This past Monday, Labor Day, we went on a little picnic to Kalopa Native Forest State Park located about 20 miles north of us .
Kalopa is a beautiful 615 acres of temperate forest at about 2000 ft elevation at the lowest part and 2575 at the highest....and located 3 miles mauka (up mountain) from Highway 19, (the Beltline road that goes around our island) and just about 4 miles south of Honoka'a.
Although there is a sign at the bottom of the road up to the park, not many visitors (tourists) seem to come up to the park....mostly locals. There are several log cabins that can be rented, a camping site and ample picnic grounds. It is always cool and you can see and hear quite a few birds....and even see pheasants running around the grounds.
Photo: At the entrance....taken a bit too fast as there was a vehicle coming out of the park and our car was blocking the way ;-)
Since this was an impromptu plan, we packed a very simple picnic and of course, my camera... Pimento cheese spread for sandwiches which we made there, hardboiled eggs, pineapple rings ( yes, canned believe it or not, from our emergency closet stash, which we rotate often) and a huge fresh mango for dessert which Anthony expertly cut into three portions.
Anthony & Becky at our picnic site
Photo below: Near our picnic site
After our lunch I took a stroll to explore a neaby trail where I found a beautiful patch of fern and what looks like a small type of magnolia tree. Although most plants have signage, I could not find what this pretty little tree was. The growth pattern, texture and shape of the leaves look like magnolia.
The tender budding leaves are pink and green. They were very beautiful.
The park is part of a nature preserve and several native species can be found. You can find a couple of hiking trails, one longer and one shorter. The shorter loop trail is an easy 0.7 mile stretch through densely tree canopied areas.
Above - Kahili Ginger Bloom - so named because it resembles the yellow feather kahili standards used during the processions of Hawaii ali'i (royalty)
Above- Miniature Hibiscus - the open flower is no bigger than a silver dollar in diameter!
Above - Looking up through palm tree canopy
Above - Delicate looking Keo Keo (white-white) hibiscus. This is also a small variety.
Above - Hapu'u or Hawaiian Tree Fern - Below - unfurled tree fern frond.
The tender unfurled tree fern fronds are edible!
Above - Single petal red hibiscus
Above - small cluster of terrestrial orchids
Above - as I returned from my little walk, Anthony & Becky were still talking!
Above- Sonia....exhausted after the hike...!
Above - on the way out to the parking lot, Anthony spotted monstera fruit up high on a tree. I will be writing about Monstera Fruit soon, as I will be experimenting with recipes.
On the way back home after our picnic, we spotted a little group of guava trees, loaded with ripe fruit and near enough to the road for easy pickings...so I did a U turn, went back closer to the place and parked on a grassy slope just off the road....we had a couple of plastic bags in the car so we loaded them up with all we could get. I used the guava to make marmalade. More about this and recipe later!