Monday, July 28, 2014

Hawaii: Leaving Pahoa

All good things come to an end, and while we’re not leaving the island yet, we’re moving around the top to our new house in Kohala.

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I look forward to exploring another part of the island—much drier and less jungly—but I’ll miss our first house and the lovely street it’s on. I doubt I’ll ever get another chance to stay in a house perched right above the ocean, with completely uninhibited 180° views of the Pacific. Renting such a house in California would be prohibitively expensive.

To say goodbye, here are some photos I took yesterday:

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This morning I took one last stroll in the drizzle. I don’t think we’ve had a single day without rain. No wonder the annual precipitation is 150+ inches in these parts!

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Variegated screwpine (Pandanus tectorius ‘Variegatus’)

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Variegated screwpine (Pandanus tectorius ‘Variegatus’)

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As you can see, variegated screwpine is a very popular landscaping plant

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Too bad it’s only hardy to 30°F…

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…and needs constant moisture

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One of my favorite properties on this street. I love how the coconut palms tower above the house.

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I’m including this photo because yesterday the lawn sprinkler was running at the brown house. I was shaking my head in disbelief. As I said, we’ve had at least some rain every single day we’ve been here!

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I’ve been seeing this strange looking shrub in many front yards. It’s Acalypha wilkesiana, a member of the euphorbia family with very variable leaves (thank you, Mr_Subjunctive, for the ID).

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I’m not a palm expert, but this could be a Fiji fan palm (Pritchardia pacifica)

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Close-up of fan palm leaf

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Fan palm leaves

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Two common trees: coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) and Cook pine (Araucaria columnaris), often confused with—and hard to tell from—the Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla). See here for more detail.

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Not a common sight on the eastern side of Hawaii: a flowering plumeria. I asked the botanist at the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden why there aren’t more plumerias on this side of the island. He said they’re “desert plants” (I think “desert” is used in a much different sense here in Hawaii) and don’t thrive in the high rainfall areas of eastern Hawaii. We should see many more plumerias on the western side.

8 comments:

  1. Ready to pack my bags here...repressing the envy ! I really like the idea of doing one island in depth . Most of my trips to Hawaii have involved at least 2 islands. You have the right idea !

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    1. That was our goal. We wanted to get a better feel for the island. Overall, the Big Island is MUCH less touristy than the other islands, and there is a lot of untamed nature still left for visitors to explore.

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  2. Lush and lovely, of course I also look forward to what lies ahead...

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    1. As do I :-)

      As you will see in tomorrow's post, the biggest shock upon arriving here on the west side of the island was seeing BROWN GRASS. Unheard of on the Hilo side!

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  3. It all looks wonderful, and so nice to be able to explore the island with more depth with your dedicated stay at the big island and changing locations.

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    1. One of the biggest expenses is getting here so it makes sense to stay as long as possible :-).

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  4. Replies
    1. That's it! Yet another intriguing member of the vast Euphorbiaceae family. Thank you so much for the ID.

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