Monday, June 18, 2007

Fragrant Frangipani...

These lovely flowers have at least two different names; in Hawaii the are called Plumeria and in other parts of the world the are referred to as Frangipani. I believe the first time I ran across the name Frangipani was while I was reading the "Arabian Nights" and I had to look it those days we had to use a Encyclopedia for reference info, lol! And then just the other day a fellow photo blogger referenced it again for anyone aware of any other names they go by?

I wish I could share their perfume with you, absolutely is worth ordering a lei to be shipped to you just to smell these flowers! And oddly enough the trees happens to be the ugliest most barren looking collection of sticks you could ever find...they usually don't even have many leaves, you would think the tree was dead and then the entire canopy erupts with blossoms!

When I first moved to Hawaii we used to drive by a huge Plumeria tree and I could have cried to see all of the blossoms littering the ground and road, now I understand better and can appreciate the pretty picture a carpet of flowers makes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day!

Hey there! Happy Fathers Day...hope you were able to spend it with someone special making wonderful memories!
What did you do today? It was a gorgeous day in Hawaii so we went to the beach...this is a couple of our boys snorkeling...they all had great fun, and as always, learned a lot!

Here are some of the critters they "discovered", black brittle stars...the way they move is so cool, and you have to be incredibly careful with them because if they feel threatened or are mistreated they start dropping arms (defense mechanism). We came home with a couple of mysterious animal sightings so the kids will have some research to do this week...Hope your day was Great! & mahalo nui loa to all you dads out there! Any Man can be a Father, it takes some one special to be a Dad!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Onekahakaha Beach Park...the Keiki Pool...

Onekahakaha Beach Park is located perhaps 10-15 minutes from the heart of Hilo really is a great park and this photo is of the entrance steps to the Keiki (child) pool section.

As you can see there is a sea wall made from lava boulders to quiet down the wave action...the resulting pool is very still and tends to have very little surge...even within this large pool there are smaller and shallower pools separated by natural lava a couple places concrete steps have been poured to make the trip to the water simpler and easier for the little ones...

On this day we had two "schools" visiting and there was probably 30-40 keikis sitting out eating their lunches before taking the trip back to school, remember how hungry and tired you would be after swimming for the afternoon...I bet that lunch was really good! And I bet 99% of them where asleep before the hit the first turn! I know my kids would be and they are teenagers now...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Gecko Earings All The Rage in Hilo!

A short while back I posted a picture of a very angry anole (type of lizzard, often mistaken for a gecko) above our "Beware of Attack Gecko" sign on my front porch...well, one of the kittens (also posted about earlier) came out on the loosing end of this anole! The anole literally has a hold of the kittens ear! Apparently the kitten went after the anole and he fought back, latching onto her ear and refusing to let go!

I didn't know which one to feel sorrier for! The anole was of course just terrified and the kitten was so confused when it could not get "that thing" off its head! You can tell how torgued she is. I had to snap a picture to share (I have never seen anything like this before!), then I pried the little guys jaws apart to remove the kittens ear...he sure had a death grip, it didn't break the skin but definitely left a imprint and a impression, the kitten has yet to go after another one (that I know of). And of course we relocated the "Killer Anole" (who appeared to be in perfect health) to a farther portion of the yard, hopefully they will not meet again...though I could see a vendetta coming on...kinda like Captain Ahab and the White Whale!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lord Of The Ring Trees...

These awesome old trees live at Kings Landing in Hilo, don't they just look like they should be in one of the Lord Of The Ring movies? Or maybe that Tomb Raider movie set in Africa...Cradle Of Life, where the uglies came out of the trees...

This is the way it looked from a short the whole grove was waiting there...and at any minute would hike up their roots and walk can almost imagine elves dancing a fairy ring there in the center...

It a gorgeous beach park and it was a nice break from buildings, I sometimes forget how very close I am to the seaside at basically all times, usually I am a 5 minute walk to the ocean (from my office) or at most a 15-20 minute drive from home, when I shop at the Farmers market I am literally minutes from having my toes in the pacific (there is no better pedicure than salt water and sand!), this park is about 15-20 minutes from the heart of downtown Hilo and I really need to spend more time there!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hilo Farmers Market, Home of Mikie's Creations!

This is Mikie...she makes wicked good jams & jellies! Seriously, they are good...I have won blue ribbons at County fairs for my jellies and they are nothing compared to hers! Imagine having Tangerine marmalade on your toast, or Lilikoi jelly...maybe you would prefer starfruit or jaboticaba? She also makes other goodies (like the best Pickle relish I have ever tasted!) and she markets her wares from Hilos own Farmers Market, we try to go to the market at least once a week to pick up fresh fruit and vegies (& chilled haupia (coconut jello, its better than it sounds!) Today it was ripe lychee, so juicy & sweet, yumm... and Mikie is always there with a full supply of ono goodies...and most importantly she always has a big smile and a bigger heart!
I apologize but this photo is not the best one I have ever definitely is the problem with the photographer not the subject matter!
If you would like to order assorted goodies from Mikie contact me and I will provide her e-mail to you...they are really worth it! Much better than anything you will ever pick up at the store! Mahalo~

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

King Kamehameha day...

This huge (14 feet) statue of King Kamehameha can be found at Hilos' Wailoa State Park, Monday (King Kamehameha Day) he was decorated with many gorgeous leis at a special ceremony...these leis can be 30-40 feet long and are made from Maile (vanilla scented green vining leaf), white and pink aromatic crown flowers, Pikake (Jasmine), plumerias, orchids and more. you can smell the complex odors of all of these flowers mixing from 50 feet away...

King Kamehameha was an incredible though very war like man, especially for his day and age...he was responsible for unifying the islands of Hawaii under one rule (except for Kauai), and for the Great Mahele of 1848...Mahele means "sharing" and it was due to Kamehameha's attempt to emulate the European custom of owning land (yes it was primarily a economic situation), that all Hawaiians as well as Europeans received the ability to own land individually, before this only the Ali'i (chiefs) where allowed to possess land and even then it was fairly tentative.

In 1848 the land was portioned out between the Ali'i families and certain favored really didn't come into the hands of very many commoners until the Royal families began selling of portions to pay for debts or to gather funds to pay for homes/lifestyle/trips to England, etc...

This statue and the 3 others like it have a fascinating story, to read more about it, please click here. Mahalo~

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bubble Gum Pink Ginger...the Pink Ladies wished they had this color!

This ginger just glows! I was taking a few shots just at that time in the evening before the sun drops and every shot I took has this glow, my friend calls it "magic time".
This color really reminded me of the jackets the Pink ladies in Grease wore...but even more intense, almost a neon. I used to wear a lipstick this color back in the bad old days...ahh, good times!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fabulous Wailuku Falls!

I occasionally go outside of the strict city limits of Hilo for my photos (I usually stay within a 20 minute drive or so), but this one is definitely with in the limits of Hilo...this lovely series of falls are on the Wailuku river (wai refers to water and luku has connotations of danger, so Wailuku means "dangerous water", sadly this is very true and we lost a Malahini (new resident) just a few months back), yet every one swims and plays in this river anyway, and you can see why!
It is like this thru out the majority of the river and all of the bends and slides make it seem like an especially gorgeous water park, this is just below the old KPUA radio station and is very challenging to get you can see the valley walls are very steep here and that largest fall is a 20'-30' drop, most people don't make it to the bottom pool. (Enlarge the photo and look at that lava on the pool sides, its like it was sculpted by the water while it was still hot!)
I was able to get this photo while I toured a lovely property up at the top of the valley...after viewing the home we took a leisurely amble thru a well maintained back yard complete with lily ponds and flowering ginger plants, down a shady path to the edge of the drop off where a considerate homeowner had set a chair at the perfect viewing position,very nice! So relaxing...I really would have a hammock strung right at that spot...

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Colorful Crotons...not croutons!

These colorful Crotons are growing in my side yard...I believe this variety is named "Ducks Foot" due to the shape of the leaf. I never really new about crotons until I moved to Hawaii, and now they are one of my favorite plants...they come in a incredible variety of colors, sizes and shapes! One of my favorites has leaves approx. 10-14 inches long but only 1/4"-1/2" wide, but the best part is the leaves are such a dark purple as to appear almost black and they twist slightly, very cool plant.
Another variety is called "gold Dust" and the more sunshine it sees the more golden yellow dots there are on the flat, oval, dark green leaves, its a very fancy looking plant and grows to about 8-10 feet tall and 3-5 around with lots of leaves, so its a pretty good foliage shrub! I guess some plants wear their autumn colors all year long!

Monday, June 4, 2007

A striking stairwell in Hilo...

This interior stairwell is at a office building in downtown Hilo, often times you will see something similar to this in many Hawaiian buildings. Due to the temperatures and humidity most buildings try to take advantage of the tradewinds any way they can especially since air conditioning is very scarce (expensive electricity contributes to that) and evaporative coolers are worse than ineffective (when the humidity is this high you really don't want to ADD to it!)
Post and Pier house styles are preferred for this reason as well, the air can circulate underneath the home and cool it (as well as keeping the living area up of the ground and thereby out of reach of most pests and flood waters), most people in Hawaii live a "greener" life than they realize...or ever intended; using filtered rainwater, less mechanical cooling by specialized home designs, recycling, Freecycling, composting, eating home grown produce, and lots of people hang their washed clothes out to dry (electricity and gas are just to expensive), solar is also used from simple passive to the most elaborate of set ups. But we still have a long way to go...

Saturday, June 2, 2007 plant? Or fruit basket of the plant kingdom?

This gorgeous leaf belongs to a plant called Monstera (monstera deliciosa), and this one lives in a lovely subdivision named Leilani Estates next to the association park...these leaves are huge! They are as large as a person and are the reason for this plants other common name, "Swiss cheese plant". Most people have seen a smaller version of this in the local mall or as a house Hawaii they get BIG!
But my favorite fact about this plant is why it receives its other common name "fruit salad plant", it actually has a fruiting body (looks like a green, shucked ear of corn) that when it ripens has such a incredible combination of flavors that no one can decide which "thing" it taste most like...some of the flavors that are mentioned are; strawberry, pineapple, orange (or any citrus), bananas and melon. So truly it is a fruit for everyone!
There are two (Ok, three) issues, the plant only grows (and fruits) in a tropical environment (man made or natural), the fruit takes a very long time to ripen on the vine (year or more), and if you get impatient and try to enjoy it before it is completely ripe the oxalic acid can irritate your mouth and throat to the point you can barely swallow let alone talk...way to learn the virtue of patience!
I just love the striking images the leaves make and it is a preffered decoration at out door parties here in Hawaii (especially combined with anthuriums & orchids!), mahalo~ See you bombai...