This was going to be my last response to Becky’s April Squares challenge, but I punted it back a week. These are the beautiful, bright flowers of hibiscus tiliaceus, which is known as hau in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, who used the wood in their canoes and the bark for cordage and medicinal purposes.
The flowers only last for a day, starting out yellow and becoming orange and then red as the day wears on. As the lower photo shows, different colored blooms can often be seen on the same plant depending on where they are in this progression. These were at Kohanaiki Beach Park.
Kohanaiki, located just north of Kailua Kona, is my new favorite park here on the island. It’s the home of a popular surf break known as Pine Trees. There’s a long, sandy beach backed by trees offering shade (not pine trees though). It’s an historic area, too, and at the south end of the park is a variety of old Hawaiian structures as well as a garden featuring native plants.
Maiapilo (Capparis sandwichiana) is an endemic plant that requires little water once established and is also salt tolerant. This means it grows well on the dry side of the island along the coast. This of course is also an area popular with humans, both for living and recreation. Consequently, maiapilo is considered an at risk plant.
Its standout feature is the beautiful white flowers, but if you want to see them, bring a flashlight or be prepared to get up early. Maiapilo blooms at night and begins to wilt early in the morning, fading to pink as it does so.
These photos were taken around nine in the morning and the bees were busy exploring and pollinating the flowers. At night though, native moths are the main pollinators, attracted by the white flowers and pleasant lemon scent. A cucumber-like fruit follows the flowers but, unlike them, it is said to have a very pungent smell.
The plant can be low-growing and sprawling, or a more upright shrub reaching 10 feet.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Spring Green.’ See more responses here.
I’m not exactly sure what qualifies as spring green. I found a variety of values online, none of which matched anything in my archives. I went out and took photos, thinking I’d found a match. No dice.
In the end, I noticed these surfboard fins while walking at Kohanaiki Park and thought they made a cheerful scene, in the ballpark of the color I was looking for. Just beyond them was a surfboard under a tree that more or less matched the fins. And while there’s no spring green in the bottom photo, I thought it proper to show surfboards in action. These are only little waves, but there were plenty of surfers waiting to catch a ride.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Best Black & White Photos.’ See more responses here. Having posted only one black and white photo until recently, this is the second such post in a couple of weeks.
In the top photo, clouds swirl around Pu’u Ahumoa on the southwest slope of Mauna Kea. The second photo shows surf crashing against the same wharf seen in the previous post. Last, but by no means least, is a photo of a tide pool on the North Kohala coast.
The pool at the south end of Kiholo State Park Reserve is a hotspot for birds and insects. When I go there, I’m lured in to taking photos of dragonflies. I ran one at the bottom of this post. This is another from that visit, showing a pair of black saddlebags dragonflies mating. I failed to get the actual dragonflies in any of my photos, but did get this reflection of them in the pool.
Chain of Craters Road is the route down to the coast in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. As the name implies, it passes a variety of volcanic craters, which were the scenes of eruptions in years gone by. But as it gets close to Hilina Pali, a series of great views open up. This one looks to the west and southwest, the backcountry part of the park.
For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.