This month’s Becky’s Squares theme is “Walking” (See more responses here). But when you’re out walking, it’s nice to find a place to stop and sit a while. I’ve posted before (here) about this bench overlooking Honokane Nui Valley, but only shown the fabulous view along the coast. This view up the valleys is equally good in my book.
Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a is a cinder cone on the slopes of Hualalai volcano. The name means “many-furrowed hill,” and it’s a place I like to walk at least once a year, but it had been a while since I was up there. Usually, I go there in the spring when Jacarandas and other flowers are blooming. I also try to go in the early morning, since the area tends to cloud up during the day and the wonderful views become obscured.
A couple of weeks ago I made a late decision to do the hike again since the weather looked unusually good. I got there around 2pm and it will come as no surprise that I spent the first 15 minutes of the hike taking photos of Williwilli flowers on a tree about 20 feet from where I parked! (More of those in a few days.)
The trail follows an old road up the hill past Silk Oak trees, at the tail end of their flowering and sporting a deep red hue I hadn’t seen before. Turn around, and there are good views of Maui to be had. The old road peters out near an old blockhouse, now lacking doors and windows, which offers shelter to livestock on the ranch here. Off to one side is an old quarry, which cuts into the side of the hill. Usually there are goats in this area, but I didn’t see any on this day. Farther up is what’s left of Tamaki Corral, which dates back around 100 years.
Not far after the corral, the trail climbs steeply toward the top. This was where I found a change in the trail. Whereas before the trail was an out-and-back up a steep slope to the top, now a loop has been created. I took this new option to the top where, on this remarkably clear late afternoon, I had great views of Maui, Kohala Mountain, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. A new sign at the top welcomes hikers to the nearly 4,000 foot summit, and there’s a survey marker at the top riddled with holes, not from gunfire, but to let the wind blow through. There are also a couple of benches where one can sit a while enjoying the views (weather permitting). The hike is steep in places, but not difficult, though not everyone makes it back alive!
I followed the old trail back down and ran into several sheep, which have the run of the land up here, as the sun dipped behind the ridge.
One other difference I noticed with this afternoon hike was the proliferation of birds. There were large numbers of finches, mostly Saffron Finches flitting about, preparing to roost for the evening. Yellow-fronted Canaries were all over the tree tobacco flowers. I also saw, and heard, several Erckel’s Francolins doing their usual fine job of blending in with the vegetation.
And as I walked back down the hill towards my car, the late afternoon sun still shone, illuminating grasses alongside the trail.
Posted for Jo’s Monday Walk. See more walks here.
This bench at Pu’uKohala looks north to the small boat harbor at Kawaihae and, beyond that towards Maui, obscured here by early morning clouds.
I like this bench on the steep entry path at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, for its simplicity and practicality.
For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.
At Spencer Beach Park, there are several trees providing shade for beach goers. This picnic table sits beneath a False Kamani tree growing in the sandy beach.
This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Unique.’ See more responses here.
I’ve posted photos of the benches at Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo before (here and here), but realized I had some others available, so here they are. I don’t know whether they’re unique or not, but I’ve never seen anything like them elsewhere.
Top photo is the Namaste bench, Namaste being a white Bengal tiger, the zoo’s star attraction, who died in 2014. The middle photo shows a couple of birds, though I hesitate to say what kind! The bottom photo represents the zoo’s ring-tailed lemurs.
The zoo is currently closed, in part because of the Covid virus, but also for construction required to make the zoo compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s scheduled to reopen in early 2021. For more information about Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens, go to hilozoo.org.
Recently, I posted a couple of photos (here) of a section of the Halema’uma’u Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I thought I’d follow up with a few more photos of the trail, which runs from near the visitor center down to the edge of the summit caldera of Kilauea Volcano.
For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.
One of the nice things about the hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a is the selection of benches available for rest and contemplation, on the way up and at the top. This bench sits halfway up the steep slope that accesses the top of the hill. It gives a good view of Mauna Loa and the pastures on and around Pu’u Wa’awa’a. If you’re lucky, you might even see a dung beetle or three doing what they do.