This week’s Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge is ‘Purple.’ See more responses here.
I’d like to say I have some kind of theme going here, but I don’t, outside the color.
First up is a bee approaching a very purple bougainvillea.
In the gallery, we have a Fiery Skipper butterfly feeding on a Blue Heliotrope (Heliotropium amplexicaule) flower, a purple and white spider lily, and some dark purple Helmet Urchins clinging tenaciously to a rock.
Then there’s a sign advertising purple ice cream. Not sure what flavor that is, but I’m a bit wary.
The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Shapes.’ See more responses here. Since I just paid another visit to Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, I thought some flower and foliage shapes would be appropriate. In the top photo, round lily pads float in the garden’s pond.
The squares show the coils within coils of a Hapu’u fern, a distinctly-shaped anthurium, the familiar curves of an orchid against a large, angular leaf, and the geometric precision of a Guzmania ‘Limones’ bromeliad.
The rectangles start with the distinctive shape of beehive gingers, then large, tropical, heart-shaped leaves, and the sinuous shape of a colorful heliconia.
The bottom photo shows feather-shaped leaves that even look like feathers!
For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fabulous Florals.’ See more responses here. For this, I’m taking a short jaunt off the island to revisit the first tropical garden I planted. That was in Washington State. Now, I’m aware that Washington State isn’t in the tropics, but I like a challenge.
My goal was to create a garden of hardy tropical-looking plants, with colorful flowers and/or big, bountiful foliage. The first summer, I laid the foundations with three Windmill Palms and a wall of bamboo alongside one fence. Colorful canna lillies and big foliage gave an inkling of what was to come.
The second summer was when the garden took off. Ground covers spread. Vines took off. Pots provided focal points.
And of course, there were those fabulous florals.
One corner of the garden featured a Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern, which was soon joined by a Dicentra Scandens-Golden tears vine, Eccremocarpus scaber – Chilean glory vine, and a Clematis Armandii. There’s less than a month between the second and third photos in the gallery below, and the following summer the area was rampant with color and growth.
But it is Washington State and there are winters and in the winter it can snow. The palms and bamboo bent low under the weight of the snow, but they survived. The tiki torch looked distinctly unhappy with the weather, possibly jealous of those lucky plants that were moved indoors for the winter.
This week’s Sunday Stills color challenge theme is ‘Amethyst.’ See more responses here.
With no immediate ideas for this challenge, I plumped for some odds and ends from my flower folders. First up is a ‘vase’ of vincas followed by a Doritaenopsis orchis (Yu Pin Dream Girl). Then we have the leaves of a Persian Shield plant and finally a water lily surrounded by reflections.
Also posted in response to this month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme of ‘Odd.’ See more responses here.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Summer Bugs.’ (See more responses here.) To the best of my knowledge, Hawaii’s bugs are pretty much the same year-round. Here are some of them.
The top photo shows a bee showing impressive balance on a maiapilo flower.
Next up, clockwise from top left: Getting down to eye level with a juvenile praying mantis. A painted lady butterfly on a kiawe tree. A katydid wondering what it’s done to deserve this much attention. A seven-spotted lady beetle being watched.
The final gallery: Top left: A mango flower beetle explores a spider lily. Top right: A watchful cane spider wondering if it should run, very fast, away. Bottom left: A Hawaiian carpenter ant (Camponotus variegatus), one of too many that have taken up residence in the house. Bottom right: A rusty millipede deciding that it’s all too much!
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.