Mid April in Central Ohio means spring flowers are blooming. Most of the photos are of Tulips and Hyacinths.
Our repeat weekend continued with a visit to a botanical gardens, this time back in Columbus.
They had some orchids, but nothing close to the quantity and quality of the Cleveland show. Mostly it was a good place to walk around in nice warmth and check out plants and flower in the dead of winter.
OK so this is not a flower or plant – it is an exhibit called Waning Light. The website for Franklin Park states ”
local artist Dana Lynn Harper strings together thousands of laminated dichroic film discs and suspends them from the ceiling, creating a cloud of iridescent petals floating and bending through the space. Harper manipulates material, size, color and light to build a dreamlike and otherworldly installation”.
It makes for a great look and atmosphere, with the light of each disc changing as you move around them.
A random rose.
More ‘not a plant’ – Part of the Chihuly Display.
There were a number of ‘upside down’ planters.
Back to our original program – orchids.
Eventually we ran out of orchids and continued through the desert and rain forest sections.
Our couple hours were up so it is back into reality – cold and snow.
It turns out that our membership to Columbus’s Franklin Park Conservatory has reciprocal agreements with many other botanical gardens throughout America, including Cleveland’s, so we were able to visit at no cost!
While in town we stopped by for their Orchid Show – it was fantastic!
Keeping with the annual repeat visits this weekend, we stopped by the Franklin Park Conservatory for their Holiday Lights exhibit.
The professional division gingerbread house winner.
They have a mix of traditional holiday floral with the the permanent displays.
More floral close ups.
The center hall was all decked out for the season.
The other halls had interesting lighting on the plants.
Outside near the glass blowing studio were additional glass ‘trees’.
The Children’s Garden had the largest display of lights.
The glass block steps in the Palm House were lit.
Additional glass pieces outside on a courtyard.
Afterwards we made a brief stop at a park downtown for additional lights.
As noted previously the Kona region is famous for their coffee. Each November they have a festival to celebrate this, as well as the local culture.
Our emcee was a hoot, sort of a Hawaiian Cheech Marin.
In addition to the coffee there were other activities occurring, including a lei making contest. The judges were very thorough, checking for stitching and display.
All were beautiful and very different from the stereotype that you see in the media of the ring of flowers.
There were numerous coffee growers offering samples, as well as educational displays.
The highlight was the entertainment though. We saw a number of dance performances.
The region has a number of immigrants from Japan and the Philippines, which is where these ladies came from.
This group had a very lively audience participation dance.
Many of the dances were similar, yet unique in their own way.
All ages participated.
The final dance was a traditional hula.
Afterwards they posed for a group photo. Hang loose dude (the hand gesture)!
Once the dances were complete a Hawaiian guitar band took the stage. They were very talented.
We even met the queens.
But it was time to catch our home for the next 7 days, a small boat that will take us to new adventures. But first another great sunset.
Our first full day in Hawaii started off at the crack of dawn, as we headed up into the mountains to hike up to Manoa Falls. As we parked we realized we were surrounded by chickens.
Our path up the rocky and muddy trail took us into the jungle.
Eventually we reached Manoa Falls. At 150′ high it is one of the taller waterfalls in all of Hawaii.
Coming back down the mountain into the neighborhoods we had yet another rainbow. At times it seems we could get rain without clouds, but they were always brief and the sun was out in a few minutes.
Our next stop was Tantalus Overlook. The views from here are amazing.
The airport is built in the harbor.
Honolulu has height restrictions on buildings so they don’t block the view of Diamond Head. Almost all buildings have to be under 400 feet, so most are 399.
Leaving the overlook we headed out Pali Highway, stopping at the overlook facing the east side of the island.
The town of Kailua and Lanikai Beach.
From here you can clearly make out the cauldron of a former volcano.
We continued down this side of the mountains to go to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens.
After stopping at the visitor center we set off.
It was great to see plants and flowers we normally only see at conservatories out in the wild. The only down side was the mud, What looked like grass, was in fact mud hiding just below. We came out a mess.
In addition to the plants and flowers, their views of the mountains were spectacular.
Eventually it was time to head on and we set out for the North Shore.
Lunch was at one of the famed shrimp trucks.
The North Shore is famed for their large waves for surfing.
At the far end of the island we stopped at Waimea Valley, another botanical garden, with less mud than the earlier one. This one had paved paths and a great collection.
The falls were somewhat of a disappointment, at only 85′ high.
As we returned towards Honolulu we went through a valley with large pineapple fields.
In the middle was the Dole Plantation. Now a tacky tourist spot it did give us a chance to see pineapples in various stages of growth.
They also have nice gardens. But still a very tacky touristy place.
Finally we reached Honolulu as the sun set.
And our day was over – but not before one more treat. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I they had an all day celebration, complete with fireworks. And we were lucky enough to have a front row seat from our 8th floor balcony.
With an annual membership at the Franklin Park Conservatory we now stop by for the various seasonal exhibits they present. The current one is for fall.
The topiary’s are still being displayed, this time with ornamental brassica (aka – cabbage and kale). Who knew cabbage and kale were used as landscaping?
A 10′ high ‘Pumpkin House’ is featured in the Children’s Garden.
They have mixed in pumpkins throughout.
Lots of pumpkins….
Good thing some gourds have handles to hang them by.
In addition to the traditional orange pumpkin, they have white ones.
There are literally thousands of gourds on display.
Small ones in hanging baskets.
Pumpkins with bumps, pumpkins of different colors…
They seem to have cornered the market in pumpkins, but they add a nice touch and different coloring for the fall display. Soon the leaves will change adding even more color before winter sets in and turns everything brown.
Enjoy it while we can.