|Love & Light and everything bright...|
23 Apr 2012
Updated Oct 21, 2009... adds Sidney, our Halloween guest, "Extraterrestrial Visitors?"
Opening Up "Greater Rainbow Shower's" Hidden Beauty
New gulch road construction: Day-by-day discovery of hidden jungle treasures
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Opening Up "Greater Rainbow Shower's" Hidden Beauty
Plus, More Rainbows, Gifts from Heaven, Earth; UFO Sighting, Hula Show...
HAIKU, Maui, Oct 21 - It has been a while since we touched base. Can't believe it's a month has already passed since we flew back to the U.S. from Europe. Time flies when you're having fun, they say. And building the new road through the Greater Rainbow Shower has certainly been fun. It has been a road of discovery... opening up the Greater Rainbow Shower's hidden beauty. Up until now, it has been swallowed up by the jungle. Now, step-by-step, day-by-day, the jungle is yielding way to the power of man and machine.
Charley, the native Hawaiian who helped us build the first gulch road back in May, is the man. His backhoe and a new excavator, are the machines. Together, we are transforming the new section of the gulch into a park full of natural wonders and hidden treasures.
One of them was a banyan tree that draped itself around this fence post (left). After the first week or so of clearing the cane grass from the jungle, you can see just one of many piles in the above right shot.
This Sunday (Oct 18), I followed the new road, snapping pictures as I went. You can join me if you will. I suggest you first study the map on the right to get an idea of what we are doing. The road we are building is marked in green, as is the earlier gulch road, built in May. Blue dots are the numbered vantage points from which I had taken the pictures that follow. Enjoy...
Above shots were taken from points 1, 2, and 3 on the map.
When I was wielding my chainsaw this weekend, thinking out the the trees that have sprung up at the bottom of the gulch, I had to cut a beautiful three-pronged coffee tree. I apologized to it, and then lugged it up the hill to the most prominent bare spot I could think of. That's where I had Charley dig a hole for me with his backhoe - the new home for the triple-trunk coffee tree. It is now up to the tree and God. I did my part to give it another lease on life. When we did the same a few months ago with some other coffee trees, moving them from the bottom of the gulch to the Upper Rainbow Shower, the new roots did take hold. Now those five trees look like happy campers in a new, sunnier setting. I prayed that the same be the case with my latest transplant.
Anyway, the other three photos were taken from vantage points 3 and 4.
Descending down to the bottom of the gulch between points 4 and 5, along the right bank of the creek that marks our new road, was like a journey of discovery. Every day, Charley and I found some new jungle jewels. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. And still do, even though Wonderland has now become a lot bigger than when we started.
Anyway, that's how we discovered a beautiful new shady lawn area on the left bank of the river, opposite another lawn on the right bank that looks like a golfing green under the nearly sheer vertical cliffs. I have marked a rough outline of the future lawn in the two left pictures, taken roughly from point 5 on the map. Looking in the opposite direction from the same spot, you can also see the now green new lawn of the Lower Rainbow Shower, which we built this summer (middle right). And then looking back, you can see the bridge across our creek (now dry), built out of the same beautiful big boulders that line the banks of the creek and the outline of the new future lawns down there.
Crossing the bridge on the left bank of the creek, and looking up the hillside that our new road hugs, you can see right up to about the end of our road construction as of this weekend (the end of the green line on the map). But it was in this area, right around the bridge, that we discovered a cute island with a huge boulder on top, like some sort of a jungle crown. I have drawn in blue the rough outline of the island, which may be hard to distinguish otherwise when the riverbed is dry, like right now.
One day soon, we were told the local company, that illegally damned up the stream at the top of our gulch and diverted its water to its pineapple and sugar cane fields, will turn it on again. Meanwhile, we do have water occasionally flowing through the gulch from natural rains, as you can see from the above shots taken earlier this month.
If you step back some 100 feet or so to the top of the Uaca (Ahu - the sacred place), which I built as the centerpiece of the Lower Rainbow Shower last May, you can see the same view of the newly discovered island and the bridge from a greater distance.
And then if you step back another 100 feet or so to the vantage point 7 on the map, you can have an even wider view of this beautiful scenery, encompassing both the island and the bridge and the Uaca (Ahu) and the African tulip tree (left). Climbing the road to the first switchback of the first gulch road (vantage point 8 on the map), you can enjoy and even wider view of the gulch scenery (middle left).
Gifts of the Jungle
Along the way, I also collected some gifts of the jungle. You can see a giant kukui leaf in the middle right shot. I put my cell phone on it to give you an idea of its size. It is by no means by the biggest down in the gulch; just one that I picked up and brought back up to the house on that particular day. Kukui, by the way, is the state tree of Hawaii. And yes, my dear Canadian friends, I also thought at first that they were maple trees.
We also found a raspberry patch under those giant banyan and mango trees. Elizabeth is both sampling them and showing them to you (middle).
Finally, I am holding in my hand in the top right shot seven little chestnuts that dropped out of a big jungle chestnut that we have revived at the Upper Rainbow Shower. It now grows happily on the edge of our lawn here. And this was the first fruit it has gifted us this year.
Gifts from Heaven... Another Morning Rainbow
On Sunday morning, we awoke to another unusual morning rainbow over the Greater Rainbow Shower. As you may have seen from our September homecoming story, they are extremely rare around here. The morning we returned home from Europe and New York was the first time we had seen a full one (see Heavenly Rainbow Welcome Home, Sep 25). This was only the second time a heavenly rainbow appeared over the Greater Rainbow Shower. Another "Blackjack Sunday" (10/18/2009). Perhaps that kind of a heavenly blessing inspired my walk in the gulch later that morning, and the pictorial report about the progress of our new road construction. Anyway, it was another beautiful full rainbow over nearly clear skies that was so big I could not fit into a single camera frame. You can see it above in three parts.
Gifts of the Land... Rainbow Shower Reawakens
After losing most of its leaves this summer, we were afraid the Rainbow Shower (Cassia fistula x javanica), the tree in front of our house after which I named the whole property, might be on its last legs. Luckily, we were wrong. Apparently, that's what Rainbow Showers do before exploding in their full colorful splendor, as you can see from the above two left shots. In fact, both the new leaves and flowers were so abundant, with some branches reaching our rooftop, that I had to give the tree slight chainsaw haircut.
Guess the Rainbow Shower isn't exactly a deciduous tree, but it occasionally acts like one in order to renew itself and reinvigorate its growth. Also, the Rainbow Showers are evidently quite temperamental. We were told that they bloom in summer. Yet, here we are deep into the fall, and ours has only now decided to strut its wings. We are also finding that some Rainbow Showers just decide to pass on a season and not bloom at all in some years. Hibernating, like the bears?
Separately, we used to have a completely unmanageable grove of huge cacti in a part of the front yard close to the Rainbow Shower, along with some very prickly Pyracantha shrubs [is there any other kind?) :-)]. Well, we'd have enough prickles during the last three decades in Arizona, where things like that are native. Here they are not. So out they went. It took three men two full days of work to uproot them and haul them away. We left three decorative cacti on the now gently sloping part of the lawn as reminders (top right).
Anuenue & Leo Strike Same Pose
Speaking of rainbows and Rainbow Showers, remember Anuenue, our brown foul? (statue). As you may recall, Anuenue means a rainbow in Hawaiian. The Thai-born Anuenue has been resting peacefully between the Rainbow Shower tree and that former "cacti hill" ever since he arrived her in early May. Well, our neighbors have a horse. His name is Leo. And the other day, this pretty white horse decided to strike the same post as Anuenue. And our neighbor tells me he did it again the following day. "Birds of a feather"...? :-)
Elizabeth and I were on our way to a movie on Saturday night, Oct 10. It was around 8:10PM. We were driving on Mokulele Hwy from Kahului to Kihei. Suddenly, a bright green cone-shaped object appeared in the sky. It was moving very fast from northeast to southwest at about a 45-degree angle (from 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock - to use a military term), burning brightly. White streaks of light were streaming on the outside edges of a green cone. A small red or orange light was burning at its tip. It lasted no more than 5-6 seconds, if that. And then it was gone, as if swallowed by the earth or the ocean near the Maalaea harbor.
"Did you see that?" I asked Elizabeth. She nodded affirmatively. We were both stunned. We then compared notes about what we had seen. I thought it was a meteor. The following day, I could not find anything about it in the local papers. Maybe because Maui is so thinly populated so relatively few people had a chance to see it. But the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported a similar sighting their last Feb 19 of this year. Some eyewitnesses there said they saw a green light, others said it was orange. In our case, it was both.
The next day, I tried to reconstruct the image of what we saw (left). I sent it to a scientist friend of mine who is an expert on such matters, along with the above explanation. Here's an excerpt of what he wrote back:
Then I also remembered what the spirits told us in Peru this June about alien forces coming to earth to help humanity transition into the post-2012 world. I will leave it to you to decide if it was "just" a cone of light, a meteor or a UFO. Either way, it was an unforgettable sight.
Back to Earth...
It was only 10AM, yet the band and these Hawaiian girls (and boys) were hooping it up. Check out this video clip...
Hula Show, at Queen Kaahumanu Mall, Kahului, Maui (10 19 09)
By the way, the photo you are seeing at top right is of Elizabeth and Crystal, her son' girlfriend, who have been our house guests this week here at the Rainbow Shower. We were about to go out to dinner in Lahaina so the girls dressed up. You can also see a close-up of Elizabeth's red shoes I bought her in Rome (middle right photo). This was the first time she had a chance to wear them. As you can see, they are not exactly the kind you would want trek through the gulch in. :-)
Finally, I want you to meet Sidney, the straw man, our Halloween guest here at the Rainbow Shower (left). He arrived here on Oct 8 via Switzerland and New York. He didn't tell us how long he is staying. But we don't mind. He is quiet. Doesn't eat or drink anything. Makes no messes. So Elizabeth gave him now a pumpkin for good behavior. :-)
Okay, an explanation... Sidney is Elizabeth's first creation on her new sewing machine. She bought it in New York. It is a Swiss-made (computerized) Bernina. Now she is on to making some quilts and other sewing art projects, as you can see in the photo of her "sewing studio" (hobby room - right).
By the way, that was not a typo in our straw man's name. He is not Sydney, like the largest Australian city or the Nova Scotia (Canada) coastal town. I specifically asked his Mom how to spell his name. Elizabeth said with an "i." So there...
And that's all she wrote so far about the happenings at the Rainbow Shower this month...