The 'I'iwi is a little fireball from Hawaii that enjoys a good sip of Lehua nectar and of course, kisses from a loved one. These two are on top of the world, sharing a kiss and basking in the tropical morning sunlight.
Playing off the Beatles song "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away", I decided that my 'Anianiau pair is saying the opposite. Although, they are safely sheltered in the seclusion of this bamboo forest. Sometimes a little secret getaway is the ticket to kindling romance. They have the soothibg windchime ambience of the bamboo clicking together by the wind. The soft light filtered through seams of thick bamboo walls. Sweet lush smell of green nature growing around them... Yup, these 'Anianiaus have everything they need for a romantic picnic in the trees.
It may be overcast on Big Island today, but my two 'Apapane are enjoying a beautiful beach day in a secluded sunny cove. They are perched on Naupaka Kahakai, the beach Naupaka flower.
There are many versions told of the Naupaka story in Hawaii. My favorite version goes like this:
Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, can be a good goddess and she can be a jealous, wrathful goddess. She saw two lovers so devoted to each other that it made her curious. She visited the man as a gorgeous, mysterious woman and tried to persuade him with her beauty. All of Pele's advances were lost on this man, which made her furious and she chased him up the mountain, throwing lava as he ran for his life. Horrified by Pele's actions, Pele's sister goddesses turned the man into the mountain Naupaka, Naupaka Kuahiwi. When Pele raced to find the woman whom the man loved so dearly, Pele's sisters found her at the beach and quickly turned her into the beach Naupaka, Naupaka Kahakai. If you look at the Naupaka flower, they appear to be a half of a whole. The mountain flowers grow with petals facing mostly upwards while the beach flowers reach downward. The two lovers were saved from Pele's wrath, and hopefully one day the two will find each other again to make a whole flower:)
These three 'Apapanes are having a blast whilst awaiting your arrival. Just like Bob Marley's song, three little birds are on your doorstep, singing sweet songs. The 'Apapane usually stays up in the forests of Hawaii, drinking Lehua nectar and rolling through their large repertoire of songs for all to hear. These three made a special journey down to civilization to welcome you here.
If you look closely, I added an extra note from Mr. Marley as a nudge to show the love!
Hawaiian Creepers are found on the Big Island of Hawaii. They are small honeycreepers, mostly olive green in color with grey lores (eye rings). My two Hawaiian Creepers are here, welcoming everyone to Waikoloa with a great big sign and a pile of sweet smelling plumeria flowers.
They are a friendly reminder to have a good day and enjoy the sunshine!
The 'Amakihi is native to Hawaii found on multiple islands in somewhat comfortable numbers. The Oahu 'Amakihi does not have as pronounced of a dark lore (eye ring) as the Hawaiian 'Amakihi, and has a nice bright yellow body with green tinged wings and tail.
My little couple here are taking a honeymoon getaway in Waikiki. They decided to leave behind the higher elevation of rainforest for the warm sunny beach beside Diamond Head. Don't worry, they found a great shady palm to keep them cool and sunburn-free.
Aloha! A classic Hawaiian greeting to the islands always gets me in the spirit to relax and enjoy the islands. These two 'Alauahios brought a brilliant array of red Royal Poinciana flowers to celebrate the moment. So take you shoes off, in fact get rid of them all together! Swap those babies out for some slippers (please don't call em flip flops or thongs in Hawaii) and leave them at the door. It's time to sun on the beach, dip in the ocean and curl your toes in the sand.
After creating "Better Together" for Maui, I decided to make a painting for Tahoe with the same feel.
"Stay With Me" by Sam Smith was playing while I painted this piece and it fit the feeling perfectly. I chose the Evening Grosbeak pair nestled comfortably within a wreath of Juniper berries and leaves. Along with insects and seeds, the juniper berries are a favorite snack for Evening Grosbeaks. They have large, powerful beaks that they use to crack open tough seeds that most other songbirds cannot break with their cute little beaks.
An interesting fact about Evening Grosbeaks: they are irregular migrating birds which means they don't migrate at a specific time to a specific place every year. My little male Evening Grosbeak is trying to convince his lady to stay with him in their juniper hideaway just a little longer... Maybe they will stay through the winter and beyond? It's looks like the decision is up to the lady, and she looks pretty happy to be right where she's perched;)
Nuthatches are amazing birds. They do not perch on branches as much as climb straight up or down the tree trunk itself. Mostly dining on insects or seeds, a nuthatch at your backyard feeder will take more than he can eat himself and store seeds away in tree caverns and cracks as a future stash. This little growing family found an open hole in a Quaking Aspen to nest their young. Nuthatches don't hollow out tree like woodpeckers, rather they take abandoned or natural holes left available. Momma Nuthatch is ready to tag out and grab some grub of her own. Look at her giving Poppa Nuthatch the eye... Your turn, Daddy!
More wildflowers to come, this was a lot of fun to paint! In this patch of Heaven, we have some Indian Paintbrush, baby Alpine Asters and wild Daisies. There are so many different kinda of wildflowers in the Lake Tahoe area, that I have too many choices! For now, this Anna's is taking in all the aromas and joy during a beautiful clear blue day. Go and smell some flowers today!
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.