Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pulelehua and my backyard

Pulelehua means butterfly in Hawaiian. We have enjoyed the butterflies so much but sometimes I take them for granted. I actually did some research this week. I was thinking of taking some of the crown flowers off of my tree and making leis for Kylee and Ashley since they last pretty well. So I went online and started looking around.
This is my giant Crown Flower tree.

I say giant because most people trim them down so that they are more like a bush. I found out today that it is like a giant milkweed plant. If you pluck a flower goo just shoots out of the wound. I also discovered online that the goo is poisonous so you must wash your hands right away. It is recomended that you wear gloves when picking flowers. Good to know.
These are the flowers. They are really cool. They look big in the photos but they really are very little.

Anyway I found out that the monarchs in Hawaii are dieing off because people don't really like the goo and the mess. This tree makes a mess of the back yard. When the flowers are ready to fall they fall. It isn't like an autumn thing when they all fall at the same time it is rather constant. Anyway Monarch butterflies mate, lay eggs, hatch, and grow from eating the leaves of this plant and then the butterflies pollinate the flowers. It is amazing when we have a bunch on the tree.

We only had two on monday when I had my camera outside. These two photos are of the same one. I kept trying to catch both of them in the shot but the second one was flitting and not landing. I don't think I will be making leis for the girls, just because of the mess. But I learned some valuable tips to be a Monarch rescuer I guess you could call me. Someday I hope to catch a photo of the rare white ones that come by. Hasn't happened yet but I hope to soon.


Connie said...

I love all the information that you gave us. I love seeing all the plants and wonders of Hawaii. Sometimes could you spell the names phoenitically so that I could also learn the correct pronounciation? The words are so beautiful when seen but I would like to hear also.

Kjersten said...

thanks for this post, Laura. So interesting! I love monarchs and I didn't know they were in Hawaii. I like the image of you as butterfly rescuer.

Mommy, Daddy, and Me

Mommy, Daddy, and Me
These photos are from roughly the same age for each of us.