Tag Archives: Macro

Ohia

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Geometric–explore various angles.’ I’ve focused more on the ‘various angles’ than the geometric.

Ohia trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) are endemic to Hawaii and the flower of these trees is the official flower of the Big Island. Depending on growing conditions, ohias can vary from ground hugging shrubs to 50 foot trees. They grow at sea level and at elevations up to 8,000 feet. They’re probably most noted for two things. One is their brilliant display of flowers. The other is that they’re usually the first plants to recolonize lava flows.

They grow in lava is because their roots reach down into lava tubes and tap into the moisture available there. But ohia can also put out aerial roots to gather moisture. They’re very flexible in this way.

The puffball flowers are actually clusters of flowers. Each flower is made up of a bunch of stamens (the male part of the flower) and a single pistil (the female part) which is thicker and longer than the stamens. When the flowers have been pollinated, the stamens fall away until only the pistil remains. This too will disappear as the calyx, where the seeds are found, develops. Eventually, the calyx will dry out and release the tiny mature seeds, to be dispersed by the winds, and hopefully grow into new ohia trees.

Also posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

Green hover fly

A green hover fly hangs upside down on a leaf

The reason I don’t like this photo is because, just a moment before, this green hover fly (Ornidia obesa) had been right side up in the sun, which illuminated its wonderful metallic-green body. Alas, by the time I got my camera out, it had relocated to this spot.

Still, it’s an interesting fly, which could just as easily be called the green wolf fly – ‘what big eyes you have.’

Inside and out

I was sitting on the couch when a large, dark shape appeared on the window screen. The bottom photo shows this first view I had of what was clearly a black witch moth. I took my camera outside and shot a few more photos.

Sometimes these moths can look very battered indeed, but this one looked in good shape, if a little faded. It remained in this spot for several hours until an ambitious gecko saw it as a potential banquet. When the gecko got too close, the moth took off.

I’ve seen a gecko go after one of these moths before (here), but I’ve yet to see one succeed in its quest.