicken or the high priced eggs? Some local eggs sell for $8.99/dozen. This is a matter worthy of further investigation but first the noise must be addressed. I lay in bed wondering how to do this, trying not to disturb my wife. Without warning she jumps up and slams shut all of the windows and doors in the bedroom. Apparently that fresh, warm, fragrant and perfectly moist Hawaiian air is not as valuable as some early morning peace and quiet.

I just read that Martha Stewart got stuck in the snow with her truck in her own driveway today.

After the sun is up, the noise dies down to a normal level that anyone can live with. Is this the normal course of things? What was that mystery sound?

We drive into town and eat breakfast at the Haleiwa Cafe. The cafe and the entire area remind me of towns along the Southern California coast like Laguna Beach but in the 1960's. The place has a charm that is a delicate balance of decay and vibrancy with a mixture of history and natural wonder thrown in for good measure. At the chamber of commerce we ask about the chickens. Turns out the chickens are wild. The nice lady at the chamber makes a sign that signals she would like to cut their necks.

We stop in at the local grocery store and are blown away by the Spam selection and display. Hawaiians eat a lot of Spam. We stock up on essentials. No, not on Spam but on essentials. Okay, some Spam. We don't want to look too much like tourists.

Sunset comes fast and back at the cottage we dine al fresco on home cooked pasta. Inside we get ready for bed. We each get an extra pillow to put over our heads to keep out the morning racket. I lock the door and find a large stick to keep under the blanket in case the chickens manage to get past the barricades while we're sleeping. We lay there enjoying the fresh, warm, fragrant and perfectly moist Hawaiian air — and wait for the chickens.

Next week: Family comes to visit.