Sunday, December 21, 2008

I was THIS close!

CORRECTION: Yesterday was the second shortest day of the year, "technically." Know-it-all Andrew notes that today is actually the solstice, so my humble apologies to anyone who went out and sacrificed a goat or danced naked at Stonehenge yesterday based on my erroneous reporting. There's always next year, dude!

Anyway, yesterday, when I hiked at the shoreline, Hualalai was clear until the afternoon, so I decided to try up mauka today. There was some kind of uphill race and the end of Huehue Street had a banner and non-athletes (including one staggeringly attractive blonde in a tight dress) milling around, in the fog. Yes, of course it was foggy today. (but that's not a bad thing, all in all, when you're walking 4.75 miles and gaining 1300' of elevation). I went back to the fenceline road on the "windward" side of Hualalai's crest that I followed last Saturday. I found that at the 2.25 mile mark it does head mauka. I headed uphill, but then some serious clouds and wind came in, so no summit pictures today. Some day, this winter, I promise.
In the meantime, the lehua were blooming in abundance:

I found a plant I didn't recognize, so I took a couple pictures and when I got home checked my trusty Native Trees and Shrubs of the Hawaiian Islands by Samuel H. Lamb. (soon to be a major motion picture!) That was inconclusive, so I had to search (where else) the internet. Turns out this is pilo, coprosma montana:

But that wasn't the only coprosma family member in the area! It was practically a coprosma family reunion! (Coprosma is a genus of plants in New Zealand, Hawaii, and new Guinea. Its name means "smelling like dung"!) Here's Coprosma ernodeoides, kukaenene, meaning that the black berries resemble the results of our state bird's digestive process (second reference to feces in one paragraph!):

Finally, here, again, is pukiawe, its pink berries contrasting with the red and green pukiawe picture from last week:

3 comments:

Andrew Cooper said...

The solstice drifts a little each year, then gets reset every four by leap year. So it may be the 20th one year then the 21st the next. checking last years calendar can get you in trouble.

Have to be careful and check the time zones as well. If a calendar is printed for the mainland or Europe, it may be wrong for Hawai'i a few time zones over.

Check the date and universal time someplace like...

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/EarthSeasons.php

Keahi Pelayo said...

Thanks for the picture of the lehua. Have you ever seen the yellow version?
Aloha,
Keahi

John Powell said...

I've only seen one yellow one up on Hualalai, but there are plenty of yellow (& some orange and salmon) ones at Pu'uwa'awa'a and Pu'aanahulu.
I once saw a white one on the Poamoho Trail on O'ahu.