Tag Archives: Orchids

Road trip to Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden

Hualalai volcano seen from Saddle Road in Hawaii
Hualalai Volcano from Old Saddle Road.

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.

Sunset seen from Saddle Road in Hawaii
Sunset from Old Saddle Road

Also posted for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Road Trip.’ See more responses here.

Phalaenopsis Minho Princess orchid

A Phalaenopsis Minho Princess orchid at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden

This Phalaenopsis Minho Princess orchid was at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. The garden has been closed for almost a year now because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I haven’t seen any indication of when it will reopen though it will undoubtedly do so when conditions are right.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Auburn orchid

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Auburn.’ See more responses here.

I have to confess that color is not my strong suit, hence some of my clothing choices. So when it came to picking a photo for this theme, I wasn’t sure what color I was looking for. A casual search revealed a lot of different shades loosely covered by that name. In the end, I opted to go with the official RGB color value (165 red, 42 green, 42 blue).

Armed with that information I ditched my original choice of a dirt road, thrilling photo though it is, and opted for this orchid. I’m not sure what kind of orchid it is, but I know for a fact that within those darker areas of the petals are several areas that are officially auburn.

Basket fern and orchid

This drynaria rigidula ‘Whitei’ basket fern was growing on a tree trunk at Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden (which has since change its name). I like basket ferns, which look like upturned umbrellas. This fern was complemented by a dinema polybulbon orchid, a delicate and fragrant epiphytic orchid that was winding it’s way up into the fern.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden (formerly Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden), go to htbg.com.

Leopard orchid

Leopard orchids (Grammatophyllum scriptum) come from the low-lying coastal areas of Southeast Asia. They produce abundant, showy flowers, but can grow to be quite large. Because of this growth habit, they’re most often seen in botanical gardens rather than domestic gardens.

This one was at Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Tropical foliage

A riot of tropical foliage frames a view towards the ocean.
A single purple orchid is a spot of color against the green and brown background.

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Plant Life.’ See more offerings here.

The east side of the Big Island is the place for plant life thanks to good soils, warmth, and abundant rainfall. These photos were taken on my last visit to Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden, before it closed because of the Covid-19 virus.

This doesn’t mean they’ve been slacking during the closure. Instead they appear to have launched a new name and new website. The new name is Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden and, I think reflects more of the purpose behind the garden. The new name, conveniently, means they didn’t have to change their website. It’s still htbg.com.

The new website is definitely a spiffier looking production, but it comes with a drawback. They used to have a plant database that I found very useful in identifying what I saw there. I can’t find it on the new website. Hopefully, this is just an issue with transitioning the information. Otherwise, I’ll be in a bit of difficulty.

Early Yellow beehive ginger makes colorful focal points against a backdrop of green foliage.
On the left, a deep red heliconia against large green leaves. On the right, the purple bract of anthurium schlechtendalii or pheasant’s tail.
Not all leaves are green as these colorful ti plants attest.

Oncidium orchid ‘Tsuiki Margaruite’

The tag on this orchid read Onc. ‘Tsuiki Margaruite’ #1, but I see it mostly described as ‘Tsiku Marguerite,’ so take your pick. But it’s a delicate looking orchid with cream to apricot flowers that are highly fragrant.

This one was at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to htbg.com.