This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Favorite Vacation Spot.’ See more responses here.
It’s been a long while since I took a vacation, but a favorite day out is a road trip to the east side of the island and a visit to Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden.
The day starts with a drive out of Hawi, up the hill to Kohala Mountain Road. This winding road climbs to around 3,500 feet before descending into Waimea. One the way, it passes through pastureland that is home to cattle, horses, and sheep.
A few miles after driving through Waimea, there’s a left turn onto Old Saddle Road. These days, the main road across the island is a smooth, wide thoroughfare, but it’s not so long ago that the highway was all like Old Saddle Road – narrow and twisting. In those days, rental car companies would not allow their cars to be driven on that road. Old Saddle Road is the last remnant of the original road and it’s one of my favorite roads to drive here, not just because of the road’s qualities, but because it’s one of the most reliable places to see pueos, the Hawaiian short-eared owl. On this road I drive like one of those people you follow and say ‘What the !@^%$@)&^ is that idiot doing?’ I’m prone to zipping off the tarmac and bolting from the car, camera in hand, snapping photos as I go.
Old Saddle Road joins the new highway a just before it reaches Pohakuloa Training Area, a large military base in the saddle between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It’s not unusual to hear the sound of shells exploding here as they do live ammunition fire. Past this area, there are several good hiking trails that venture into the high elevation landscape. This is one of the best areas for seeing native birds that are still hanging on in much reduced habitat.
After that, there’s the descent into Hilo and then a jog north to the garden where, every time I visit, I see something different, something that wasn’t blooming on previous visits or that I’d just missed in the profusion wonderful plants to see.
And on the way back there’s a good chance that there’ll be a splendid sunset to be enjoyed.
Also posted for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Road Trip.’ See more responses here.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Leaves.’ See more responses here.
This gave me an excuse to post more photos from Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, which is still closed at this time. For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Plant Life.’ See more offerings here.
The east side of the Big Island is the place for plant life thanks to good soils, warmth, and abundant rainfall. These photos were taken on my last visit to Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden, before it closed because of the Covid-19 virus.
This doesn’t mean they’ve been slacking during the closure. Instead they appear to have launched a new name and new website. The new name is Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden and, I think reflects more of the purpose behind the garden. The new name, conveniently, means they didn’t have to change their website. It’s still htbg.com.
The new website is definitely a spiffier looking production, but it comes with a drawback. They used to have a plant database that I found very useful in identifying what I saw there. I can’t find it on the new website. Hopefully, this is just an issue with transitioning the information. Otherwise, I’ll be in a bit of difficulty.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fantastic Florals.’ See more offerings here.
This seemed like a good theme to post a few photos, of different colored flowers, from my last visit to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, back in February.
Top photo: It took me a while to identify this as Petrea volubilis, also known as purple wreath, queen’s wreath, and sandpaper vine, because the long blue parts are actually calices, not petals. The flowers are the smaller darker blue centers most easily seen on the blooms to the left side.
Second Photo: A lavender version of the cattleya maxima orchid was first found in Ecuador in 1777. The yellow stripe down the center of the lip is characteristic of all forms of cattleya maxima, of which this alba variation is one. For more information about the history of cattleya maxima, visit chadwickorchids.com/content/cattleya-maxima.
Third photo: Yellow plume flower (Justicia aurea) is a blaze of color in a sea of green.
Fourth photo: Yes, there are green flowers, including this Anthurium ‘Princess Alexia Jade.’
Bottom: New Guinea Trumpet Vines (Tecomanthe dendrophila) produce a fantastic array of white-tipped pink flowers.
For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to htbg.com.