Friday, July 27, 2007

Coral Hibiscus greets the morning...

The other morning one of my Hibiscus was just getting ready to open up and it looked so pretty as it was about to unfold that I had to get a shot... i decided that i liked it so much i was going to post it on the daily blog.

My Broker (thanks John!) was able to answer a question about Photo shop and I was able to select just the Flower, pretty cool huh! But then he showed me how I could play with the background, a whole new tool set!

Which one do you like the best? I can't decide...I like the yellow background because it really Pops! But I like the coral background because it seems so smooth & I posted both!

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Purple Bougainvilleas...

These lovely purple Bougainvilleas thrive in Hilo moist climate, but it takes some serious sunshine to make them bloom like this!
Hilo has been going through a serious heat wave recently...we have been hitting at least 87 degrees! (for Hilo that's a heat wave! Humidity at 66%, really its not bad at all), and we have received less rain than usual so all of those sun loving plants are blooming like mad. Of course my moisture and shade lovers are quite depressed..but they had their day in the um...shade? And can wait patiently for the rains to come back... mean while we will enjoy the bright showy blooms...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Computer Crashed! No Photos Available! EEEK!

Sorry! My home/home office computer went into recovery mode and now I am trying to discover and recover all my files...including all of my Photo files! Argh! I know they are still in there I just have to figure out how to get them out...hope to be back soon...wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yeah! I am Green and a Gecko...ya wanna make something of it?!

This little guy apparently thinks he's "all that", and is quite ready to take "Goliath" out.

Actually, he is a green Gecko that we find mainly on the west side of the island (Madagascar Day Gecko?), my son watched him hatch out of the egg while he was holding it in his hand and then the little guy headed for high ground! Which just so happened to be my sons nose!

The Gecko rather quickly realized he was heading the wrong direction and headed back down...using the hair on my sons arm like a sloth would use tree branches! He safely made it into the wilderness of a pot of impatiens. Very cute!

Our alternate Title would have been "So who is YOUR car insurance with?"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Painted Hibiscus!

Isn't this the most beautiful Hibiscus you have ever seen?! A couple of girlfriends and myself went to a fantastic nursery the other day for a friends birthday (ya really gotta know how to pick your friends & I have some winners!), and there was this gorgeous me it looked like some one had taken a paint brush and ever so delicately washed the edges with water paints. All I did was basically crop the photo and pull off some glare, it really does look like this. And if that's not enough...

Look at this beauty! Its called Purple Dragon and yes it came home with me...I mean, who could resist? It is a little more purple out of the cameras eye...we had way to much fun and came home with way to many plants...I am sure everyone will get to see most of them over time, but I am going to try to focus more on people than plants in the future.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Water Lilies...& Herons?

These pretty little water lilies can be found in King Kalakaua Park in downtown Hilo, they must spread pretty rapidly as the grounds keepers clean them out regularly and within a few months the pond is full is incredible to see the whole pond surface covered with these purple blooms...and if you look closely you can see Koi darting under the lily pads to hide!

What are they hiding from? Well, a friend of mine found out! She had quite a few Koi in a cute little pond right near her front morning she went to take the dogs for a walk and as they are going down the drive she notices a Heron sitting up in a tree, she really doesn't think much of it until she gets back home and notices a large pile of Bird poo on the garden seat next to her pond, when she went to hose it off she realizes that dirty bugger ATE her fish! 8 Koi he ate! She called that Heron everything but a bird! She has now created a special overhang for the remaining fish to hide under...they seem to be very nervous! ;}

Sunday, July 8, 2007

RED Anthuriums Galore!

My Final RED post! Oh well, all good things must come to an end (but only for something even funner!).

I took my girlfriend to this wonderful nursery for her Birthday (she had a choice of this or a swanky dinner out...she chose the plants! That's my Girl!). Actually another girlfriend introduced us to this nursery specifically for my friends birthday...they have the most gorgeous Hibiscus I have ever seen!

This is just part of the Anthurium section (Maybe a 10th?), you can see some of the twisty stamen ones in the lower right corner. Every color possible and some I didn't think were possible can be found here.

Anthuriums are epiphytes, meaning they get most of their nutrients and moisture from the air (similar to orchids), they also tend to grow ON other plants, some people think they are hurting the "host" plant but they are not a parasite plant in any way (other than hanging around on the other plant). In Hawaii Anthuriums are a ever blooming plant, so they are a special delight to plant.

Please do enlarge this photo, you can see the details of all of the different plants/flowers so much better when you do!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Red Banana Keikis!

This is a Banana flower...& its RED (but the keikis are yellow) they are not like usual flowers...they are huge for one and the fruit is layered in the flower... you can see all the little keikis lined up like ducklings under their mothers wing...there will be another row just like that underneath most of the "petals", and there are so many varieties! Apple banana, Ice Cream banana, Lady Slipper, Williams (the most common variety), Cuban, Cavendish, Pitang, etc...all different and tasty! (Except the Pink Cubans which are just beautiful but are not good to eat.)

The banana plant is another one of those multi purpose plants, the huge leaves can be used for shelter from sun or shower, the dried "stem" burns very quick & hot, the fruit is very nutritious and tasty, and even the flower itself gets eaten (similar preparation as a vegetable).

Bananas have a incredible history and one of my favorite web sites is the Banana Museum.

Tomorrow will be my last day for the RED theme... I have really enjoyed it and mahalo to everyone for their patience while I worked this red fixation out of my system!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ruby Red Ti...

This vibrant plant is a member of the Ti family (nothing at all like the drink), Ti is used in many ways in Hawaii;
We wrap offerings in it, we wrap presents in it, we shred the top 12 inches and use it as a fly wisk (similar to a horses tail in theory) at luaus or just in the yard, We wrap pork roast in it to make Kalua pig (yummy!), wrap coffee cans with it to create a beautiful utilitarian flower vase, tie my hair up when I am working in the yard and can't take time to find a elastic, use it instead of flowers in a vase, lay the leaves over a dirty lawn chair (like a towel), wrap sticky rice in them and then steam it, use as a plate at a picnic, so many different things...and of course we use them to make leis.

Properly prepared the Ti leaf can be woven or braided into almost anything...and it is a beautiful contrast when a lei is fashioned from a green Ti leaf and then a Ti rose is created from a variegated or colored Ti leaf and attached to the green Ti, it make a gorgeous lei.

It is considered lucky to plant Ti plants down the boundaries of your home and quite often you will see rows of Ti being planted before the house pad has even been poured! Now that's having your priorities in the right place!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Indian Chief Ginger...

This gorgeous RED ginger plant is called Indian Chief Ginger, for the obvious reasons, the proud blooms emerge from the end of a long stalk (6-9 feet)...There are a incredible variety of gingers, each more beautiful than the last...but most people only think of Ginger in the form of Ginger Bread or Ginger Snaps (my favorite!), to learn more about ginger please click here...and for a very cute web site featuring some tasty ginger treats please go here.

And yes I am still on RED, for a few more days at least...just this morning I drove past a beautiful set of red bleachers, I'll try to share them with you soon! (I am starting to see red everywhere! Its kinda cool...), mahalo~

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Liko Lehua Ohia...

This is a close up of the central new leaves of one of my Ohia trees, you can see the larger photo below...Liko Lehua means the "new red leaves" in this context...only the newest leaves have this rich plumy color and they soon loose it to be replaced with a nice bright green...

A favorite practice is to pluck these new leaves (must be similar to picking tea), and weave beautiful Leis from them, quite often these leis will be worn during parades by horse and rider alike, or for special Hulas...not all of the new leaves are the same shade, its always in the red family but it can range from red crayon to a dusty mauve and everything in between.
This same tree gives us wonderful smelling firewood, fence post (its fairly straight growing), lovely feature post for supporting Lanai roofs, and gorgeous flowers for more Lei making! What a great all purpose tree!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mystery Red Photo!

  • Deep in the murky, no that's not right.
  • Secluded in the frigid heights...nope, still wrong.
  • Underfoot in the dank...Still not right!

You tell me...animal, mineral or vegetable? What is this? Respond in the comments and I will answer tomorrow...One hint, yes I used photo shop & no I did not change the subject matter appreciably.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Red Anthurium Peeking Coyly From The ferns...

This fire engine red Anthurium is living in my side yard...I chose it for my "Week In Red" theme because of the intensity and is peeking out at us from its shady little nook in the ferns.

Anthuriums have a incredible variety of sizes, colors and variegation's; white with hints of pink, purple, peach or green...thru all of the reds and oranges (including peaches, etc...) to a purple so dark it almost looks black. From solid colors like this one to speckled, splashed and striped, and some have different colored portions at the top of each heart lobe...they look like Mickey Mouse ears...and then the stamens can be wild! (long nose looking thingy (thingy is a technical term, lol;), Some stamens are the same color as the flower petals, some are all white, some are partially yellow and white, often they will be part red and white, and a select variety has Corkscrew stamens! They twist like a pigs tail! Very cool plants! Check out a sampling here.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dancing Cossacks Orchid...

These little guys remind me of the dancing Cossacks in Disney's Fantasia (the 1st one), I owned this orchid for 4 years and it never bloomed...then I moved to the Puna District...(Puna means fresh or new and the district is famous for its growing conditions) one month later it began putting out a bloom stalk! I waited anxiously (I had never seen a bloom from it before so I had no idea what it would be like), and finally it bloomed! Lucky me! It is probably the flashiest orchid I own, and it was absolutely loaded full of these little dancing soldiers.

Happy Red Theme day! In honor of this great theme I will be posting something red each day for the whole week! And one is a surprise...come see it this week and make a guess...

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