Koa Butterfly

Koa Butterfly

One of the cutest native insects is the Koa Butterfly, also known as Blackburn’s Butterfly or the Hawaiian Blue – Udara Blackburnii.  The Koa butterfly is one of only two butterfly species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.  The Koa Butterfly has a wingspan of about an...
Kamehameha Butterflies in the Koa Forests

Kamehameha Butterflies in the Koa Forests

For the past several months I have been hiking to the koa forests of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island to look for Kamehameha Butterflies. Kamehameha Butterflies (Vanessa tameamea) are one of only two butterfly species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.  Known as “Lepelepe...
Koa Butterflies on ʻIliahi Flowers

Koa Butterflies on ʻIliahi Flowers

I hiked along the rim of Makua Valley where I saw dozens of koa butterflies sipping the nectar of ʻiliahi flowers. I attended the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club’s 3-day Mokuleʻia Campout where backpackers hike the Kuaokoala Trail, Mokuleʻia Access Road, and...
Rare Native Plants and Animals in the Waiʻanae Mountains

Rare Native Plants and Animals in the Waiʻanae Mountains

For quite some time now I have been exploring remote ridges and gullies in the Waiʻanae Mountains to look for rare native plants and animals. Much of the Waiʻanae Mountains lie in the rain shadow of the Koʻolau Mountains and makes the Waiʻanae Mountains significantly...
Returning from the Mokuleʻia Forest Reserve

Returning from the Mokuleʻia Forest Reserve

On the third and final day of our camp-out we backpacked from the Mokuleʻia Forest Reserve along the rim of Makua Valley to return the way we had come on the Kuaokala Trail. It was a cool and overcast morning as we gathered at the hunter’s shelter for our...
Backpacking to Keauhou

Backpacking to Keauhou

I joined 10 friends for a 3-day backpacking adventure to Keauhou and Halape in the wilderness area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) along the Kau and Puna coasts of the Big Island. The day before we arrived in Hilo, my hiking buddy Pete Morton (aka Puna Pete)...