Tag Archives: Kohanaiki

Surfing looks easy

Surfers returning to shore at Pine Trees in Hawaii
Surfers returning to shore at Pine Trees in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Sports and Hobbies.’ See more responses here.

Hawaii is the home of surfing, a sport that accommodates everyone from the casual weekender to fixtures on the professional circuit. On this day, Pine Trees surf break at Kohanaiki Beach Park was thronged with surfers in the water, but not many catching waves. Those that did tended to be far away from where I was. But I liked watching these two surfers casually glide back to shore on white-topped blue-green water, under a blue sky.

Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Blue.’ See more responses here.

Red-masked parakeets

Red-masked parakeets at Kohanaiki Beach Park.
A Red-masked parakeet at Kohanaiki Beach Park.

I’ve lived in Hawaii for more than nine years now and had previously never seen any of those most tropical of birds, the parrots. One reason for this is that parrots aren’t native to Hawaii, but a variety of different parrots have become established here.

Red-masked parakeets were first seen here in 1988 and are probably the most common parrot on the Big Island. They’re natives of Ecuador and Peru, but are now fairly well established on the Kona coast, which is where I saw this a pair, in Kohanaiki Beach Park. While they forage along the coast here, they roost high up on the slopes of Hualalai Volcano.

Alexandrian laurel

The flowers of an Alexandrian laurel in Hawaii
The fruits and flowers of an Alexandrian laurel in Hawaii

Alexandrian laurel (Calophyllum inophyllum) is known as Kamani in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, which means it was brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesian voyagers. They would have carried this evergreen tree because of its importance for building their ocean-going outriggers.

The small white and yellow flowers usually bloom twice a year and are followed by round fruits with a single large seed.

Brighamia insignis

Brighamia insignis flowers at Kohanaiki Beach Park, Hawaii
A Brighamia insignis plant at Kohanaiki Beach Park, Hawaii
A Brighamia insignis flower at Kohanaiki Beach Park, Hawaii

I saw this Brighamia insignis plant in the Hawaiian garden at Kohanaiki Beach Park. It caught my eye for its unusual appearance, which is the source of one of its common names of cabbage-on-a-stick. In Hawaii it’s called Ālula, Hāhā, Pū aupaka, or ʻŌlulu.

Brighamia insignis is endemic to Hawaii, specifically the sea cliffs of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau. However, if you look for it there you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed. The last survey in 2014 found just one plant in Kauaʻi. The reasons for its demise are familiar. The hawk moth that used to pollinate the plant is long since extinct and it has been ravaged by introduced species. In addition, in 1992, Hurricane ʻIniki destroyed half the remaining wild plants.

On the bright side, the plant is easy to propagate by hand and it has been widely distributed by nurseries and botanical gardens.