Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kauai Flora & Fauna

There was SO much to see in terms of plants and animals on the island of Kauai.
First thing we noticed, even at the airport, was the ridiculous number of chickens, feral chickens, just running everywhere all over the island.  We heard alot about the chickens of Kauai over the week.  There is a rumour that explains the presence of the chickens as a result of a hurricane that damaged some coops, freeing domesticated chickens and fighting chickens.  The story goes that these two groups interbred, producing a tough little breed of Kauai chickens.  Some say they don't taste very good, some say that you can hunt as many of the as you like.  Both may be true.
When we saw the number of chickens, we assumed that there must be no feral cats on the island, because how could chickens run that amok with a resident feline population?
Wrong, there are feral cats, but even they don't want to tangle with these chickens!
And then, while driving one day, we came across an actual "ostentation" of peacocks.

And there were these pretty geese... called Nene.

This stretlitzia was on the grounds at our hotel.  Just gorgeous, and right outside our door! 

There was so much plumeria, all over the island.  I loved the pink variety!!  The blooms were dropping off the trees, and littering lawns all over the place. 

Kauai:  Where they plant orchids like you or I would plant day lilies.  Amazing.

Beautiful nymphaea in a water feature.

So many bougainvillea blooms on this one branch!

This stand of alocasia was HUGE.  The leaves were at least six feet above the ground. 

This is a bad shot, but if you look at the centre of the plant, you will see the biggest fiddlehead Ive ever seen!

This was taken from beneath that big fern, it probably towered about 7-9 feet tall

Rainbow eucalyptus - Eucalyptus deglupta - my new favourite tree!

Hedichium coronarium - white ginger - with a most beautiful, soft scent.  I would wear this scent every day if I could!!!  Apparently it's quite an invasive "weed."  

From my research, this variety of ginger seems to be Hedichium gardnerianum.... extremely invasive, and during the week I was on the island, the blooms appear to have faded, leaving an odd orangey red fruit.  Not super pretty, but I am amazed at how many varieties of ginger I saw in one week on one island!

Yeah, this is staghorn fern, growing on the side of a tree...  lovely!

Foliage of the monkeypod tree, Albizia saman, another new favourite tree for me :)

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