Posts Tagged With: flowers

How Hawaiian Cotton Helped save the U.S. Cotton Industry

Hawaiian cotton flower

Circa 1892, a small beetle native to Central or South America made its way across the Mexican border in the vicinity of Brownsville, Texas and spread rapidly across cotton-growing regions. By the 1920s, Anthonomus grandis, the boll weevil, was causing more economic damage than any agricultural pest in U.S. history.

The boll weevil feeds on cotton pollen, but does its damage by laying eggs on cotton flower buds called “squares,” or on the young developing cotton boll, which provides the beetle with a platform for its “home.” The infected bud or boll stops developing and often falls off as the beetle larvae eat it. The destruction spread from Texas across the South and Southwest, so that by the Great Depression, cotton farmers had already suffered from many years of devastatingly poor harvests. Eventually, it found its way to California cotton fields as well.

The first pesticide used on infested cotton crops was arsenic, but the boll weevil developed a tolerance for it. Another pesticide, DDT, was tried in the mid-twentieth century, but, once again, the pests developed a resistance to it. Plus, the heavy application of pesticides killed a wide spectrum of beneficial insects, allowing other pests to increase their numbers and damage cotton and other crops. And there was a danger of polluted adjacent food crops, water supplies and consequential ecological damage.

But humans are adaptable, too. A variety of strategies—started in the 1970s—such as pheromone traps in the spring, hand picking infected cotton buds during the growing season, plowing under the cotton stalks after harvest, and low levels of pesticides when the insect is short of food in the fall, all helped to stem the destructive tide of boll weevil devastation.

An important ingredient in the mix was Hawaiian cotton. When ma’o is crossed with other cotton strains, the resulting commercial hybrids are less attractive to insect pests that destroy cotton crops. Ma’o lacks the flavor lactones within the nectar which would otherwise attract insects to commercial cotton.

Now, in most states, the boll weevil and other cotton pests have left and are unlikely to return. But in Enterprise, Alabama, the city has erected a statue to the boll weevil because, they say, there is a great deal we can learn from an invasive bug, even as we show it the door.

Perhaps they should erect a statue to Ma’o, the Hawaiian cotton plant, too.

p.s. visitors to Oahu, Hawaii, can find ma’o growing wild along the dry slopes at the Makapu’u scenic lookout.

Categories: Agriculture, environment, flowers, gardens, Hawaii, History, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CBBH Photo Challenge: Repetition

East of Malaga offers an intriguing challenge for September, and so I again focus my lens on Hawaii, where repetition usually means colorful and fun. Usually….but not always.

flower lei gold and purple

Repeating patterns of gold and purple in these flower lei (In Hawaiian, there is no “s”—and no s added to singlular for plural)

seed lei

Lei again, but this time made of seeds.

ala wai canoe race

Dozens of outrigger canoe teams race along the Wla Wai canal at the back of Waikiki in a competition known as the Ala Wai Challenge.

Scottish Festival bagpipes

Yes, we have a Scottish contingent in Hawaii. Each year they break out the highland fling, haggis and bagpipes, staging their rousing Scottish Festival at Kapi’olani Park in Waikiki.

no annexation signs

Some Hawaiian groups want to separate from the United States and return to the Islands’ former status as a Pacific kingdom. These signs in front of ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu represent Hawaiian NO votes when annexaztion to the U.S. was proposed, then adopted in 1898.

Hula halau from Japan

Dozens of groups from around the Pacific region, including this hula halau from Japan, participate in the Honolulu Festival each year.

floating lanterns

The Hawaii Lantern Floating festival is held at Ala Moana Beach Park each year on Memorial Day to honor loved ones who have passed away. Each lantern holds a name and special message wishing the departed comfort in their spiritual journey. There is also a lantern floating festival following a bon dance at the Haleiwa Jodo Mission on Oahu’s North Shore.

My two selected blogs for this theme, I think are clever interpretations and so different—tires and beehive:
http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/cbbh-photo-challenge-repetition/
http://tamaraessexspanishblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/conejo-blanco-photo-challenge-2-repetition/

Categories: flowers, Hawaii, History, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life—Hawaii

Hawaii is like no other place in the world. Spending time at the beach is commonplace for most residents. Both children and adults dance hula at every opportunity—at birthday parties, weddings, other special occasions or just while enjoying the aforementioned beach time. At any given moment, there are more unique, fun and (mostly) free activities and events than can fit into anyone’s busy schedule. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Hawaii consider all this part of our everyday life.

Hawaii Theater, downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu’s renovated Hawaii Theater is a great place to catch a play, dance performance or music recital. And there are plenty of restaurants nearby.

surfers carrying boards in Waikiki

Surfers carry their boards across Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki during a break in one of Hawaii’s many parades.

rodeo in Waimanalo, Oahu

Hawaii could once claim the largest cattle ranch in the U.S. (yes, bigger than those in Texas). Parcels of it have since been sold, but there are still plenty of ranches and cowboys in the Islands, and they love their rodeos.

street musicians, downtown Honolulu

Impromptu street musicians in downtown Honolulu

children looking in a cockpit

Checking out the cockpit of a flight simulator at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

costumed gecko at Missouri memorial

The gecko is Hawaii’s unofficial state lizard. Here’s one, doing his job by posing with a local visitor to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor.

tattooed man with fluffy dog

It seems that everyone these days sports an elaborate tattoo. Some are just for decoration, but others follow Polynesian tradition and are rich with symbolic meaning.

hula Lei Day

May 1 in Hawaii is not May Day—it’s Lei Day. Another excuse to wear colorful flower lei and dance hula.

keiki hula, Lei Day

When it comes to hula, everybody gets into the act, including these cute keiki (children)

Paniolo on a Maui ranch

Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on the job at a Maui ranch.

water rocket launchers

Playtime with water-filled soda bottles and rocket launchers (air pumps).

juggler Waikiki

At any given time in Kapiolani Park under the shadow of Waikiki’s Diamond Head, you can see jugglers, slackliners and other performers practicing just for fun.

Chinatown restaurant

Island folks love to get together and eat out, and with so many enticing Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, German, Hawaiian and other ethnic restaurants to choose from, who can blame them.

Hawaiian checkers

In Hawaii, we don’t just play checkers. We play checkers with shells.

canoe festival red sail

When you live on a small island, the ocean is part of your home and your lifestyle. Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands settled Hawaii by traveling here in outrigger canoes.

Categories: culture, Hawaii, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Tulips in Turkey

tulips arranged in S-curves decorate the border of a driveway leading to Istanbul University

Turkey is full of surprises. For example, it is commonly believed that tulips originated in Holland. In fact, tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. It seems that in the 16th century, someone brought them from Turkey to Holland where they became wildly popular.

In Turkey, under the reign of Sultan Ahmed III, the period between 1718 and 1730 became known as the Tulip Era—an era of peace in which handmade textiles, embroidery, carpets, clothing and other objects were adorned with tulip designs and large tulip gardens sprang up around the Golden Horn in Istanbul. When the sultan was dethroned, the Tulip Era came to an end, but tulip gardens can still be found in Istanbul, and the lovely designs still adorn many handmade goods (see photo below).

The botanical name for tulips, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word “tulbend,” meaning turban, which the flower resembles. The tulip is considered the king of bulbs and is Turkey’s national flower.

a gold letter opener from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul sports a tulip design

Categories: culture, flowers, History, nature, Photography, Shopping, Stock Photography, Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Aloha Festivals Pa’u Rider: Before and After

After

September in Hawaii is Aloha Festivals time, a highlight of which is the Aloha Festivals parade. Nothing could be more fun and colorful to photograph than a Hawaiian-style parade with its flower-bedecked floats. And a welcome inclusion in every cultural parade is the pa’u rider. Each island chooses a pa’u queen and court, all wearing the colors of their particular island. Gold represents the island of Oahu. Before the parade, all the participants gather at Ala Moana Beach Park to wait their turn. I found the pa’u riders under the shade trees, but since the lighting and setting were a shade less than pretty, I decided to remedy that by transporting each one to a new location via the magic of Photoshop, a process that can take 2-3 hours in the digital darkroom. But it was worth the effort. The Oahu queen here looks much more regal in the soft lighting of the Nu’uanu rainforest.

Before

Categories: culture, Hawaii, Photography, Stock Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lei Day

In Hawaii, May 1 is Lei Day. A lei-making competition showcases amazing, intricate and stunning lei made from Hawaii’s beautiful flowers and ferns, artisans demonstrate the craft of lei making, vendors sell lei of all types, entertainers, well, entertain, and hula halau (schools) grace audiences with Hawaii’s traditional dance—the hula. Nothing is cuter than the keiki (children) showing us how it’s done, as this 3-year-old demonstrates.

Categories: Hawaii, Stock Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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