Sunday, May 19, 2013

Following the waterfall to the coastal overlook in the Hamakua

Ever follow a waterfall in Hawaii to where it ends in the ocean? I've always been fascinated by this simple hike but have never done this type of hike before. So when the occasion came up recently to visit a private garden in the Hamakua with a waterfall and trail that eventually falls into the ocean, I was excited.

When I arrived at the property, I talked with the other guests and everyone seemed to be distracted with the beautiful and expansive garden which in itself was worth spending most of one's time enjoying. Since no-one was ready to hike, I started down the precarious staircase leading down to the waterfall. The paths were tricky but nicely planted with colorful anthuriums and other shade loving plants.

Then I noticed after taking a few pictures, I was totally being eaten up by mosquitoes (no wonder the guests were not interested in coming down) I was the feast that morning for all the mosquitoes swarming around like breakfast time. Needless to say, I didn't stay idle in one spot for a very long time.

I could hear the waterfalls directly ahead and in no time arrived at this beautiful waterfall framed with lush fersns and greens of every color. It was beautiful and I had the whole scene to enjoy on my own. Quickly, I followed the stream bed down a worn path dotted with palms and coconut tree along with many large-leafed plants. Finally, I make it to the edge of the coastline along the cliffs framed with  huge ironwood trees and supporting the cliff sides below - quite an idyllic spot to relax. The soft breezes at this point were keeping the mosquitoes at bay and allowing me to relax and enjoy the scenic views at my leisure.

I hear the waters loudly as they cascade down the cliffs into the ocean. It was a little tricky trying to get a good view of the waterfall falling into the rocks below, all I could really see was the rushing water from the top view, but the coastline views from the edge was quite spectacular.

It was an enjoyable moment even though I couldn't see the waterfalls cascading directly to the bottom of the ocean.  Now, it was time to make that arduous hike back up those 100 plus steps to the main house, well at least if I go quickly I won't be harassed by the mosquitoes on the way back uphill.

©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beautiful leis for Lei day and May day celebrations

Lei day in Hawaii is a popular and fun way to cherish someone you love and care for with a beautiful lei, usually hand-made personally from the giver. There are many Lei Day celebrations occuring throughout the various islands of Hawaii on this day to commemorate this wonderful sharing of a lei.

Leis were used regularly by the early Polynesians and settlers to the Hawaiian islands to honor their gods by twining greens into wreaths and making these as offerings. They also used the wreaths and flowered lei made of fragrant ginger blooms to decorate and adorn their bodies. Other fragrant greens used included maile and hala leaves which were used extensively to celebrate various rites, special occasions and daily wear.

This concept of giving a lei was then popularized with the influx of tourism on the islands around the 19th and 20th century. Presenting a lei during the arrival or departure of a love one was communicated as a sign of affection and aloha and still is used currently as a symbol of affection.

Leis are now made with different and aromatic flowers to include plumeria, jasmine, ginger, roses, gardenias, tuba rose and scented orchids to create aromatic scents and beautiful displays. Every flower and color is used now with different types of materials, seeds, shells and other greenery to create different looks and texture.

(A gorgeous tutu or grandmother wears and elaborate collection yellow, orange and red flowered leis at a hula performance in Hawaii)

Greenery leis above include greens of maile, ferns and seeds or pods, along with a very thick and aromatic plumeria lei above. Hula performances are typical of when leis are made fresh and used for adornment for a particular function or hula performance.

Even leis are made to adorn horses in many of the annual parades throughout the islands. Here leis elaborate leis are created for the horse and pau rider for the annual Merrie Monarch parade.

Lei day celebrations today in East Hawaii are marked with lei and craft demonstrations, live music and performances and other festivities celebrating this well loved tradition. It seems so appropriate for the first day of May to celebrate spring and a beautiful day by making a lei and giving to someone special in your life..

©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at
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