Category Archives: Flowers

Ohia

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Geometric–explore various angles.’ I’ve focused more on the ‘various angles’ than the geometric.

Ohia trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) are endemic to Hawaii and the flower of these trees is the official flower of the Big Island. Depending on growing conditions, ohias can vary from ground hugging shrubs to 50 foot trees. They grow at sea level and at elevations up to 8,000 feet. They’re probably most noted for two things. One is their brilliant display of flowers. The other is that they’re usually the first plants to recolonize lava flows.

They grow in lava is because their roots reach down into lava tubes and tap into the moisture available there. But ohia can also put out aerial roots to gather moisture. They’re very flexible in this way.

The puffball flowers are actually clusters of flowers. Each flower is made up of a bunch of stamens (the male part of the flower) and a single pistil (the female part) which is thicker and longer than the stamens. When the flowers have been pollinated, the stamens fall away until only the pistil remains. This too will disappear as the calyx, where the seeds are found, develops. Eventually, the calyx will dry out and release the tiny mature seeds, to be dispersed by the winds, and hopefully grow into new ohia trees.

Also posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

Pu’uanahulu Baptist Church

Pu'uanahulu Baptist Church seen against a backdrop of a blooming jacaranda tree

Pu’uanahulu is a small community not far from Pu’u Wa’awa’a, where I like to hike. This small Baptist church sits at one end of the community and is backed by trees including the jacaranda that was in bloom when I took this photo.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

Powder puff tree

A Powder Puff Tree flower being visited by geckos
A Powder Puff Tree bud and spent flower

This tree was labeled Powder Puff Tree, Brownea Sp. at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. I suspect the Powder Puff name is given to a variety of plants with flowers like this one, so I’m not sure if this is really the correct name.

I do know a couple of things about this tree. The flowers were a brilliant orange and very popular with the gold dust day geckos. They grow directly out of the trunk of the tree, starting as a pinkish bud and eventually dying out to a withered, brown remnant.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

The great outdoors

A view of Hualalai from the water
Hualalai from the water.
A sailboat enters Kawaihae Harbor
A sailboat returns to harbor.

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Great Outdoors.’ See more responses here.

In Hawaii, people spend a great deal of time outdoors. It’s common for people to have an outdoor kitchen, sometimes their only kitchen, sometimes a second one where a barbecue is the featured cooking apparatus. Carports often feature chairs and tables with cars parked elsewhere. The lanai, or deck, is as well-used as any room in the house.

Outdoor activities are popular here, too. Many involve the ocean and its inviting water: swimming, snorkeling, paddling, and of course surfing. Plenty of people go fishing and hunting, longtime sources of food for the table.

For me, experiencing the great outdoors primarily involves hiking and snorkeling. Hiking isn’t especially popular here, especially along the coast where it can get quite hot. I get strange looks when I hike the length of popular beaches togged out in hiking gear, including shoes, hat, and fanny pack loaded with water. For most, the beach is a place for stretching out and broiling in the sun, not actively working up a sweat.

The vast majority of photos on this blog are taken in the great outdoors. These photos are a small selection of things I’ve seen while out and about, from sweeping views to birds and bugs.

A view of Kohala Coast from Koai'a Tree Sanctuary
A view of the south Kohala Coast from Koai’a Tree Sanctuary
View of Mauna Kea from Pu'u Wa'awa'a bench
A view of Mauna Kea from Pu’u Wa’awa’a.