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7/26/09 - Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve, South of Kaumana Trail

Posted Monday 27th July 2009 at 07:20 by bkrownd
Updated Monday 27th July 2009 at 07:23 by bkrownd
Sunday I returned to the same area I explored yesterday, near the beginning of bird survey transect 25. The weather was the same - calm and ideal, but slightly cooler and less humid. These would have been good days to explore distant kipukas, but the recent storms dampened my ambitions.

I was really pooped out after Saturday, so it was another late start. I left the car at 9:30. It was past noon before I was back in the interesting bit of native forest I found yesterday. I approached from a different direction, and found far more pig damage than I saw yesterday. The damage appeared to be a few months old, and I heard no pigs either day. Some of the trees here are very gnarly and old, with trunks of several trees of different species fused together into a central 'ohi'a trunk. Many of these formed bridges, root pockets or overhangs under which the pigs were living. Some of them sheltered overhangs massive, and would make a nice camp site.

I had even more success than yesterday in finding rare plants, since I spent most of the day in the good area. I found many more 'anini and opuhe trees in the same area - there is a good colony of each. There must be a large 'anini nearby that I haven't seen yet to seed the little ones. A couple of the opuhe I found were quite large and old, so they've been reproducing there for a while.

Sunday's special discoveries were even more interesting: First, I found a large 'aiea tree, which is only the second I've seen on the Saddle. It was full of flowers, and they smelled marvelous. Unfortunately the other tree is a couple kilometers away, so I don't know if they can pollenate each other. 'Aiea is a member of the nightshade family, and not uncommon in some of the more diverse wet forests. Secondly, I found two popolo ku mai (pokeberry) vines, which doubles the total number I've ever seen in the wild. These tend to survive in the wreckage of fallen trees, which keep animals from browsing and rooting them, and gives them something to climb on.

Bird observations were similar to yesterday, though there were more small groups of 'apapane moving around today. There seems to be one i'iwi scooting around this area which I saw and heard in passing several times. I observed him in a large clermontia again, and there aren't many other large nectary flowers for them to feed on this time of year.

I really expected to make better progress today, but a late start and waypointing so many interesting plants made it slow going. I've hardly started searching this forest, but I'm not sure how much of the whole thing is the rich part where I can hope to find the rare plants.

Flowering 'aiea:


Popolo ku mai:
Total Comments 2

Comments

Old
Marmot's Avatar
That aiea tree is lovely, you will have to see if you can find some way of pollonating it .

I found this item don't know if it might be of any help
http://www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/cw...t%20NTBG_W.pdf

I take it your injured hand is fine now.
Posted Monday 27th July 2009 at 08:26 by Marmot Marmot is offline
Old
bkrownd's Avatar
There is a guide to raising various native plants somewhere that I should look into. I've always wanted to raise various native plants from seeds collected as I go and then re-plant them in fairly safe locations. It may be tricky, since many of them are pretty picky about where they'll grow since the soil and moisture are highly variable here.

My finger is 99% now, and the last bit of stiffness went away over the weekend. No surgery was necessary. I guess tendons do heal.
Posted Monday 27th July 2009 at 19:29 by bkrownd bkrownd is offline
 


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