Hawaii photograph

2009 Hawaiian Forest Calendar

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The following images are in the 2009 Hawaiian Forest calendar.

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January
A profuse growth of naupaka kahakai overlooks the sandy beaches of Waimea Bay as a series of 12 foot waves, generated by storms in the North Pacific, arrives on the Northshore of Oahu. Naupaka kahakai (Scaevola sericea) is indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands and is common on the beaches of Hawaii.

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February
Beach ilima crawls over the sand and produces small yellow-orange flowers three-quarters of an inch across at Kaena Point on the western most tip of Oahu, Ilima (Sida fallax) is indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands—its flowers are highly prized and were fashioned into leis for the alii (chiefs) in old Hawaii.

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March
At sunrise, the rays of the sun pierce the misty clouds shrouding Lanihuli, the peak above the Nuuanu Pali that is prominent in the mele and hula (song and dance) of old Hawaii. The hanging valleys carved into the steep slopes of Lanihuli shelter native plants such as loulu hiwa which is endemic to the Koolau Mountains of Oahu.

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April
The coral pools at Ahihi-Kinau in Makena on Maui are a nursery for coral, fishes and a host of other sea creatures that make the coastal waters of Maui their home. Look closely in the bottom right corner to see a school of tiny fishes swimming in the coral garden.

05-may-kahuli-on-ohia.jpg

May
Kahuli or Oahu tree snails (Achitinella sowerbyana) sleep on the underside of ohia lehua leaves along the Poamoho Trail that leads to the summit of the Koolau Mountains. Also known as pupu kani oe in Hawaiian, these endemic snails are endangered with only a handful isolated populations remaining in the wild.

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June
Vibrant red ohia lehua flowers (Metrosideros polymorpha) thrive along side wild orchids on the shores of a mountain pool fed by a charming waterfall near the Wahine Hauoli Trail along the road to Hana on Maui. Ohia lehua is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and is the dominant tree in the native landscape.

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July
Endemic wiliwili trees drop their leaves in the summer and burst into bloom with orange flowers. This grove of wiliwili trees (Erythrina sandwichensis) grows in the dry forests of Ulupalakua in Kanaio Natural Area Reserve on Maui. The sight of blooming wiliwili trees has become increasingly rare ever since an invasive wasp made its way to Maui which has been infesting and killing trees.

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August
A pair of honu enjoy the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches at Makalawena on the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Honu or Hawaiian green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are native to the Hawaiian Islands and are a threatened species.

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September
Ohia lehua trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) burst into bloom with orange and red lehua flowers in the mesic forest overlooking Honopu Valley as a pair of flying nene geese approaches from Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai.

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October
The fragrant flower of this native gardenia tree (Gardenia brighamii) or na’u in Hawaiian, blooms in Kanepuu Preserve on Lanai, one of the last remaining native dryland forests in Hawaii. This gardenia tree is an endangered species—only a handful of trees remain in the wild.

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November
A pair of amorous dragonflies dart over a pond that meanders over the landscape in The Nature Conservancy’s Kanaele Bog on Kauai, the only remaining intact low elevation bog in Hawaii. It is home to rare and endangered native plants such as the pair of lobelias on the far side of the pond and to a stunted form of ohia lehua in the foreground.

12-dec-lehua-buds-opening.jpg

December
A cluster of red lehua buds open-up one-by-one in a native forest of ohia lehua trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) on Papali Ridge overlooking Hauula on the windward coast of Oahu.

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