Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Smelling the flowers (and other fauna!) in Kaua'i

I thought I would share a few more pictures with you from my time in Kaua'i!
These ones feature the incredible flowers and fauna that exist on the Garden Island.

{me, stopping to smell the flowers in Hawaii}








One of the things I loved most about my time in Kaua'i was all of the fresh produce available. They have many "Sunshine Markets" all over the island that feature locally grown produce and food. We
picked up pineapple, papayas, apple bananas (a smaller, sweeter variation of the large bananas I find in the stores), cold coconuts, avocado, tomatoes, and kale.
Every morning, Nate and I would eat for breakfast the sweetest, most delicious pineapple we'd ever had.


From afar, the fruits of these trees looked to me like pineapples. I made the mistake of asking a local how they get the pineapples down and was reminded that pineapples grown in the ground and not in trees. He told me that they nickname these trees and their fruits, "tourist pineapples".
Apparently I am not the only one who's made the mistake! 


We woke up every morning to a whole cacophony of bird songs, including from a rooster and a gaggle of geese (not the quietest, sweetest singing birds out there).
Although we had many beautiful birds visit our lanai (porch/deck place) during our pineapple breakfasts, none of them were native species. We learned that native birds were less abundant below 1,000 feet of sea level and that most species had migrated further up into the mountains.
Chickens are one non-native bird that is extremely abundant on the island of Kaua'i and they roamed free everywhere we went. We were told that the chicken population on Kaua'i exploded after Hurricane 'Iniki in 1992 allowed for a whole bunch of caged, domestic chickens to escape.
With no real predator on the island, chickens have flourished and they all over the place (like the one in the picture above, just hanging out at the beach!)


We also saw some incredible trees, including one that grows it's roots from it's branches and starts a whole new trunk once the root hits the ground (I don't know if this actually what happens, but that is what it looks like is happening). We also were introduced to a tiny, ground cover plant called "Hilo" that when you gently touch it's leaves, they curl in on themselves! After a little bit, they return to their shape once again. Talk about plants sensing your presence among them!
 I probably looked like a crazy person bent over touching these tiny leaves and squealing with delight!

Then, of course, there was the quintessential palm tree, stirring memories of tropical breezes and romantic silhouettes at sunset....


ah, sunset.
In the presence of such beauty and grace, it's no wonder that Hawaiians have such a strong sense of the "Aloha Spirit" or "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha)".



Leaves and Feathers said...

I could look at the pictures of your trip for hours! Kauai is so beautiful and really one of my favorite places on earth. Looks like you had a wonderful time! Where did you stay?

JodiB said...

Wow - makes me want to see Hawaii! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Lis said...

OMG ... i am just leaving your blog up for periodic glimpses of paradise ...

what a beautiful trip and wonderful memories. Cannot wait to see what you paint now!

xo Lis

Jardino said...

That's so funny! I would've said the same thing about the pineapples ;) Beautiful photos, and all those tropical flowers- divine! xJ


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