Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park sits on the coast south of Kealakekua. It features a huge masonry wall that encloses the pu’uhonua or place of refuge. As the name indicates, this was a place that offered sanctuary to those who had broken sacred laws (kapu) or been defeated in battle. If they reached this place, they would be spared, absolved by a priest, and allowed to return home.
A large portion of the remainder of the park is known as the Royal Grounds where Hawaiian royalty (ali’i) lived. Hale o Keawe sits on the edge of the pu’uhonua and is a heiau that housed the bones of 23 of those ali’i. This gave the heiau tremendous mana, or spiritual energy. The wooden statues are ki’i representing Hawaiian gods. It’s an important structure, both culturally and historically.
For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.
Probably the most visited lava tube on the Big Island is Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. However, the most easily accessible might be one just a couple of miles north of the airport at Kailua Kona.
Just off the main highway, it’s not unusual to see a line of vehicles pulled over and people scrambling over the lava. There’s a well worn path leading down to the entrance of the tube and enough headroom to make access easy. However, it’s worth noting that there are piles of rock strewn around from ceiling collapses and the whole area looks crumbly. I certainly wouldn’t want to be down there during an earthquake. Enter at your own risk!
I had a chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) in my last garden. With their bright, furry flowers, they certainly catch the eye.
I saw this little ambon toby in the shallows one day. The lines radiating from the eyes are quite distinctive. Supposedly they can be skittish and hard to approach, but this one seemed unperturbed by my presence.
I paid another visit to the Painted Church at Honaunau recently, and this time remembered to take a photo of the exterior. It’s easy to forget, since the interior is so colorful.
For more information about the Painted Church at Honaunau, go to thepaintedchurch.org.
Seen from the top of Mauna Kea, what is this shape we’re looking at, stretched out over the clouds, with that crisp corner at the top? It is, of course, the shadow of the volcano itself.
I like this image a lot, I think because it’s something I never thought about until I saw it. Then, I was immediately struck by how it illustrates the size of Mauna Kea and what a classic volcano it is.
The Tong Wo Society is a nonprofit organization, founded for Chinese immigrant workers as a meeting place and social center. The society’s building, at Halawa in North Kohala, is the oldest standing Chinese building in the state. It’s only open to the public one day a year during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
A katydid waits on the corner of the lanai, its stick-like legs at odd angles, appearing broken in the middle. But if I get too close it will ping away, as those same legs rocket it to safety.