Category Archives: Volcano

Ahinahina the rare Silversword of Maui

Have you ever had one of those moments when you saw something so awe-inspiring that it made you truly stop and ponder the universe?

I know you will say ” Oh You old Hippie!!”, LOL! But I have to say that my trip to Maui this summer had me  reflecting on nature and the lessons we can learn from a simple flower.

I have been to the top of Maui’s dormant Volcano Haleakala on a few occasions and I always make it a point to find and admire the  Silver Sword plants.  These luminous silver plants are endangered and protected.

 The Silver Sword also known as the Ahinahina grow only on the slopes of this otherworldly location. Although they look like a mercury dipped cactus to some, they are more closely related to the Sunflower.

The fine silver hairs that cover the plant are extremely sensitive, as are the roots. Stepping too close to the plant or touching the plant can kill it, so admire from a distance or use a good zoom lens. These fine hairs work as a shield from the sun’s radiation and as protection from dehydration as well as insulation from the winter storms and snows at that elevation.

The Silversword lives approximately 50 years. It blooms in a spectacular manner and then gives up its seeds and life.   I had never witnessed a full bloom until this year.

The plant produces a tall center stalk with rows of purple seeded flowers. The specimen I was drawn to was at least 5 foot tall.

The area smelled of warm sweet honey.  At over 10,000 feet the cool clean air allowed the senses to absorb the essence of this lovely sight.

Sad to think the plant would fade and soon die after this gorgeous display. But it reminded me that creative people are like these flowers.

You struggle through all sorts of storms, heat and adversity at times. You also bask in the warmth of the sun, the glow of the moon and the admiration of those around you. Finally you produce beauty, and hope that all who have been touched by it will remember it and  scatter the seeds of your efforts for others to grow and admire.

 This is an example of truly stopping to smell the flowers.

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