Thursday, January 01, 2009

Dry Forest at Pu'u Anahulu

About 4 miles past the "A" on this map is a trailhead that connects to the firebreak roads bulldozed to control the fires that result when an idiot tosses his cigarette out the car window during the dry season. This is necessary because fountain grass was introduced here in 1914 and now covers a good portion of the West side. Fountain grass burns at a hotter temperature than native grasses, so it's a destroyer of native forests. This Mamane tree is in the middle of fountain grass:

Close-up the flowers are pretty nice:

One of the most common trees in the dry forest is the endemic Hawaiian member of the persimmon family, the Lama:

The red fruit are only a little sweet, like persimmons. Not great, but not bad.

Walking back South about a mile and a half, and leaving the trail for about a quarter mile, you run into the old Waimea-Kona Road. Here's a panorama of where it crosses the 1859 Mauna Loa flow (the one that crosses Queen Kaahumanu Highway just north of Kiholo Bay):

Finally, as requested by Keahi Pelayo, here's a yellow lehua:

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