Category Archives: Places

Halema’uma’u trail and crater

A view of Halemaumau Crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Recently, for this month’s Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here), I’ve been posting some local walks. Today, I thought I’d revisit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and one of my current favorite trails there.

The top photo is taken from the Byron Ledge trail which crosses the edge of the Kilauea Caldera to join the Halema’uma’u trail. From this junction, the original Halema’uma’u trail traverses the caldera to the edge of Halema’uma’u Crater. That trail has been closed since 2008 because the volcano has been, and currently still is, erupting there. Kilauea Caldera is large and the eruption is two miles from the trail in the top photo, but I always get a bit of a tingle from walking across the caldera floor so close to volcanic activity.

That’s not the only reason I like this trail though. It arrives at the caldera floor by winding down from the rim though some lovely tropical foliage and a moss-covered cutting through rocks that I always stop and photograph even though it doesn’t change from one visit to the next.

For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

Nothing special

The coastline below Upolu Airport in Hawaii

My usual walk around Upolu Airport is about a three mile loop. A few days ago, I was about halfway around and I hadn’t seen much of anything. No cattle or horses, no butterflies or bugs, few birds, and nothing in the water – no turtles, whales, or monk seals. And I thought, ‘Nothing special today.’

Then I looked out over the blue water under blue skies, waves splashing against the shore, and a light breeze moderating an otherwise hot day, and I thought, ‘Even nothing special isn’t half bad.’

Posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

How now brown cow?

A cow near Upolu, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge is ‘Leather (shades of brown).’ See more responses here.

This seemed an appropriate topic for some cattle photos, taken on my walks at Upolu and Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a. And, yes, not all of them are cows!

Also posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

Chocolate orchids

A chocolate-scented oncidium orchid Sharry Baby
A chocolate-scented oncidium orchid Sharry Baby

On my last walk around Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden I saw this Oncidium Orchid, which goes by the name of Sharry Baby. I’ve seen this before, but this was the first time I’ve noted the feature it’s most renowned for, which is its strong chocolate scent. It was really quite remarkable, but I restrained myself from ripping the flowers off and chewing them there and then.

Posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

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

Scary head

A sculpture of a head seen from the coast path in front of Mauna Kea Resort in Hawaii

When I was walking along the coast toward Hapuna Beach recently (post here) I came around one corner of the trail and saw this top photo. Luckily, it was broad daylight, because if it was dark, I would have screamed and run.

This head had a little friend, and the two of them reminded me of a British sci-fi horror movie from the 60s called Village of the Damned.

It was a peculiar scene, not just because of the subjects, but because these sculptures, along with a couple of others, are only visible from the trail. And they can’t be approached because there are some old Hawaiian ruins in this area. It’s like they’ve been banished into this twilight zone and they’re not happy about it!

Posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

A sculpture of two heads seen from the coast path in front of Mauna Kea Resort in Hawaii

Plant collectors

A bromeliad filled with water

Many people collect plants, but some plants are collectors, too. On my last visit to Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden it had recently rained. This bromeliad (above) and heliconia (below) had collected, not only water, but also an assortment of vegetation. There might even be a fish in there somewhere!

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

Posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

A red heliconia filled with water

A good walk spoiled

The signature third hole at Mauna Kea Golf Course

There’s an old saying that golf is a good walk spoiled. It’s often attributed to Mark Twain, though that’s probably not accurate. There’s an interesting investigation into the saying’s roots here.

The Mauna Kea Golf Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1964 and its signature hole is the third. From the championship tee, which is where the top photo was taken, this doesn’t look like a hole that has much to do with walking. Swimming looks a more likely activity.

There’s a little marker in this tee box that shows the hole is 272 yards long, but other tees offer shorter options. Next to the tee box is a plaque noting the illustrious golfers who played at the course’s opening. And the bottom photo shows the green that a golfer would use in the unlikely event that their ball reaches it.

I’ve spoken to a couple of people who’ve hit balls from the championship tee, mostly for the pleasure of being able to say they did so. Both hit their ball into the ocean. I’d probably do the same, though there’s also a good chance my shot from there wouldn’t even reach the water!

Posted for Becky’s Squares theme of “Walking” (See more responses here).

The green at the signature third hole at Mauna Kea Golf Course