Tag Archives: Kohanaiki

Kohanaiki Beach Park

The beach at Kohanaiki Beach Park in Hawaii

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.

For more information about Kohanaiki Beach Park, go to https://bigislandguide.com/kohanaiki-pine-trees.


Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
A bee forages on a Maiapilo flower in Hawaii

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.


Fins on a surfboard
A surfboard ready for the water

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.

Surfing in Hawaii

Catching a wave

This surfer made it look easy, but it’s not easy. It takes practice, lots of falling off, wiping out, and getting dragged across the sand. Practice or not, it’s the kind of activity that would have me in a body cast in no time.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Practice.’ See more responses here.

C-17 plane over Kohanaiki Park

Kohanaiki Park, just north of Kailua Kona, is a popular park which provides a great view of the sunsets, has a good surf break, has protected pools for keiki to paddle in, and has all the facilities needed for a good barbecue.

If there’s a downside to the park, it’s that it’s just south of the airport. It’s not O’Hare, but planes come and go with some regularity. It’s also used by the military and planes, such as this big C-17 transport, practice touch-and-goes with some frequency. So it’s not the most relaxing beach on the island, that’s for sure, but with white sand, blue water, and hot sunshine, it has a lot going for it.

Hawaiian star compass

Kohanaiki Beach Park, north of Kailua Kona, is a favorite spot for surfers. But at the south end of the park, the focus switches to history.

There’s a hālau, Ka Hale Waʽa, which is used for teaching Hawaiian crafts and culture. There’s a garden which grows the same kind of plants brought over by the first Polynesian settlers. And there’s a Hawaiian star compass, a 17-foot diameter recreation showing how the Polynesians used to navigate the vast open spaces of the Pacific Ocean.

The top photo show shows the compass. The middle photo shows a plaque, which explains the basics of how it works, using the points of the compass, the sun, nighttime celestial bodies and the ocean swells. I won’t go into detail here, but more information can be found here, here, and here. Below, the setting of the compass, with a Pacific golden plover walking on it. I like this shot because the plover is said to be the reason Polynesians discovered Hawaii. Each year, plovers summer in Alaska and then fly south as far as New Zealand. It is said that the Polynesians noted this small bird’s annual journey back and forth and figured there must be land somewhere to the north, so they set out in their canoes to find it.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Round.’ See more offerings here.

Elephant’s ear

I am particularly fond of any plant that comes with a little tag nearby to identify it. It makes life so much easier.

This is elephant’s ear (Alocasia Macrorrhiza), also known as giant taro. In Hawaii it is known as ‘Ape. I saw this at the Hawaiian Native Plant Garden at Kohanaiki Beach Park, just north of Kailua Kona.

Native to rainforests in Borneo and Australia, elephant’s ear spread to parts of Asia and the South Pacific. It was brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians who first settled the islands, and because of this, it is known here as a canoe plant, a plant brought in the first canoes. The plant is a source of starch from the corms. The leaves and stems of taro plants can also be eaten, but giant taro causes irritation because of calcium oxalate crystals in the sap.