A Curious natural Phenomenon…

On the 27th in the afternoon, Messrs. Thurston and Bishop walked out in a N. W. direction, till they reached the point that forms the northern boundary of the bay, on the eastern side of which Kailua is situated. It runs three or four miles into the sea; is composed entirely of lava; and was formed by an eruption from one of the large craters on the top of Mouna Huararai, (Mount Hualalai,) which, about twenty-three years ago, inundated several villages, destroyed a number of plantations and extensive fish-ponds, filled up a deep bay twenty miles in length, and formed the present Coast. An Englishman, who has resided thirty-eight years in the islands, and who witnessed the above eruption, has frequently told us he was astonished at the irresistible impetuosity of the torrent. Stone walls, trees, and houses, all gave way before it; even large masses or rocks of hard ancient lava, when surrounded by the fiery stream, soon split into small fragments, and falling into the burning mass, appeared to melt again, as borne by it down the mountain’s side. Numerous offerings were presented, and many hogs thrown alive into the stream, to appease the anger of the gods, by whom they supposed it was directed, and to stay its devastating course. All seemed unavailing, until one day the king Kamehameha went, attended by a large retinue of chiefs and priests, and, as the most valuable offering he could make, cut off part of his own hair, which was always considered sacred, and threw it into the torrent. A day or two after, the lava ceased to flow. The gods, it was thought, were satisfied; and the king acquired no small degree of influence over the minds of the people, who, from this circumstance, attributed their escape from threatened destruction to his supposed interest with the deities of the volcanoes. In several places they observed that the sea rushes with violence twenty or thirty yards along the cavities beneath the lava, and then, forcing its waters through the apertures in the surface, forms a number of beautiful jets, which falling again on the rocks, roll rapidly back to the ocean. They enjoyed a fine view of the town and adjacent country. (Ellis)

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(These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

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Did You Know…?

 

Phoenix roebellini – Pygmy

All Phoenix palms produce stiff, very sharp thorns at the base of their “feather” (pinnate) leaves, and these can be quite dangerous, especially in larger-sized species.

Phoenix palms are dioecious—that is to say that a plant is either a male or a female, producing only staminate (pollen-producing) flowers on the male, and only pistillate (ovary-producing) flowers on the female plant.

Therefore, at least two Phoenix palms (of opposite sexes) must be within pollinating distance (a couple hundred yards at most) for fruit to develop. Bees can be seen occasionally visiting the open flowers, but wind can also carry pollen from one tree to another.

The fruit of the Pygmy Date Palm is dark purple and only about half an inch long by 1/8 inch in diameter at maturity, so it is not eaten—at least by people. When the plants are young, they are quite densely and symmetrically covered with dark-green fine-textured leaves (that conceal the sharp thorns at the leaf bases) and are rather attractive in appearance. They are also tolerant of relatively low light intensities such as those found in shopping malls, and are thus frequently utilized in the plant interiorscaping industry. The stubby bumps found on the trunks of older plants are the more-woody, rot-resistant portions of the old, long-dead leaves.

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October 15 is White Cane Safety Day in the United States…

white-cane

Many blind and visually impaired people, including famous musicians and writers, have made major positive contributions in the United States. Many have also used a white cane to help them succeed at educational institutions, work environments, and their homes. The first of the state laws regarding the right of blind people to travel independently with the white cane was passed in 1930. It granted blind pedestrians protection and the right-of-way while carrying a white cane.

In 1963, the National Federation of the Blind called upon the governors from every state to proclaim October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. At the time, only a few people achieved enough independence to travel alone on busy highways. The United States Congress, by joint resolution approved on October 6, 1964, designated October 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. By 1978, the number of visually impaired people who achieved a lot of independence through the white cane had greatly increased. Promotions on the benefits of the white cane proved to be successful and they are still continuing.

Organizations, such as Lions Clubs International and the National Federation of the Blind, organize promotional activities involving the public as part of a goal to help to increase awareness of the use of the white cane and the laws that govern its use. Activities such as visual displays, walks, meetings, public service announcements, and the distribution of t-shirts reminding people about the day are all part of the day’s activities. White Cane Safety Day also reminds people that motor vehicles and pedestrians should yield the right of way to blind or visually impaired people using canes.

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A Description of an extensive Cavern…

On the 26th, 1823 our party walked through the district in a south-east direction, to examine the ground, with a view to discover the most eligible place for digging a well. The whole face of the country marked decisively its volcanic origin; and in the course of their excursion they entered several hollows in the lava, formed by its having cooled and hardened on the surface, while, in a liquid state underneath, it had continued to flow towards the sea, leaving a crust in the shape of a tunnel, or arched vault, of varied thickness and extent. Before we returned, we also explored a celebrated cavern in the vicinity, called Raniakea. After entering it by a small aperture, we passed on in a direction nearly parallel with the surface; sometimes along a spacious arched way, not less than twenty-five feet high and twenty wide; at other times, by a passages narrow, that they could with difficulty press through, till they had proceeded about 1200 feet; here our progress was arrested by a pool of water, wide, deep, and as salt as that found in the hollows of the lava within a few yards of the sea. This latter circumstance, in a great degree, damped our hopes of finding fresh water by digging through the lava. More than thirty natives, most of them carrying torches, accompanied us in our descent; and on arriving at the water, simultaneously plunged in, extending their torches with one hand, and swimming about with the other. The partially illuminated heads of the natives, splashing about in this subterranean lake; the reflection of the torch-light on its agitated surface; the frowning sides and lofty arch of the black vault, hung with lava, that had cooled in every imaginable shape; the deep gloom of the cavern beyond the water; the hollow sound of their footsteps; and the varied reverberations of their voices, produced a singular effect; and it would have required but little aid from the fancy, to have imagined a resemblance between this scene and the fabled Stygian lake of the poets. The mouth of the cave is about half a mile from the sea, and the perpendicular depth to the water probably not less than fifty or sixty feet. The pool is occasionally visited by the natives, for the purpose of bathing, as its water is cool and refreshing. From its ebbing and flowing with the tide, it has probably a direct communication with the sea. (Ellis)

Discover all of the history and lore of the Big Island at Botanical World…

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(These are excerpts from a book by William Ellis that has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.)

Did You Know…?

Roystonia regia – Royal Palm

The Royal Palm was named after a man named Roy Stone. Part of its natural range includes southeastern Florida. This is one of the larger members of the Palm Family, and can attain a height of over 100 feet. The trees grow rapidly from seeds and can reach a height of over 20 feet in 5 years, with a clear trunk more than a foot in diameter and 5 feet in height in a good site location. It is a self-cleaning palm, and you do not want to be beneath one when a leaf falls, because a single leaf can weigh over 100 pounds. The leaf sheath is large enough to completely surround a 6 foot tall standing person, like a hotdog in a bun.

The Royal Palm produces a large cluster of creamy white flowers, called an inflorescence, can consist of over 50,000 flowers. It develops inside a tubular structure called a spadix, which falls off the inflorescence when the developing flowers are ready to open. A blooming inflorescence attracts hundreds of bees, and covers the ground beneath the tree with fallen flowers for several days. After flowering ends, many thousands of small dark red-purple fruits develop, falling to the ground at maturity, where many of them are eaten by birds and feral pigs.

 

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

For 24/7 Online Reservations Book your tour HERE

Or call: 808-963-5427 or Toll Free: 888-947-4753

Visit us at BotanicalWorld.com