Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Nov 9, 2009... adds Giant Solar Halo...

Halloween & All Souls Rainbows

Paia & Lahaina street parties; Beautiful full rainbow(s) kick off November...


Halloween & All Souls Rainbow

Street Parties in Paia, Lahaina

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 1 - Since this was our first Halloween in Maui, we decide to dress up and go out on the town.  Elizabeth wore an Inca princess dress I got her in Cusco, Peru last June.  And I dressed up as myself - an Inca shaman...

...with and without a mask.   

Our outfits were certainly unique around here, and evidently a hit.  Many people took pictures of us as we walked by, even a cashier at the Mana Foods store in Paia (left).  Outside, one of many impromptu bands was playing, as the costumed Halloween revelers, adults and children alike, danced and sang along (left).

We almost had dinner at the Fish Market in Paia.  But I took a "wrong" credit card with me (they don't take American Express). So we drove some 20 miles across the island to the tourist capital of Maui - Lahaina, on the west coast.  We'd heard that this town puts on quite a show on Halloween.  And sure enough, Lahaina was one big street party...

Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant, where we had dinner, was jumping, as you can see from the left photo.  Luckily, we were seated far enough back toward the ocean, away from the noisy bar band.


After dinner, we joined the Halloween parade on its main street that parallels the shoreline.  It was nearly as crowded as the Fourth of July party, but much more fun.  Instead of a 10 minutes-fireworks after which everybody dispersed, this party went on into the night.  Nearly everybody was wearing a costume.  Some were very imaginative.  Men dressed as women, women dressed as men, all sorts of animals, plants, even cardboard boxes... formed a river of humanity that flowed up and down the streets of Lahaina.

Three young women, for example, had football shirts painted on their upper bodies (meaning they were topless). 

"Hope it doesn't rain tonight," said Elizabeth. 

"Hope it does," I replied. :-)

Elsewhere, a sexy female cop was manhandling her prisoner in an orange uniform.  She had her right thigh on his left hip, firmly pressing him against the store bars. 

And then there were also a couple of Inca people from Peru, a brunette and a blonde. 

"Look at this couple," a young man said to his friend in Spanish.  "They are dressed like my people back home."  (Elizabeth, of course, translated this for me).

"Como esta, mi hermano?" said a jovial looking "Gringo" as we passed him near the giant banyan tree.  Except that he pronounced hermano like hermanoso or something like that.  So neither Elizabeth nor I understood at first what he meant.

"Mui bueno," I replied belatedly even though we were out of his earshot.

This reminded me of what our Hawaiian waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp said to me as I was paying the bill.

"Are you from Arizona?" he asked.

"What made you think that?"

He pointed to my poncho.  "The way you are dressed."

A poncho and a Machu Picchu hat from Arizona?  Hm... But I didn't say anything.  For, as far off the wall as his remark was, it was actually accurate.  Sometimes people arrive at the right conclusion upon wrong facts.  Luck or divine intervention?

Which reminded me of what happened as we were driving into Lahaina.

"Oh, so you're from Arizona," a Hawaiian-looking cop had said earlier as he checked out my driver's license at a sobriety checkpoint.  "That's where they give out 20-year licenses."

Hm... didn't know that.  Mine was only good for 10 years. 

Both policemen were very nice and friendly.  The second one handed me a plastic bag as we were about to drive away.

"Drive safely," he said.  "And have a good time."

"What's that.. a barf bag?" I joked.

They both laughed.  Later, Elizabeth told me that it was a garbage bag for the car.  Inside, there were some pamphlets and a lollypop.  Guess the cops were trick-o'-treating us. :-)

All Souls Rainbow(s)

As I usually do on Sundays, I had just prepared and lit Palo Santo (sacred wood) for a fire ceremony when something made me look out of the window.  Wow... what a spectacular view it was..

A most beautiful full rainbow stretched before my eyes, like a giant umbrella over the Greater Rainbow Shower.  It was even bigger that the one that greeted us on our first morning after returning home from Europe and New York (see Heavenly Welcome Home, Sep 25).  This All-Souls rainbow was so large that it took three frames to capture it all.  You can also see it spliced together in the right shot. 

As if that weren't enough, this evening, the Creator provided another rainbow... on the opposite side of the house and the sky.  It wasn't as spectacular as the morning rainbow in the western sky, but it was the first time every that we've had double AM-PM rainbows.  No wonder, I suppose, given that today is a Sunday and a double ace day at that (11-01-2009, which is 11-1-11, numerologically speaking - see Masters' #11 & My life).

And that's all she wrote so far about the happenings at the Rainbow Shower in on this first day of November, the All Souls Day...

Giant Heliconia White Bird of Paradise, More Holy Trees, Nene Crossing

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 7 - While building the final extension to our gulch road, the Royal Palm Trail, now named the Royal Palm Trail, which meanders around the majestic Hawaiian palms in the thickest part of our gulch jungle (see the map - right), we might have discovered the world's largest Heliconia tree (flower). We figure it is about 30 ft tall, on a par with its proud palm neighbors.  Check it out...

See how tiny Elizabeth looks while standing under it? (left).  It took two frames to fit in this entire scene.  Charley, our native Hawaiian neighbor, who has been helping us build the gulch road with his powerful backhoe and excavator, said he had never seen one as large as this.  So I have just submitted our Heliconia as a world record candidate in the Guinness Book of Records.

Perhaps not as dramatic, but just as interesting, was a discovery of four Nene chicks on our property the other day.  I first saw them a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't quick enough to take a picture of them.  But on Tuesday, they strolled on the lawn just under our kitchen window.  So I was able to snap a few pictures even while participating in a business teleconference with some clients in New York.  Hope they won't mind a Nene interruption. 

By the way, for those of you who may not be aware, Nene is the Hawaii state bird.  And my native Hawaiian neighbors have told me that they have never seen them before in this area.  Yet this morning (Nov 7), I saw the foursome again down in the gulch near the bridge of our Greater Rainbow Shower (see the map).  So I feel like putting up a "Nene Crossing" sign there, just as we had seen them on the Haleakala Volcano highway. :-)

Wondrous discoveries continue even in the most mundane urban settings.  Take a look at these two "Holy Trees" twisted in the most amazing ways.  Would you believe that they line the road that runs along the Safeway (store) parking lot in Kahului.   We are there all the time, but I have never seen anyone else pay attention to them.  Guess other shoppers were wondering what's up with these two people staring at a couple of trees... :-)

Giant White Bird of Paradise, Not Heliconia

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 8 - Remember that Giant Heliconia you saw in my last night's dispatch that I entered into the Guinness Book of Records contest?  Well, strike that.  Not the Guinness entry... the Heliconia part.  Today, our native Hawaiian neighbors Charley and Marlene stopped by to give us some house-warming plants. 

Marlene also had her first glimpse of the Greater Rainbow Shower, the former impassable jungle that's looking more and more like a nature preserve park.  And she was impressed by everything we have done so far.  But when I proudly showed her what I thought was possibly the world's largest Heliconia, she agreed it was a giant plant.  Except it wasn't a Heliconia.  It was a Giant White Bird of Paradise (click here if you wish to learn more about them).  Here are its botanical specs:

Common Name: Giant Bird of Paradise
Family: Strelitziaceae
Scientific Name: Strelitizia Nicolai
Height at Maturity: Up to 30 feet
Cold: USDA zones 9 & 11 Protect from frost
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Water when dry, does not like constantly wet feet.
Soil: Prefers rich soils
Foliage: Evergreen
Indoor Suitability: Needs plenty of light indoors.

I was shocked.  I have had many Bird of Paradise (BoP) in Arizona over the years, some pretty large, I thought.  And we also have three "normal" size (about 3 ft-height) BoP bushes here, just south of our bedroom at the Upper Rainbow Shower.  But I had never heard of one that can grow to be 10 times that size. 

So now when the Guinness people contact me, I will have to rename the entry.  I have a feeling, though, that our chances with a 30-ft Giant White Bird of Paradise might be even better than with a Heliconia of that size.  Either way, it is an absolutely stunning plant and a joyful discovery in the middle of the jungle.

Giant Solar Halo

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 9 - I was driving into town (Kahului) this morning around 10:30.  When I reached the most scenic part of the route, the coastal drive past the beautiful surf and surfers around Mama's Fish House in Paia, I noticed something quite unusual.  There was an ethereal quality of light... not quite sunny, not quite cloudy.  Hazy with high clouds.  I looked up and saw through my driver's window what seemed at first like a rainbow around the sun.  But when I took a better look, I realized it was something quite extraordinary... a full circle, a rainbow-like halo around the sun. 

I quickly reached into my bag for my camera, and snapped a picture while still driving (left).  That's why you see all those wires across the sun.  Then I pulled over on the curve right in front of Mama's Fish House, a world-famous Paia restaurant, from where I took the other two shots (middle and right).

I have never seen anything like it before.  Then I remembered... I saw a similar Lunar Rainbow while walking to my Arizona home after midnight on Dec 12 of last year (right - click here to read the story).  Quite fascinating, both solar and lunar halos, wouldn't you say?  I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose, given that today is another Blackjack Day, numerologically speaking (11-9-2009 = #21).

I am not a fortune-teller or a weatherman, but I could feel it in my bones that a change in the weather is coming.  It felt like a lull before a storm bringing some heavy rains.  Later on this afternoon, our neighbor, a longtime Maui resident, said the same thing as I hurried to finish up some clearing and weed-whacking work in the gulch while the ground was still fairly dry.

Anyway, that's all she wrote so far this week from the Rainbow Shower.

CLICK HERE to go to Hawaii 2009 TOC

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