Tag Archives: Tropical Foliage

Better Days: Abandoned vehicles

Rampant tropical foliage can cover a multitude of sins, including abandoned vehicles. The cost of getting rid of an old vehicle is relatively high here, so many are abandoned. Some are left on the edge of the highway or, more often, on undeveloped private property alongside the highway.

If a vehicle is on private property, the owners have to be contacted first. Often they don’t respond because they’re big corporations or investment entities and an old car or two is not worth the bother.

Those on the highway can be posted and then cleared by the highway department, but even this is not a speedy process. Recently, a Prius, of all things, was parked by the highway a few miles south of Hawi. It looked in decent shape and I assumed it had broken down. However, it sat there for more than a week, untouched. After that, an official warning notice appeared on the window. Police post these to let the owner know their vehicle will be towed and disposed of, in theory at the owner’s expense. Another week or so passed. One day I saw a policeman by the car making some notes. A couple of days later, when I went by, I saw the windows had been smashed and a couple of wheels removed. The next day, more damage had been inflicted. It was a couple of days later that the now useless wreck was removed.

Another disposal option is to shove the vehicles into a gully and let nature do the rest. These three vehicles, and there were others down there, are on the owner’s property, so that’s some consolation.

Tropical leaves

The bright red bracts of a tree poinsettia (Warszewiczia Coccinea) contrast with the mass of green leaves around it.

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

This gave me an excuse to post more photos from Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, which is still closed at this time. For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Better Days: Wrecked bomber

Better-Days-Wrecked Bomber in trees

Better-Days-Wrecked Bomber in ravineOn the evening of Tuesday, February 25, 1941 this twin-engined B-18 bomber was part of a group of four aircraft on a night training mission. They had started out from Hickam Field on Oahu. Not far from Hilo the plane lost its port engine when a bearing failed. The pilot decided to try and reach Suiter Field (now known as Upolu Airport) at the island’s northern tip. It was not to be. Flying on only one engine, the plane lost altitude. The crew thought they were over the sea, but suddenly a mountain appeared in front of them. The pilot yanked on the flight yoke wheel and the plane stalled and flopped into the trees around 10 p.m.. Incredibly only one crewman was slightly injured.

Search aircraft from Hickam Field found the plane the next morning around 9 a.m.. The nose of the plane was hanging over a 75-foot deep ravine about 3,500 feet up on the northern side of Kohala Mountain. It was one of the most inaccessible places on the island. A rescue operation was started, but it was Thursday noon before it reached the crew.

Over the years, the aircraft has slid into the ravine which is where it rests today. As these photos show, the plane’s condition has deteriorated and it is increasingly being engulfed by trees. But it is still quite easily spotted from the air. On the ground, it remains one of the most inaccessible spots on the island.

It’s also worth noting that just nine months after this crash, almost all the B-18 bombers based at Hickam Field were destroyed on the ground during the attack on Pearl Harbor. 77 years on, this B-18, in its remote resting place, is one of only a handful remaining in existence.

For more information about this aircraft and the crash, search online for Big Island Bomber – hiavps.com or go to pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-18/36-446.html.

Better-Days-Wrecked Bomber