Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Searching for Ruins and Orchids on Oahu

Entering the Lyon Arboretum
  Ever since I discovered the multiple botanical gardens here on Oahu I have been waiting to take my mother. There are so many amazing plants growing here in this tropical climate of Hawaii. You can find wild orchids growing high up in the trees, massive bromeliads, and ferns that make you feel like a dinosaur will jump out of the bushes at any moment.

Poison Dart Frog
  In the rainforest deep in Manoa valley one of these botanical gardens reigns supreme, its called the Harold S. Lyon Arboretum. We narrowly missed a downpour of rain here but not before seeing a very cute little poison dart frog as well as many interesting plants throughout the garden. We even caught a glimpse of the resident sulphur crested cockatoos high up in the tree tops.

Mom amongst the ruins of long lost ruins

  Our next stop was also deep in the rainforest. We hiked through a secret trail thru a bamboo forest until we came across the ruins of Kamehameha III's summer palace. No matter how many times I come here I am always entranced by the beauty and serenity of this place. It is hard to imagine 10,000 party goers attending a function here while now it sits in ruins, totally hidden from almost everyone.

  Our last stop was another rainy one but luckily we had some cover. It was at the Olomana Orchid Nursery.  Here we saw many species of orchids, including some of which the owners actually created by hybridizing other species. The flowers were all very beautiful and hearing some of the owner's stories may have been even better. Turns out there is an endemic orchid to Hawaii, but it only lives in one place on Kauai, the location a closely guarded secret by the scientist who study it.

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