I still find it strange to see cacti in Hawaii. Stranger still is seeing them in flower like this prickly pear cactus on the Kohala coast.
Category Archives: Plants
A Japanese White-eye explores the flowers of an Agave Attenuata.
Dicing with danger
I saw this Xuthus Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio xuthus) flitting by a window at home. This is how I most often spot them and by the time I go outside, they’re nowhere to be seen. Still, I’m a sucker for butterflies, so I grabbed my camera and headed out.
Looking around, I couldn’t see any sign of it. I was about to give up the search when I saw movement by a tangerine tree. I should have anticipated this because the butterfly is also known as the Citrus Swallowtail (and Asian Swallowtail). I headed over and there was the butterfly, not only hanging around, but also settling briefly as it flew around the tree. I thought it must be feeding or possibly laying eggs, but it just seemed to be stopping at leaves, and later I saw that its markings meant this was most likely a male, so not laying eggs.
However, the butterfly was not alone. Winter is crab spider season and they love building communal webs in and between the tangerine trees. It’s a hazard for me when I’m collecting fruit, but for the butterfly it’s a potential death trap. While I watched, I did see this one get stuck once, but swallowtails are big butterflies and it was able to shake itself loose.
Ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) is a succulent that comes from Mexico. Like many succulents, it does well here in Hawaii, being tolerant of heat and requiring minimal water. This one, though, is actually hardy to below-freezing temperatures.
These are the pretty pink flowers of the Monkeypod tree (Albizia saman), a large shade tree that is widespread and very popular in Hawaii.
Reaching for the sun
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Seeking Light.’ See more responses here.
This seedling is coming up where some tomato seeds were planted, so it could be one of them or something else that’s volunteered there. We’ll find out in due course. Either way, the seedling is reaching up to the light to boost its growth.
Salt burned trees
At my local snorkeling spot, a lot of trees on the shoreline have suddenly sported fall colors. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the season. Rather, I think a series of large swells has battered the trees with more salt spray than they’re used to and this is the result. Hopefully, they will bounce back when things settle down again, although swells in Hawaii were large enough last weekend for The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational surf competition to be held for the first time since 2016.
A splash of color
I noticed this Day Lily while I was driving and was moved to return and take some photos. I liked how the flowers stood out in the tangle of roots of a very large Banyan tree.