Waimea

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Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu is known for a lovely beach and for the Waimea Falls. This photo was taken in the mid-1980s.

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The beach can be dangerous. The waves are more suited to surfing than swimming.

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The tree next to the life guard tower is full of finds. Surfers also store their valuables in hanging containers.

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Waimea Falls are in the valley that runs to the bay. The road to the falls is over the bridge from the beach parking lot.

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Drive to the end of the road where there is free parking, next to the visitors center.

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The visitors center houses a restaurant, restrooms and a souvenir shop.

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The entrance where you pay is a short walk from the visitors center.

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Close to the entrance is a covered area where you can buy local Hawaiian handicraft.

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The path to the falls is easy to walk and not very steep.

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One can ride to the falls on a little cart. Then one gets a guided tour and maybe even some local songs.

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Close to the falls is a small store with drinks and ice cream, plus restrooms.

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Swimming is allowed at the falls, but you must wear a life vest, supplied free by the lifeguards.

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The waterfall and the pool, which is thirty feet/ ten meters deep.

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The Waimea Falls botanical gardens offers a lot to see. There is a small village with traditional buildings. Each building is well described.

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The village is protected by a tree canopy.

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The village is surrounded by stones, and you must be careful not to step on them. Some stones are sacred.

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A collection of different taro species grow next to the houses.

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The plants are well marked.

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By the entrance is a small pond with this special bird, the ‘Alae ‘Ula, Hawaiian Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis.

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Other birds present are the white-rumped shama thrush Copsychus malabaricus.

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Geckos are very common.

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Some tiny geckos seemed to like to sit in and eat flowers.

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There are many different types of trees, also well labelled.

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This is a Kukui tree, Aleurites Mollocana.

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Wauke, paper mulberry, Brosonetia papyrifera. Its bark was pounded by early Polynesians to make the warmest, most durable type of kapa cloth.

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A sign that the garden is old is the impressive growth of Banyan trees, in some parts forming vaults of trunks and branches to walk under.

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There are many parasitic plants growing high up on branches of old trees.

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One of the many hibiscus varieties found in the garden.

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Yellow lehua Metrosideros polymorpha. http://www.instanthawaii.com/cgi-bin/hi?Plants.ohia
Thanks to Ces Mooney for running the photo around parks and rangers to get an identification.

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This red powder puff Calliandra haematocephala is very attractive to insects and butterflies.

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This is a Pachystachys Lutea – Lollipop Plant or Golden Candle.

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Emperors candlestick, Senna Alata, which is a poisonous plant.

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There are many types of ginger plants in the garden, like this Alpinia Zerumbet.

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This is a spiral ginger Costus Vargasii.

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A Yellow Parrot Heliconia.

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Heliconia

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This is ginger Costus Scaber.

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Heliconia mariae

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Heliconia rostrata

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Noni fruit, Morinda citrifolia

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Sanchezia Parvibracteata.

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This is a plant without a label. Very decorative, but what is it?

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A spider lily of the genus Crinum.

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This aggressive vine, Bauhinia vahlii, grows very fast.

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The Bauhinia vahliaa totally covered a 30 ft tall monkey pod tree.

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These are red Anthurium flowers.

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There are so many flowers and plants that it is easy to spend several hours in the garden. But bring mosquito repellent, just in case. This is Heliconia psitacorum.

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And when you leave Waimea, turn right and head for Fumis for a great lunch.

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Shrimp in spicy garlic sauce with two scoop rice.

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