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A NEW Big Island Thread

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Urban Rainforest
About a quarter mile away from our property (in a southeasterly direction) is a cindercone, right around the 1050 ft elevation. It's the highest point in this part of the Puna district. I have hiked up there many times, and you can enjoy a spectacular view of the entire coastline, from Kalapana to Pohoiki, and when visibility is reasonably good it's also possible to see Pu'u O'o, the location for the Kilauea volcano eruption since January 1983. Pu'u O'o is due west, about 10 miles away. From a physical point of view, this is a pretty easy hike, despite a very steep ascent the last stretch. It's the navigation that's tricky, and despite my many hikes up there I always have to pay real attention, because there's no trail and you're making your way thru VERY thick vegetation, and you can only see a few feet in front of you. The tricky part is less than 300 ft long (in the beginning) and it's amazing how many wrong turns you can make in that distance! Or fail to do a turn when you're supposed to... When Johan and Magnus (pictured below) were here in May 2006 we ended up missing the "straight shot" down to Malama Street, and were fighting our way thru thick underbrush for a good 45 minutes. We passed by a dead 200 lb pig and finally entered Leilani Estates in someone's backyard. Fortunately a vacant house.... The first 3 photos below are actually taken on the very top of the cindercone, which itself has plenty thick vegetation!

In the first photo, the very small village of Opihikao is visible in the distance, out by the Pacific Ocean. Probably only about 3 miles away.

Oh, and Steve - from your reponse I realize you probably misunderstood my question. My "Where is the Big Island" question simply referred to the fact that the Big Island was nowhere to be seen in your photos, even though deepsea fishing obviously is an important component of Kona! Won't attempt any more comments like that! :lol:

Ooh :hmm: , Gotcha :) . I misunderstood and it went right over my thick skull :lol: . I have tons of pics from our 5 trips over there. I'll post more later.

Stevo

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bgl

William,

The pigs can definitely be eaten. There's a Pig Hunters Club of Hawaii and they have lots of members and are very active. Must be thousands of feral pigs roaming all over the island, causing all sorts of problems. I had a funny experience recently. We put up a fence around our entire 5 acre property in 2006 because at that time we were beginning to see damage from the pigs mucking up the ground all over our property. Havn't had any problems since. When we put up the fence, we also installed a few gates, one large gate that's the main access to our nursery area (which is completely open to the pigs), and two smaller gates for "foot traffic". In the area in the forest behind one of these small gates I dump lots of fronds, and with thousands of palm trees this area is now accumulating some serious size! Right inside the gate is a path leading further in, so I don't have to dump all the fronds right inside the gate. Over the years, with all the decomposing fronds this "path" is now turning pretty mushy. A couple of weeks ago, when I was pulling some large Clinostigma and Pigafetta fronds in there I saw a large indentation in the mush. About 5 ft long, 2-3 ft wide and almost a foot deep. This struck me as very strange. It hadn't been there the morning before! Then I looked around, and there was a total of nine indentations, all about the same depth, but some were only about a foot long. And I realized a whole family had spent the night there. This was in early March when we had 23 inches of rain in 72 hours and the pigs were probably trying to stay dry and warm! Wish I had a picture! :)

Bo-Göran

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Urban Rainforest
Can the pigs be eaten?

"You gotta catch us first" " yeah weze quick uh huh"

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Urban Rainforest

Making the clean getaway :lol: .

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bgl

Cute pigs! :lol: Every single pig I have seen in the forest here has been all black.

Kapoho Vacationland is about 7 miles away from us, and the tidepools there is a popular spot. Usually you can see a few turtles swimming around.

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www.dadluvsu.com
"You gotta catch us first" " yeah weze quick uh huh"

HAHAH!! Cool piggies... I don't think I know how to cook a pig but I'm sure I could figure it out!

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galveston1602

Thanks for Having us by your place Bo, it was how should I say this.. overwhelming!

Also, Thanks Steve for letting us borrow your home....

Steve, heres a pic of a new palm in your yard, in case you were wondering how it was doing

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Ill also post a few other pics we took from around the island

We had a great time and will definitely be back, sooner rather than later!!! I dont think my family will have any problem with making another trip as soon as we can.

I have to say the most surprising thing to me about the big island was the climate. The temperature was absolutely perfect (my family was cold at times) yeah there was a bit of humidity but nothing like the sweltering heat we get here. heck were already to the point of intense humidity + mild heat here. I didnt see that on the big island, and I have to say that I wasnt expecting it.

Bo, normally, do they allow you to approach the flowing lava (closer than 1000+yds) that we were kept away? Im thinking about surface flows not the ocean entry (there were no surface flows while we were there)

we visited the lava flow every night while on the Hilo side of the island and it was worth it every time!

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This is a panoramic picture (360 degree) taken from the crater floor of the Kilauea iki crater its about 5mb but I think its an interesting perspective (right click and save as for the best view)

http://txpalms.com/ikipano.jpg

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Urban Rainforest

OMG, Allen, That is my favorite palm in the world MAD FOX :drool::drool: . Thank you so much for posting that. The reason I am blown away is when we were there last Sept. it had not yet gone pinnate and it looks like it is opening it's 4th pinnate frond now. And look at that red color! I am so glad you and your family had a good time there and your pics are awesome :drool: . Thanks so much for posting!

Stevo

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bgl

Allen,

I'm glad that you and your family had a great time visiting the Big Island! And we certainly enjoyed having you stop by here for a garden tour! About the lava flow - it's been pretty much the same since early 2008 or so - no (legal) close access to the surface flows, and the fenced in visitors' area about half a mile away from the ocean entry is as close as you can get. Unless you take a boat out of Pohoiki, either very early in the morning, or in the evening. They get VERY close to the ocean entry. I understand they charge around $150 to $200 per person! (I think there are two different operations).

Bo-Göran

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doubravsky

Wow that MadFox has grown a lot since we were there last July! More pics More pics! I'm currently wallowing in a major depression as we've decided to stay local this year and save some $$..... so i'm gonna need lots more Big Island pics to sustain!!!!!

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galveston1602

Bo,

In years past was it possible to get closer to the surface flows? (legally of course) Im guessing that the main thing is it had to be flowing in the park?

Heres some more pics, some from around Steves yard but there may be a random other shot....

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bgl

Allen,

Yes, up until about May 2007 when the flow was inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park you could walk right up to the active lavaflows. The only thing that determined how close you could get was your own ability to withstand the 2000 degree (F) heat! Photos below taken on different occasions. And in case you wonder about my facial expression in the first photo, the heat is pretty intense because of the tremendous amount of lava.

Bo-Göran

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Mats

"Nina and Stina" - wow !

Oh, and your property is spectacular too. I don't know why Bo, but Scandinavian women have got to be the prettiest women in the world.

Say, I ran across an interesting blog by a Big Islander who's an astronomer up on Mauna Kea and lives in Puna.. His blog has some good photos.

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bgl

Mats,

Thanks for the blog. Looked at all his photos, and there are many that are quite spectacular. We know quite a few of the astronomers here, but I don't believe I know this guy. But there are probably hundreds of astronomers who live here. I believe there are 11 observatories up on the summit of Mauna Kea!

Bo-Göran

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www.dadluvsu.com

How does the climate measure up in Mountain View? Is it still ideal for largely unirrigated farming? Maybe too cold or too dry? I still see planty of Ohia in some of the MLS litsings... Is that a good sign of rainforest?

This island is so variable!! It's got me asking a zillion questions... Having a tough time waiting to see it for myself.

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bgl

William,

We are at an elevation of 880 ft (and 140 inches/rain per year, average). Mountain View is a bit higher up, I believe around 1100-1300 ft, and for that reason they would also typically get more rain. Maybe in the 160-180 inch/year range. Personally I wouldn't call that "too dry" :lol: And it should be warm enough to grow even the more tropical stuff, even though palms like Cyrtostachys etc. will be slower at a higher elevation. And yes, there are large Ohi'a trees growing there. Many areas definitely "Hawaiian rainforest"! :) And irrigation not necessary. The only irrigation we have is what automatically falls out of the sky. Has worked well for the last 13 years or so...

Bo-Göran

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galveston1602

There are huge clumps of C. renda in mountain view, I remember as they were the very first clumps I saw during my trip.

My impression of that area was that it was quite a bit less forested than the leilani area even though they obviously get plenty of rain.

Another question of mine, why is there an obvious difference in the vegetation further up the hamakua coast as compared to closer to Hilo, even though they apparently get similar rains. Is it the wind? I mean there is some sort of huge hardwood forests up there, actually reminded me of east Texas forest land, red dirt and all....

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bgl

Allen,

I know the areas you're referring to, but I don't know what kind of trees those are. Most of the Hamakua area was used by the sugarcane plantations in the past, and those are now all closed down. Some fairly recently (last 10-15 years), and they are now trying to figure out what to do with all that land. Planting different kinds of hardwood is one solution, and I believe the areas you're referring to are all planned plantings, but I don't have any details.

Bo-Göran

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bigal954

This is a great thread and the Big Island is truly a magical place to visit. Just got back from Hawaii and even though I spent one night very close to where Bo lives, time did not allow for a visit to his garden. Here is one of my favorite pictures from the Big Island. Sorry no palm trees in this shot but it is a view of Mauna Loa from the top of Mauna Kea. Will definately be back on the Island soon.

Allen

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www.dadluvsu.com

Why are so many homes unpermitted? I've never seen anything like it! Is it difficult or expensive to get permits? Is it like you gotta know so and so's auntie to get it done? Bo, I know your getting tired of answering my never ending stream of questions; I'll just forget em' if I try to wait to ask them all in person! :)

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bgl

William,

No problem - keep'em coming! If I can answer the question I'm happy to do so. And no, it's not difficult OR expensive to get a building permit. Maybe somewhat time consuming. You have to head in to the County Building in Hilo on a few occasions and personally "move" the building permits from department to department. They won't do it! I have done it myself, so I know what's involved. Whole process shouldn't take more than max. 2 months. Could vary a bit, depending on how busy they are, but my personal experience when I did it was that it's pretty easy, and the people you deal with are pleasant and helpful.

I think there are other reasons why so many people here don't bother with building permits. In some cases, it's just a life philosophy. Don't want to have anything to do with the authorities. We know one guy, who is a contractor. He built his OWN home without a permit, because he doesn't believe in the process.... In other cases it could be because people want to build a house that they know won't comply with the rules and regulations. But in the majority of cases it's probably something much more basic: it's so much easier to just go ahead and start building without having to be concerned about getting it approved, and having the building inspector come by every now and then. And since this is so pervasive, the risk of something actually happening to you is remote, at best. The outgoing mayor, Harry Kim, even made a statement a few years ago that it could be seen as discriminatory (or something to that effect) if they decided to go after people who had built houses without permits. Acknowledging that many people who may be less than well off shouldn't be punished! There are probably thousands of unpermitted structures here in Puna, and the County would have quite a job - and fight - on their hands if they actually decided to do something about this problem.

Bo-Göran

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Jerry@TreeZoo

There are lots of unpermitted structures here in SoFla but there are few houses that are totally unpermitted. Ya gotta get out in the sticks to find that. I know a guy out in the middle of nowhere in Hendry County built a couple places on his farm without permits.

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