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Flowers at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fantastic Florals.’ See more offerings here.

This seemed like a good theme to post a few photos, of different colored flowers, from my last visit to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, back in February.

Top: It took me a while to identify this as Petrea volubilis, also known as purple wreath, queen’s wreath, and sandpaper vine, because the long blue parts are actually calices, not petals. The flowers are the smaller darker blue centers most easily seen on the blooms to the left side.

Above: A lavender version of the cattleya maxima orchid was first found in Ecuador in 1777. The yellow stripe down the center of the lip is characteristic of all forms of cattleya maxima, of which this alba variation is one. For more information about the history of cattleya maxima, visit

Left: Yellow plume flower (Justicia aurea) is a blaze of color in a sea of green.

Below Left: Yes, there are green flowers, including this Anthurium ‘Princess Alexia Jade.’

Bottom: New Guinea Trumpet Vines (Tecomanthe dendrophila) produce a fantastic array of white-tipped pink flowers.

For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to

Orangeband surgeonfish shoal

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Re-imagine Orange.’ See more responses here.

A shoal of orangeband surgeonfish is fun to see with their orange bands making them easy to identify and follow. For the purpose of this challenge, I took the photo below, desaturated the other colors, then boosted the orange to emphasize their defining feature. These changes virtually eliminated the other fish, particularly the yellow tang which went from bright focal points to almost invisible.

Sheep at sunset

Sheep graze in the pastures alongside the lower section of old Saddle Road.

Sign of the times

A discarded or dropped face mask is pinned to a fence by the wind, probably not an unusual sight these days.

Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park

Laupahoehoe is a small community on the Hamakua Coast, 24 miles northwest of Hilo. The name means ‘leaf of lava’ and refers to the low, wedge-shaped cape of pahoehoe lava which juts into the ocean there. That cape is now the site of Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, but in its early days, this low point of land was the thriving center of the community, with houses, shops, and a school.

On April 1, 1946, all that changed. In the early hours of the morning, there was an earthquake in the Aelutian Islands of Alaska. I’ve seen various reports of the size of that earthquake from 7.1 to 8.6. Some of these variances are due to differing scales in use. The higher numbers refer to the scale in use today, which is moment magnitude, and which more accurately reflects the energy of large earthquakes.

Regardless of the scale, the earthquake generated a huge tsunami, which roared across the Pacific at speeds up to 500 mph. The tsunami reached the east coast of the Big Island around 5 hours later and came ashore as a sequence of three giant waves. In Hilo, the receding water before the third wave, drained Hilo Bay. Then the largest, 55-foot-high wave, thundered ashore. It destroyed much of the town and killed more than a hundred people.

In Laupahoehoe, the same set of three waves occurred. The first two, somewhat smaller waves drenched people and threw fish out of the water. Students from the school were collecting these fish when the third wave struck. 21 students and three teachers were killed and the top photo shows the memorial plaque bearing their names. Only one of the bodies was recovered. Three students survived after being washed out to sea and drifting along the coast for more than a day. An account of their ordeal can be found here.

After the tsunami, the community was rebuilt up on the cliffs, which can be seen overlooking the park’s boat ramp and breakwater in the bottom photo. The park is now a peaceful spot with palm trees dotting the shoreline and an expanse of grass where kids can run. But if the tsunami siren sounds, this community has learned that there’s only one way to run, and that’s uphill.

A green turtle swims by

Lately, the gloom and doom enveloping the country has been matched by conditions in the water (not that I can access it anymore since all beach parks are closed). A series of swells and high winds has churned things up so that visibility is a hit and miss proposition.

So it was a joy to encounter this small turtle coming directly toward me one day, in a patch of relatively clear water. I took a couple of photos, and this one captured the moment it slid past before easing away into deeper waters.

I love what you’ve done with your hair

This wild pig was rooting around in a pasture alongside old Saddle Road. I was particularly taken by the ridge of coarse hair running along her back.

Heliconia colgantea

The rather showy display of a heliconia colgantea at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to