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Sunday, May 13, 2018


DAY 11 of the Kilauea eruption, with now an 18th fissure, is summarized at the end of this posting.

The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a 193.5 acre botanical garden managed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and is exactly 100 years old.  Hmmm....why wasn't this emphasized at the site?  The whole area is a lowland rainforest, with the grounds having 5,000 plants and seven hiking trail miles.

The location is just above the former Paradise Park, which opened 50 years ago, closed in 1994, and now seems to mostly entertain failed restaurants.  James W. Y. Wong of Maui developed this location, as he did Enchanted Lake and Puck's Alley.  He passed away last year at the age of 94.

But back to the arboretum, the Hawaiian Sugar Planter's Association established this site, and the first director was Dr. Lyon.  HSPA gave (?) the site to the University of Hawaii in 1953.  I first visited the garden in the late 1970's when I was working for the Chancellor's Office at the UH, and through a complex administrative arrangement, had a kind of overseeing role.  The management was shifted a couple times because there were problems with upkeep and lack of funds.  

I haven't heard anything bad for decades, so I guess all is now relatively well.  Rakan Zahawi became director seven months ago.

A once in a lifetime event occurred at the end of last year, when a 55-year old talipot palm bloomed.   It was 70 feet tall and the inflorescence was 18 feet long.  The plant, unfortunately, is monocarpic, meaning it must have died .

The Arboretum hosts an annual sale, so off a few of us at 15 Craigside went to buy a few plants.  I was particularly interested because it had been around 40 years since my last visit.  Here is our second and newest van.

Unfortunately, it was raining most of the time, so we could not walk about the garden.  But, a few photos:

The photo immediately above are the three plants I bought:  dwarf plumeria, black taro and lavender.  Below, my repotted newbies, then, next to my honohono garden:

Left photo from Bossy Gals.  The frangrances from both the plumeria blossoms and lavender leaves were wonderful.  This surprised me about the latter because I thought it was only the flower that smelled like perfume.  In case you were unaware (and Maui is known for their version):

Lavender is best known and loved for its fragrance. The herb has been used since ancient times in perfumery. As an aromatic plant, lavender lifts the spirits and chases melancholy. Taking just a few whiffs of this sweet-smelling herb is said to dispel dizziness . Traditionally, women in labor clutched sprigs of lavender to bring added courage and strength to the task of childbearing. A decoction of the flower may be used as a feminine douche for leucorrhoea. The dried blossoms, sewn into sachets, may be used to repel moths and to scent clothing, or may be lit like incense to scent a room. Because of its fumigant properties, the herb was hung in the home to repel flies and mosquitoes, and strewn about to sanitize the floors. Lavender essential oil was a component of smelling salts in Victorian times.

I also wonder if I will someday get black poi.  As you know, the taro root is pounded into that purple slurry eaten at luaus.

Speaking of food, I had last night an elegant meal on my lanai, featuring Bugles from Japan, ikura (salmon eggs), Castello blue cheese, endives + green salad, vegetable soup, and crispy taco shells, with the last serving of my Parker 98-rated wine from Spain, Johnny Walker Platinum and Stanford Goldschmidt Chardonnay:

For my recent lunches, I took out the best garlic chicken in Hawaii from Mitsuken, and devoured their mini-bento at Fisherman's Village with a panoramic view of Young Brothers:

That was a MINI-bento over a one-inch thick layer of rice.  Actually, far too much food for me.  I'm going to need to walk an extra 18 holes next week.  Then yesterday I dropped by Kamehameha Shopping center for a Kam Bowl garlic/butter Akule (Aji in Japan, and Big Eye Scad in the USA) and Times Supermarket Hawaiian poke:

I went back to Fisherman's Village, and had a much better view:

I was born in the year of the Golden Dragon.

I might add that two more fissures popped up to the sea side of Leilani Estates, now up to #17 (just heard there is now an #18th), appearing to circle the Puna Geothermal Ventures power plant.  Following from the Star Advertiser:

I've long felt that Dave Shapiro of Volcanic Ash has been too over the top in his sarcasm, but in this morning local paper he showed unusual compassion and affection regarding Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.  Worth a read.  That's Kim to the right.

Should have said this at the top of this posting, but, HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY.  Our 15 Craigside Sunday night table will honor our mothers tonight.


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