Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tulips in the Garden

Spring is in the tulips

The garden is beautiful and ready for more planting.  We try to wait for Mother's Day, so the frost is behind us....but in Colorado, anything is possible, until late in the season.  

However, the tulips are beautiful and blooming everywhere.  I thought this group of pinks were especially nice...and could go on a postage stamp..... wouldn't it be fun to have 'seasonal' stamps?

Enjoy your Garden today... and if you do not have a garden, enjoy someone else's, as you walk the earth today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Before I left.....a work in progress

I was working on these daffodils, in colored pencil before I left for Maui...and now the tulips are up!!

I am catching up, downloading photos of the trip, making Cd's for the kids, and trying to figure out if the sore throat is "plane crud",  "allergies" or "Swine flu".   Most likely, it is from traveling..... I always seem to catch what ever is on the plane after every flight I take.

I was working on this daffodil drawing before I left.  I had set up the easel due to back pain... but I may decide to get back in to watercolor and away from the colored pencil for a bit.  I do have a work shop coming up, mid-month... so it would be nice if I did some work now, so I am not so rusty with the hands and eyes, for the workshop.

Days are still struggling to get warm here.... I mean really warm.  I love the sun and warmth, but it's still cool and Spring like.  I plan to get out an photograph this afternoon - the gardens are glorious.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lasting Aloha.....

Crown Flower lei, given to me by Nani

Beautiful Yellow lei (unknown flower) and haku leaf leis

I had promised not to write any more about Hawaii after I came home.... but a surprise on our last day was the most beautiful gift of "Aloha" from Nani, that I had to share it with you.  

I love the spirit of the people of Hawaii.   They maintain great patience with all of us visitors, who seem to take over the islands, at times.  They have much to share and teach us, when we choose to listen.  Nani is 81 years young and a great teacher.  She is a Naturalist who shares her knowledge of the island with visitors who come to our place to visit.  We have taken her nature tour but we also took her pineapple cutting class.   I wanted to thank her for what she has shared with us, so I did a small watercolor (posted previously) as a thank you gift.  

On the day before we left, she dropped off two leis in the office.  The beautiful yellow one (I can't remember the flowers... but they were amazingly fragrant) was for the head, much like the Haku leis that we made at another class.  The second lei was a TRIPLE strand of  "Crown" flowers.  They were originally made only for the Queen and are a very special gift when shared.

I was so touched by this kindness.... this true 'aloha spirit'.  I wanted to share these works of art with you and the spirit that was extended from a lovely Hawaiian.... known as Nani.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day!

Today is "Earth Day" and through out this planet, people are celebrating the earth and all of it's well, as educating us on how we can keep our land safe and healthy. I have been overly indulged in Maui, with tropical plants, beautiful beaches, beauty everywhere. There is an abundance of nature and it's beauty here, but Hawaiians are more than aware of what it takes to maintain this beauty. In an effort to provide a self sustaining life, the islands are using many modern as well as ancient techniques to maintain the land, sea and air.

The issues in Colorado are different, and yet, we are trying to create good care of our land in other ways. Today, just reminds us of what we should be doing every day to make the world just a little bit of a better place.

This will be my last blog from Maui..... as I will be heading home tomorrow. It's time to put the computer away, savor my last day here and say aloha to the island that I love so much.

Aloha.... see you back in Colorado next Monday.... with, hopefully, some work to show... but more likely, notes on re-entry to the 'real' world.

Learning to make a haku lei

Materials for making a haku (braided) lei

A completed lei enhances a tasty Maui pineapple!

My friend and I went to a class to learn how to make haku leis. We took ferns and placed them in piles of two. Then we proceeded to braid the ferns so that they faced outwards. In no time we had braided enough to surround our heads. Our beautiful Hawaiian teacher showed us how to tie off the lei and turn the leaves under, and we had lovely crown leis .... those that sat squarely on our heads. We managed to complete this in about 25 minutes!
I bought a long needle that is used for traditional lei making and plan to use plants of Colorado, when I go home..... to create new and different kinds of leis.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Sassy" Heliconia

I finally had some time to sit down with my watercolor pencils and do a drawing/painting of a heliconia. It is a gift to Auntie Noni, who give the nature talks here. She is a generous woman, and always shares so much with others.... it was fun to share something with her.
My friend arrived and sweet hubby went home... so we are enjoying the beach, learning to make woven leis (Haku leis) and just relaxing with our good books.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What we find on our walks

Orchid 'like' blossoms on the Orchid tree

Orchid tree hanging out in the alleyways of Maui

I have memories, growing up, of my Mother, Grandmother, and Great Aunt all receiving beautiful orchid corsages for special occasions. I think of orchids as a special flower, reserved for very special occasions. I have found orchids everywhere .... along the beach paths, or in an alley or in beautiful gardens. Last week we went up to the Kula Botanical Gardens and found many specimens of this grand flower.
Yesterday, we were walking along, taking a short cut to our beach trail, when we found this Orchid tree tucked away in an alley. The Orchid tree, from what I understand, is not a true Orchid, but very similar. The blooms are delicate and beautiful, despite the 'difference'.
It amazes me that I find new 'treasures' every day. Today, I am going to a Pineapple cutting with Auntie Noni - our local naturalist.
I also want to let you know about the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens
They will be hosting an Earth Day celebration this Saturday, April 18th, at the gardens....150 Kanaloa Ave., in Kahului (accross from the War Memorial stadium. I am hoping to go... and if I do, I will take photos for you.
Since, most of you cannot get there from where you are, please check out their website... it is very simple, but the video on the right is so very informative. You can learn a lot about the native species of Maui. Aloha

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Rose of Sharon" hibiscus

Just add the color ..... another beauty!

And then, another beautiful sunset.... Life is good!

It is hard to get 'jaded' here. Even though the beauty is all around you, it is just impossible not to appreciate it every day. Today was another repeat.... walk for an hour along the coast....enjoy a good book..... beach it..... dinner out with fish tacos... another beautiful sunset... with whales off the point. Really, when nature gives us so many gifts.... FREE!! I know that life can be difficult... challenging, frustrating.... but here I am - and I am grateful for these gifts....
Nature is beautiful. If you are frustrated with snow, rain, sleet... or gray.... go and take a walk around your block. I guarantee, there will be some beauty from nature, trying to grow as Spring pops up around you..... and be grateful that some things (really beautiful things) don't cost us anything... they are gifts to us... and we just need to appreciate them. Hugs to you today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Passover & Happy Easter

Protea flower at Kula Botanical Gardens

Fuchsia at Kula BG

Pincushion Proteas at Kula BG

This week has been a celebration of Passover and of Easter (tomorrow). I can't think of a better way to send good wishes to my readers...but to send you photos of flowers that we visited at the Kula Botanical Gardens. Yesterday, the rain and clouds continued, so we decided to head up to 3300 feet and visit a public garden started by a family on 9 acres of land. The son continues to work with his parents and continue the tradition of flowers. We put on our rain gear and braced for cool temperatures and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of beauty.
Today, it is sunny and warm! We took a walk with Auntie Noni (a naturalist) this 81, she is a wealth of knowledge on Hawaiian plants, trees, flowers, and the environment. Just listening to her is a treat. Then we hit the tide pools... and this afternoon, it is definitely time for the beach! ...and on to a new book!
Life is good.... blessings to you all.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our Daily walk...

Sea urchins up close and personal

The Sea urchin's condos in Maui!

No... these are not sea urchins... but bananas growing on our grounds!

Some days, when it is cloudy and sort of raining in bits and spurts, we walk around the property about five times... sort .of gives us a good walk, and we get to enjoy what is right here. Today, we checked out our tide pools. Because it was so cloudy, the photos didn't come out very well, but you get the idea of how the sea urchins tuck themselves into little 'condo' holes in the lava. They are protected from the wave action and seem quite comfortable in their tiny abodes.
There also seems to be an abundance of banana trees on the property, which I thought you might enjoy seeing. Some of the people who live here full time cut and ripen the fruit... eating just what they need every day. We would never cut down the fruit, as we cannot bring it back to the mainland - very strict rules about taking any fruits off the island. (Yes, even Pineapples have to be packaged and certified before you can take them home). Still, it's fun to see the fruit in it's natural habitat, growing all around.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shades of color

Plumeria flowers in red are more rare!

Gray day - but the Plumeria's beauty shines

As promised..... the surfers have been working the waves!

Today is a bit on the gray side.... cool but hazy. This is perfect reading weather... or exploring... but we decided to have a lazy day...watching whales, reading, and just being lazy. We did not even take a walk today, but I thought that I would share photos of yesterday. The swells were up and the surfers were out on the point from sun up til way past sundown. We watched the last one paddle in after dark.
Yesterday, on our walk, we took photos of the plumeria that sits on a vacant lot... sort of neglected, yet rather rare with it's deep red blooms. I love the Plumeria for it's "Japanese" spare elegance and beautifully scented blossoms. Many leis are made from the blossoms of the Plumeria and with these winds, they have been falling all around us (hence, the up close shot of the red blooms).
I guess it is time to get up and get going - a few more errands to run .... then, back to my good book!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Morning Walk

Couldn't resist this 'Bird of Paradise"

Big wave action as we head towards the ocean

We woke to the pounding surf and as we peeked out our window, the surfers were already out there.... and they haven't stopped. I will try to get some good photos with the telephoto and share them with you tomorrow.
The wind is calming a bit, and the waves have slowed down (a bit), but the sun is out and it is a beautiful day. We haven't seen too many whales this time - think that they are all heading north to Alaska.
I thought you might enjoy another flower from our walk - each day there is a 'stand out' among the flowers. I am overloaded with beauty and don't know where to start drawing...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quiet now....

A full Maui rainbow - a sight to behold

A Koi pond next door...

Ever changing tide pools

It is definitely quieter around here with the kids back home.... but we are enjoying the beauty of this wonderful paradise that changes daily. Yesterday was cloudy and a bit rainy, so we went into town and did some errands (food, glorious food... always a necessity!). We were specifically looking for a book on flowers and found an Author that we really loved. We have several of her books and they are a huge help in discovering new blooms on the island.
The book that we found is "Maui's Floral Splendor" by Dr. Angela Kay Kepler. She is very adept at describing the plants and giving the correct botanical names as well as the common names. It is surprising how many names each plant can have... even the locals have favorite Hawaiian terms for many of the flowers.
We went back to the tide pools this morning... to have a better look and to take some photographs with the good camera. Well, the tides have changed and the waves are getting stronger (now that the wind is calming down... can't figure it out!). Our tide pools were being inundated with waves and all of the 'inhabitants' had found cover under the coral. We almost got covered by a wave... but moved out of the way, just in time. So now, we are trying to figure out the 'tides' and when we can go back and take some good photos. I will keep trying.
Sweet hubby has headed to the golf course... and I plan to hit the pool with my latest read, "The 19th Wife" by David Ebershoff. I just finished "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan (a wonderful read - but have a box of kleenex nearby...some tears will flow), and "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery (translated from french - very different!).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Variations on a theme

A beautiful sunset on the beach

daily hikes and the discovery of 'tide pools'

A vows renewal ceremony, blessed by a Maui shower!

What a week we have had!! Our children joined us for a week of fun, funny and WINDY!! While I can't complain, because the snow and sleet has hit Colorado this week, the wind did give us mighty gusts all week long. We have had sunny days and cool days, but every day has been windy.
We took hikes or long walks almost every day, finding challenging hills, tide pools that were breathtaking, and a local store which provided us with treats along the way. We discovered trees and flowers, sea urchins and slugs, along with "Mowee Wowee" chocolate bars and spam sushi!
There was laughter and some tears (really, I had hoped to stay cool as a cucumber at our renewal ceremony... but I was deeply touched and the tears rolled ). Our renewal ceremony was the best. The kids were dear; we loved "Rev. Kolleen" and her beautiful words, and the humor of the Maui shower at the end of the ceremony. We all rushed to the condo and dried off a bit before heading to a wonderful dinner.
Each person brought their unique personality to he week... which of course, I found delightful!
Now, the kids have headed home... it's too quiet here, but still quite lovely. I plan to get down to some serious drawing in the next few days. Aloha

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A bouquet from friends back home!

Today we received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers from friends in Colorado. The flowers include Protea, Anthurium, ginger and a Bird of Paradise along with orchids and bamboo... well, I am sure that there are other flowers too, but I don't know all of the names. I just love them, don't you??

It is windy here and lovely, as usual - just can't get enough of this place. Tomorrow, my sweet hubby and I will be renewing our wedding vows.... I promise to put a few photos on the blog in a few days. Until then, aloha!