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9/4/09 - Halepohaku

Posted Saturday 5th September 2009 at 04:16 by bkrownd
Updated Saturday 5th September 2009 at 04:23 by bkrownd
On the way down from the summit this afternoon I stopped to take photos of flowering native plants in the alpine scrub zone. This area just above the mamane forest treeline above the Mauna Kea visitor center has a very distinctive flora. Neglecting weeds, the most numerous plants are pili grass, pamakani ,'ohelo, pukiawe and nohoanu. There are also less common species mixed in, such as pawale, silene, 'ena 'ena, and both na'ena'e. Pamakani and na'ena'e are nearing the end of their flowering period, so I stopped on the way down to take photos. Pawale is flowering, but none are very near the road.

Chukars like the scrub and alpine habitats. We usually only see them while driving up the road from the treeline up to the summit, and there were a number along the road where I stopped. While I was taking photos I heard a large number of 'apapane tweeting down below me at Halepohaku. A few mamane trees are flowering, but I did not think there would be enough to attract so many of them.
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