Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ramshot croton

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Yellow Autumn or Leaves.’ (See more offerings here.)

These leaves might not be Autumnal, but they still feature a good portion of yellow. They’re ramshot crotons (Codiaeum variegatum) and I don’t know if this is why they got their name, but the shape of the leaves is reminiscent of rams’ horns.

Praying mantis and gecko

For the past three weeks, this praying mantis has been a fixture on this spider lily. The downside of this location is that the plant is a favorite spot for gold dust day geckos. The geckos would no doubt like to eat the mantis, but have so far not made a move that I’ve seen. I suspect that one reason for this is that the geckos have learned that, while the mantis looks like it never moves, when they do, they move fast. A few futile sorties against a mantis would make any gecko decide to seek easier prey.

Tomorrow, I’ll post about the upside of this location for the mantis.

Northern mockingbird

The northern mockingbird arrived in Hawaii in 1928 and is quite common now. It is most easily seen when it perches at the top of a tree and sings, as in the photo to the left. Later, this one descended into the heart of a kiawe tree where it looked out from the tangle of branches and thorns.

Ghostly tree

ghostly tree

The last time I visited the Palila Forest Discovery Trail, on the southwest slopes of Mauna Kea, I didn’t see too many birds, but did enjoy looking down on the cloud layer covering the lowlands between Mauna Kea and Hualalai.

This tree sat on the slope of Mauna Kea at the point where the top of the clouds swirled around it, giving it a very ghostly appearance.

A horse waiting for a carrot

Horse waiting for a carrot

I often see these three horses on my regular walk. Usually they ignore me, but on this day one of them came to the fence and poked its head over the barbed wire. I suspect it was hoping for treats as I’ve seen people providing them. Sadly for the horse, I was a disappointment in this respect and it looked suitably unimpressed. Next day, the three of them were back to ignoring me.

Cambria orchid

Cambria Orchid

A favorite place I try to visit several times a year is Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, north of Hilo. There’s always something different in bloom, something new for me to see, such as this orchid.

As usual with orchids, I offer an identification with some trepidation. I think this is a cambria orchid, though exactly which type, I couldn’t say. Regardless, it’s a most striking and beautiful flower and that’s enough for me.

If anyone knows of a good orchid identification site online, please let me know.

For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to

Posted in response to the WordPress photo challenge, ‘Favorite place’.