Friday, August 26, 2011

Hawaii Pictures Part 2

So, as I said previously, we are big nerds when it comes to arboreta and botanical gardens.  On our honeymoon, we managed to spend about 5 hours in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and every time we go visit my parents in Bellevue, we have to stop by the Bellevue Botanical Gardens. And it is not uncommon for Benjamin to stop on a hike to examine a tree (hey, his dad is a forester and he was a forest fire fighter in college. He comes by his interest honestly).

Benjamin, trying to blend in.
 All that is to say that we are pretty used to looking at trees. But the trees in Hawaii, wow. I have never seen so many enormous trees. The one pictured above is big all right, but it probably wasn't the biggest. And the other thing about these giants is that they are not really that old. Most of the gardens we toured weren't planted until the early to mid-20th century, so they were, at most 120 years old! Just. Wow.

Not only were there enormous trees, there were also some very weird trees. Like this one, which is only improved by the signs. According to the self-guided tour flyer we had, the cannonballs are bluish inside, and smell really bad.


These things really are about the size of cannonballs, and it would be extremely unpleasant to be conked on the head by one.


One of the gardens had a ton of epiphytes.The tree in the picture below is actually all epiphyte, just hanging out on a dead stump.

I had no idea how many different varieties of palms there are. The ones we probably all think of when we hear "palm tree" are Caribbean Royal Palms, and as their name suggests, they are from the Caribbean. I didn't really get a good picture of one, because they are so tall, and pointing a camera into the sun isn't really a good way to take photos. But they do have a very strange, um, appendage called the crownshaft, which we noticed on some trees on campus before we got to the gardens, and which we both thought looked rather phallic. Benjamin doesn't really have a dirty mind, so if he saw one and thought that, well...

Anyway, returning to other palms - there are many, many varieties in the world, of all shapes and sizes.  Some are short and stout, while others are reeeeeeaaalllly tall.

And finally, since I seem to be going all classy today sarcasm, here is a photo of a sausage tree too.

Yup, those things that look like corn dogs are actually fruit, hanging on peduncles (which is now my new favorite word). Apparently baboons and giraffes like to eat them.

Next time I will give the flora a rest and give you some scenery.

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