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10/24/09 - Kaumana Trail

Posted Sunday 25th October 2009 at 07:22 by bkrownd
Updated Monday 26th October 2009 at 10:27 by bkrownd
Well it was bound to happen eventually. While I was out on the Saddle today somebody smashed my car window and made off with some pocket change from the glove compartment - mostly pennies! Seems they also hit one of the hunters' cars. For pocket change! There is sharp glass everywhere in my car. The worst part is that I lost half of my Sunday outing dealing with the mess and making a cover for my window.

The weather forecasts for this weekend were completely wrong. Both days were supposed to be fairly rainy, but instead the weather was partly cloudy, hot and dry! Unfortunately due to the bad forecasts I couldn't make use of the stable weather to go somewhere really remote. Saturday morning I decided to return to the northern end of Kaumana Trail, North of Saddle Road. I hoped to spend some time in the koa forest listening for the endangered birds and searching for endangered plants. I had mixed results.

Point counts of birds along the way were similar to my last visit. Average counts were 8.2 'apapane, 3.4 i'iwi, 1.9 'amakihi, 1.7 'oma'o, 1.1 'elepaio, 2.5 Japanese white-eye and 1.0 red-billed leiothrix. The i'iwi/'apapane ratio is fairly high - compare to this month's average Powerline Road counts of 14.5 and 3.5. I heard yellow-fronted canaries along Powerline Road as I started along the trail. I only heard one kalij pheasant all day. I spent several hours under the tall koas, and heard a couple of elusive Hawai'i creepers - I couldn't see the up in the tall trees this time. No hint of 'akiapola'au yet.

The tall canopy forest is fairly torn up by pigs. I began exploring in a closed canopy forest over sloped ground that was extensively rooted, with much bare ground. Pigs had even climbed the bridge roots, leaning trunks and mossy deadfall to graze the epiphytes. I didn't find any interesting plants there. There was a boggy area at the base of the slope, where I found some weeds among the bog grasses. Beyond that the canopy opened up a bit and the understory was dominated by ferns - I made very slow progress through a thick sea of chest to head high diplazium ferns. Underneath and among these I started to find a lot of the uncommon native pokeberry - a healthy population, with large plants climbing over deadfall. I found a single small epiphytic 'oha wai with thick and fairly pubescent leaves that might be a rare clermontia lindseyana. It could be another decade before it gets large enough to flower, so I may never know.

A map is attached at the bottom, below the photo.

Mauna Kea looms over a grassy meadow:
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Total Comments 4


Marmot's Avatar
Sorry to hear about the car window, it happened to us once in our local patch. Ian was just on his way back to the car and saw some lads hanging around they had just smashed the window. Unfortunately they were too far away for him to get the reg of their car even with his bins. They only took a little teddy that was on the dash with 40th birthday on.
Posted Sunday 25th October 2009 at 08:28 by Marmot Marmot is offline
bkrownd's Avatar
At least I didn't lose my Teddy! :)
Posted Monday 26th October 2009 at 06:00 by bkrownd bkrownd is offline
I've found it best to ensure car is empty and leave open when in isolated areas.
Posted Thursday 24th June 2010 at 23:45 by Richard Roach Richard Roach is offline
bkrownd's Avatar
If I leave my car open people will be going through it every day, leaving the doors open, trying to hotwire it, etc, and I won't be able to keep anything in there. (hats, boots, socks, blaze vests, machetes, etc) That's only an option for tourists. There are also insurance (and in some areas legal) implications for failing to secure your vehicle properly.
Posted Friday 25th June 2010 at 02:19 by bkrownd bkrownd is offline
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