Category Archives: Parks

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.

Tree bark

Tree bark

The ragged bark of a tree at Kalōpā State Recreation Area. I’m not sure what kind of tree this is, but the forest it stands in is on the wet side of the island at around 2,000 foot elevation.

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

Spencer Beach Park

The beach at Spencer Beach Park, Hawaii

Lately, I’ve been enjoying Spencer Beach Park, near Kawaihae. It’s a sheltered spot for getting in the water, it’s a great place to picnic, and the sandy beach is backed by shade trees. What’s not to like?

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

Barbecue under the trees

A barbecue at Spencer Beach Park, Hawaii
Six little pigs forage for mangoes

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Under the Trees.’ See more responses here. Here are a couple of photos for this theme. They’re both under the trees and they’re both barbecue-related when you think about it.

The top one shows people sharing a barbecue meal under the trees at Spencer Beach Park. If this post featured ‘Smellovision’ you’d know it was a barbecue without me writing anything at all.

The bottom photo shows the six little pigs that have been daily visitors to the yard this past couple of weeks. They come for fallen mangoes, scampering out from the cane grass and racing around below the mango tree searching for fallen treasures. There are often one or two on the ground and the lucky ones bolt back into cover with their prizes. Their antics are a continuing source of entertainment. Mind you, it’s not all fun and games. There used to be seven little pigs!

Also 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.