Thursday, December 25, 2008

I just got back from walking six miles, and boy, are my arms tired!

See, because of the walking sticks. It's a reference to that old joke "I just flew in from....." Never mind.

Anyway, it was looking stormy up on Hualalai, so I decided to see if the ohia were in bloom out at Pu'u Wa'awa'a or Pu'u Anahulu, because there are quite a few yellow and orange flowering trees. But the ohia down around 2000', unlike those up at 5000', were almost devoid of blossoms. Having driven 10 miles out that way, I decided to hike the Ohia Trail at Pu'u Wa'awa'a
Pu'u Wa'awa'a means furrowed hill, the adjective coming after the noun in Hawaiian.

The dryland forest around the pu'u is one of the most endangered ecosystems on Earth. There are rare plants throughout the forest. Here's Hawaii's endemic member of the rose family, U'ulei:

Many native Hawaiian plants have tiny flowers, like this Kolea (also the Hawaiian name for the plovers that fly 5000 miles non-stop from the arctic to spend the winter here):

Here's a plant that played its tragic part in Hawaii's history, the 'Iliahi (sandalwood):

The Hawaiian dodonaea, A'ali'i, has small flowers:

But the seed pods are often quite spectacular:

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