Posts tagged flowers

Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail, Sharon, MA 5/5/18

Love this trail into Borderland State Park, off of Massapoag Ave, just across from Mansfield St.

You start out on a zigzag trail up towards the main part of the Park, if you want to go that far. IMG_1335

That granite block by the side of the road marks the trail location, and space to park. The greenery is starting to pop along the trail:

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Little flowers too:

The little buds almost look like green confetti floating:

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The trail crosses a stream coming out of a pond:

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The downstream side:

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Just past the stream is a small rocky hill to the right where you can sit and look out at the pond:

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and the wildlife:

We walked on a little ways till we came to the intersection where the Split Rock Trail heads off to the left:

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Stone wall along the trail:

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and boardwalk over a little swampy spot leading to a big rock formation – a glacial erratic?

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Walked around to the left, and lo and behold, it’s the Split Rock itself!

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Far side of the rock:IMG_1355

Looking down on the boardwalk from up at the top:

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More splits on this side of the rock:

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There’s a little garden growing atop the Split Rock:

Headed back, finding a plant with leaf buds in various stages of unfurling:

Back at the stream, we found a way in through thorns to get the babbling little waterfall as it pours out of the pond:

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The trail seems even greener after a little while in the sun:

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Almost at the street, and we pass this fallen tree which has become a buffet for critters:

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Kona Coffee at Greenwell Farm, Kealakekua, HI 1/8/18

Greenwell Farms offers free walking tours of their historic coffee farm, founded in 1850.

IMG_1149While you wait for your tour to begin, you can sample half a dozen different varieties of coffee, and shop to take some home, of course.  The grounds are lovely, with  lush garden and trees:

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Bananas!

We saw just a tiny corner of the farm, starting with coffee trees:

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coffee flowers

The coffee beans are spread out and dried in the sun, raked and turned:

The coffee beans are the seeds way deep inside the fruit, the coffee “cherry,” which has to be processed to removed the gel-like fruit – which is not sweet like cherry-pie cherries.

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coffee beans

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coffee flower

The trees don’t get very tall because they’re pruned every 3 years. branches from other trees are grafted onto the pruned ones:

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Here’s a coffee cherry on the tree:

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Other plants growing in this rich Kona soil:

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Hibiscus

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more bananas

and huge avocados:

Greenwell Farms is well worth the detour for the short, informative tour.

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Onomea Trail, Big Island, HI 1/5/18

The Onomea Trail was an unexpected delight. It’s just off the Old Mamalohoa Highway, about 10 minutes north of Hilo.

It’s a steep, but not difficult, trail down to Onomea Bay, with gorgeous plants and views along the way.

wild Bird of Paradise flowers

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fuzzy piggy-back ride

At the bottom of the trail, you reach the Bay:

We found a broken-open coconut, fallen from one of the palm trees on the shore:

Best snack ever – ocean-salty coconut!

This rocky promontory provided more views:

with tide pools:

Back to the trail which crosses through the middle of the Botanical Gardens. We met the Garden’s security guard, a retiree who sits on a beach chair, reading and listening to music, where the Onomea Trail crosses one of the Garden trails. He seemed eager to chat, and  guided us to some of the plants inside the fenced off Garden that we could see along our trail.:

Past the friendly guard, the trail takes you down some stairs to the spot where the Onomea Stream reaches the ocean:

And views of the Twin Rocks formation:

We were there at low tide, so the point where the river meets the sea was somewhat obscured by the rocky sandbar, but what a beautiful spot.

Family photos!

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Final view as we climbed back up the trail to the car:

I’m sure the Botanic Garden is wonderful, but this spot is natural and free!

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Rainbow Falls, Hilo, HI

Rainbow Falls is in a state park in Hilo, with viewing platforms of the 80′ tall falls. The falls get their name from the fact that, on sunny mornings around 10AM, rainbows can be seen in the mist thrown up by the waterfall.

You can climb stone stairs up to a view near/above the top of the falls….

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… then hike into the lush woods along the river…

… with banyan trees! Perfect for climbing…

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A gecko:

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walking along the river above the falls:

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Hibiscus?:

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Views from another platform:

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Between the gorgeous falls, the fun banyan trees and scrambling above the falls, and the easy 5 minute drive from downtown Hilo, Rainbow Falls is a must-see.

And here’s a shop and snack from Hilo:

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Hilo, HI – Liliuokalani Gardens

After a day/evening at Volcanoes National Park, we spent the night in Hilo. This is the view from our Hilo Reeds Bay hotel:

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And banyan trees in front, along Banyan Drive:

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Also on Banyan Drive is Queen Liliuokalani Gardens, a 24acre park/Japanese garden. In 1907, Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, donated the original 5 acres bordering Hilo Bay for a public park. It was dedicated in 1917 as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants who worked in the sugar cane fields. FYI – she was the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, thanks to the coup organized by American business interests including Sanford Dole (cousin to the Dole Pineapple Company). Cool fact, she wrote the Hawaiian ballad Aloha Oe in 1878, recorded by Bing Crosby, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Spongebob, etc.

The Gardens are beautiful, with bridges, walkways over water, stone urns, and views across the bay to snowcapped Mauna Kea.

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Mauna Kea rises above Hilo Bay

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High water flooded out some of the walkways

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Mauna Kea, above the gate

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Stone pagoda

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Bamboo

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lots of cats hiding in the gardens

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – January 2018

Volcanoes National Park is about a 2-hour drive from Kona, but what a drive!

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We stopped at Punalu’u Bake Shop for a snack and devoured some malasadas – a variety of sugar-covered filled donuts, with orange guava, purple taro, and yellow lilikoi:IMG_0877

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You can see the huge Kilauea caldera, and the steaming Halema‘uma‘u crater in the center, from the deck at the Volcano House lodge.

We headed off to hike the short ‘Iliahi trail which leads through dense lush forest, then comes out on the rim of the caldera, and leads to the Steam Vent trail, where volcanic steam seeps out of cracks in the ground:

Steam Vents lead to Sulfur Banks trail, where you can see and smell the yellow sulfur deposits:

It’s kind of amazing that with all the steam and volcanic fumes, there are flowers and greenery:

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Yellow sulphur on the hills and rocks:IMG_0903IMG_0904IMG_0905

Followed by picnic lunch near the visitor center:

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Hardy Park, Mansfield, MA 7/23/17

Hardy Park is a nice local area of conservation land, off of Maple St.

It’s a typical New England woodland trail, except for the chain link fence and towers of rail-car shipping containers. But you pass that bit of civilization and you’re immersed in nature, with a trail marker or two. We took the yellow trail to the green one, which goes by the ponds.

You get peeks at a small pond through the trees:

then come to the larger pond which has more open access:

Hmmm… that looks like a cistern and chairs across the way…

We had the entire trail to ourselves, except for the wildlife – that’s a pretty big toad.

Lavender flowers growing out of the water:

And a couple of nice resting spots:

We kept walking around to the far side. Lovely stroll, perfect day…

and reached those chairs…

Don’t know what this cement tube is, but it’s not a cistern.

Past this spot, the trail forks and we headed out onto the red trail, hoping we’d get some good views of the Canoe River…

Well, it’s the red trail, but no skittles in sight.

A butterfly:

and the trail out… but it’s too high above and away from the River, or the river’s too small, to see it. But there was interesting graffiti on a tree.

Great spot for nature, solitude, and easy 1 1/2 hour outing, including the sitting and admiring time.

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