Category Archives: Trees

Pu’uanahulu jacarandas

Pu’uanahulu is a small community midway between Kailua Kona and Waimea, on the upper road between those two communities. I don’t drive that highway much, except when I go to hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a. Last time I did this, driving through Pu’uanahulu, I noticed that the jacaranda trees were in bloom alongside the road. What I hadn’t realized is just how many jacaranda trees there are in this area.

These photos are taken from the northern slopes of Pu’u Wa’awa’a. The bottom photo shows the general area with the purple jacaranda flowers of Pu’uanahulu clearly visible. The top photo shows a closer view of part of the community and the abundance of flowering jacaranda trees.

Silk oak flowers

Silk oaks (Grevillea robusta) come from Australia’s east coast, but are well established here. Rather too well actually. They’re fast growers and can outcompete native species, in particular ohia trees. In some places, silk oaks will have their trunks ringed to kill the tree in order to give those native species a better chance of survival.

At this time of year, silk oaks are blooming and their orange flowers put on a brilliant display. They look like giant toothbrushes, or rather groups of flowers look like that, for the toothbrushes are made up of many individual flowers. The flowers themselves are popular with birds, bees and other insects, but both the flowers and wood can cause allergic reactions so have to be handled with caution.

Fiery skipper butterfly on a tree heliotrope

This fiery skipper butterfly was feeding on top of a cluster of tree heliotrope flowers, some open, some about to bloom. It was one of a host of insects buzzing around the tree.

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

Bees on mamane flowers

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Yellow.’ See more responses here.

This is a good excuse to post more photos of bees foraging on bright yellow māmane flowers. Māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) is endemic to Hawaii, but while its flowers attract many insects, the seeds are highly toxic. The endangered palila, one of the last endemic Hawaiian honeycreepers, is a bird that feeds mostly on the māmane’s immature seed pods without any ill effect.

Halo around the sun

I was about to set out on one of my regular walks at Upolu, when I looked up and saw this halo around the sun. It’s the first I’ve seen here (which doesn’t mean there haven’t been others).

In days of yore, halos were considered a sign of impending bad weather. In this case, there’s some evidence to back that up. The ice crystals that cause halos are found in clouds, high in the troposphere, and these clouds are often a sign of an approaching weather front. Sure enough, the next day was fairly wet though, ironically, not in the area where I saw the halo.