The Kula Botanical Gardens

I have lived in Kula for almost a year and have never taken the time to go to the Kula Botanical Gardens which is only a few miles from my home. But, last Sunday I remedied that particular remiss and decided to drive up. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect–slightly cool, sunny skies with a light tropical breeze–like I said…perfect.

I entered through the gift store where I paid an entrance fee. The cashier Harlan was a delightfully chatty fellow and I received some history, heard some lively stories and was given a great map of the grounds. Right out the back of the store is a path leading directly to a cage with two Jackson Chameleons which look like miniature dinosaurs. For our entertainment, Harlan came out to feed them a couple of mealy worms. The male was particularly interested and from a great distance flung out the longest tongue I’ve ever seen. It curled around the worm and recoiled in a flash. My photos, unfortunately, I took through the screen of the cage and were not in focus so you will have to imagine this scene.

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The garden path winds down to a Koi pond filled with colorful fish. They didn’t appear afraid of strangers and lazily swam past me several times, probably looking for a handout.

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In this same area was a little waterfall which added to the serenity of the ponds.

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Following the path, I discovered a small bird sanctuary with the Hawaiian Native Goose…the Nene. He looked quite complacent and completely ignored my presence, content to enjoy the sun on his back. He was too far away for a good photo but the foliage in the area was spectacular…Image

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Most of the plants were marked with signage though I was more interested in the colors than the names. In my walkabout I came across a large bird-cage with cockateels and love birds. Unfortunately, again, the cage wire…Image

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So many plants–flowers, ferns, trees, bushes. There were covered bridges and seating areas, sun-rooms for plants requiring more humidity.

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More photos of “local flowers”–anthurium-like flowers, bird of paradise, ‘uki’uki grass, protea (for which Maui is renown) and an array of colorful plants introduced to Hawai’i…

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About this time I ran out of memory in my camera and had to switch to my cell which was low on battery, so I hurriedly took the last remaining photos…especially of my beloved Jacaranda tree on which was the last group of blossoms clinging to Spring.

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And, standing guard over all this beauty are the carved ki’i of Ku, Lono and Kanaloa.

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