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SkyWatch: Over the Rainbow

SKY WATCH comes to us via Wigger’s World, in the United Kingdom.
Thanks, Tom!

Hawaii is the Rainbow State

This is the first rainbow I have captured on film. We see rainbows here on an almost daily basis, but usually when we are on the freeway and it just isn’t a convenient place for taking pictures. OC just won’t stop when I ask him to. He is surprisingly obstinate about such things.

I learned about Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, or Brudda Iz, before I moved to Hawaii, but I did not learn of his death until (just before I moved here) much after the fact. Even so, I still grieve for him as do most of the islanders. When Iz died the world lost a beautiful, peaceful soul.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I’m a fan of the late, great, great Brudda Iz, although he and a rainbow photo (masterful, I’ll admit) in one post is asking a lot of your more unsentimental fans.

  2. Doug — the fact that you are a fan of Iz contradicts the hardness of your heart. Your crusty exterior hides melty, gooey insides.

  3. Of all the visits I have ever made for Sky Watch this one as moved me the most…. Both me and Jane have heard this version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow… and we both like it the best…. we did not know anything about the singer only his voice moved us. I was quite emotional watching the video…. I know I will be watching it many more times… Thank you for including this tribute to a great man..


  4. I once surprised a Hawaiian friend of mine by talking about Iz. She told me that a lot of people knew his “Over the Rainbow”, but he’s revered in Hawaii.

  5. Beautiful shot, Quilly. Not just because of the rainbow but because of the silhouettes you’ve included in the frame.

    I just laughed at your very witty (and very accurate) comment on my colleagues who put up with all my photography/ antics!

  6. I just got back from Relay… and got mom to bed. Your rainbow is gorgeous, of course! Now I’m going to go listen to Brudda Iz who I assure you I had never heard of. But I bet I’m gonna like him…

  7. Okay I’m back! HOW have I not heard of this man before? His voice is gorgeous! NOT what I expected — I expected something quite DEEP! I guess his soul was deep enough for his voice too! I’m going to have to go google him – and then YouTube some more of him! Thanks Quilly!

  8. You captured a lovely image here.

    On my 40th birthday, we had a big luau celebration complete with island foods and music. Our music selection included songs by Iz. I had not heard of his passing. I’m listening to your you tube sample here as I type this. Thank you for including it. We are fortunate that his music remains with us.

  9. I just looked him up on the net. I guess I did not know much about him at all. He passed back in 1997. The whole time I had listened to Iz’s music he was gone.

  10. Beautiful rainbow!

    I used this version back on my blog a few weeks ago. I was tickled to see Jason on American Idol sing the version. I’ve watched Somewhere Over the Rainbow since I was a kid and loved Judy Garland – still do. There is just something about Iz’s version that touches the heart.

    When I visited Hawaii I never tired of those daily rainbows – you are so lucky. I’ve taken photos of three in the last five months and feel very blessed they’ve crossed my view.

  11. Such a beautiful rainbow!! and love that video, thanks for the link, he had a beautiful voice !! I had never heard of him until today.

  12. What a beautiful rainbow ! I don’t see them very much here ! I don’t even remember the last time !
    The video is very nice, and he as a wonderful voice, but heavens ! is this poor guy fat !

  13. Jane Marie — thank you.

    Brian — would you change your mind if I told you our freeways don’t have pullouts? If we stop, we stop right in the lane of traffic.

    Juliana — thank you.

    Tom — that’s exactly what I hoped people would get from the video.

    Sandy — thank you.

    Pat — thank you.

    Sandpiper — thank you.

    Brig — It is not unusual to hear his music wafting through estaablishements here. And EVERYBODY knows his name. Speak it with reverence.

    John — thank you.

    David — the silhouettes are to the palace gate. I know that isn’t a great photo. My point-and-shoot doesn’t do well at dusk. I was hoping the silhouettes would come out darker and add a bit of drama.

    EastCL — what? It doesn’t rain on the east coast?

    Melli — I think his soul was so mellow his voice had to be ,too.

    Robert — it hurts to discover such a talent and then realize it is gone forever doesn’t it? I have two of his CDs. I love them.

    Colin — thank you. Are you my neighbor?

    Carletta — unlike you, I never thought too much of the song one way or the other until I heard Iz sing it, then I fell in love.

    Mar — I am glad I got to share Iz with you.

    Gattina — even after his passing, Iz is one of Hawaii’s heroes. The value of Iz as a person is more important than his size.

    Karen — people keep saying that! I almost never saw a rainbow in Vegas, but it almost never rained. At home, however, I saw rainbows often. I suppose it is because I love rain and insist on being in it, which provides me with more opportunities.

  14. Your photo is wonderful. I love rainbows. Reminds me of God’s promise. :0)

    The video is beautiful. What a gorgeous voice. How sad that he is gone so young. Excellent video. Thanks for sharing it. You truly do live in a little bit of Paradise.

  15. Hi, so sorry I’m late reading this but I just wanted to say WOW! You sure know how to take photographs. These are magnificent. The church reminds me a little of “Little house on the Prairie”, one of my favourite childhood programs.

    I was looking through some of my previous blog comments and yours came up on a post I did concerning spending time with my daughter who is autistic. I wondered how you were going on with your teachings?

    Best wishes, Crystal xx

  16. Cindy — I am sorry to hear that. You have missed someone wonderful.

    Cath — the beauty here could lead one to believe it is paradise, but all else is the same the world around — like great people (famous and not) dying young.

    Dr. John — he was gentle, loving, kind and beloved by all on the islands.

    Crystal J — school is out for the summer. I was in that class as an emergency hire. I do not have a special ed license, so I will not be returning. AND, I loved my students, everyone of them, but I will not miss the pain of working with them on a daily basis. As you well know as the mother of an autistic child, it is a very difficult job.

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