Monday, December 19, 2011

A Whirlwind Tour

Thank you so much for your good wishes for my trip! I have been away rather longer than I thought. The trip to Russia was to take care of some business, and other than spending time with my family, ended up to be a fairly stressful time. So, a few days after I came back, we decided, on a whim, to go to Hawaii. We ended up on the Big Island, which is the only one in the Hawaiian archipelago with an active volcano (a big draw for my sons).

A papaya tree with huge poinsettias glowing in the background.

In less than a month, I have covered more than half the globe :).

Right now my head is a sad jumble of colorful but disjointed pictures.

An orchid tree in bloom

 We have been to a land of contrasts. Just an hour's drive from lush tropical foliage and flowers....

...took us to what I am sure Tolkien's Mordor is like: acres and acres of old lava flows with relentless trade winds howling over them.

We have seen so many things! A chameleon hiding in an orange tree...

... beautiful hibiscus everywhere....

...strange birds...

Common Myna

...and wonderful orchids happily growing outside without protection or pampering.

...banana trees....

...and South African cranes which apparently are just as happy in Hawaii...

.... wonderfully big and healthy foliage plants that I have only seen grown indoors. Now that I know how happy they can be in their native habitat I have lost all desire to grow them in my house.

We have gone whale watching on a catamaran. We saw an imposing hump of Mauna Kea, one of three volcanos on the Big Island, but no whales :(.

We walked through an amazing tropical forest with raindrops dripping gently through colorful vegetation.

We saw coffee trees on a farm and watched coffee beans extracted and processed.

We had many close encounters with geckos.

All in all, I am glad to be finally home, cooking dinners, pruning my roses, writing my blog and reading yours!


  1. Witaj. Jak to dobrze, że jesteś :-). Brakowało mi. Ciebie. Twoje zdjęcia z Hawajów - kwiatów,ptaków, kameleona, krajobrazów są przecudowne. No, oprócz widoku prawie księżycowego, zastygłej lawy. Trochę mnie to przeraża, że to kiedyś płynęło i było bardzo gorące. Niszczyło wszystko po drodze.Był to z pewnością bardzo udany wyjazd. Pozdrawiam

    Hello. How nice that you are :-). I missed. You. Your photos of Hawaii - flowers, birds, chameleon, landscapes are marvelous. Well, besides the view almost lunar lava. I was a bit scared that it once flowed and it was very hot. Drodze.Był destroying everything it is certainly a very successful trip. Yours

  2. Thank you, Giga, I am so glad to hear from you! We have had a great time, and you are right, that lava looks like moonscape, I haven't seen anything like that before.

  3. Gorgeous photos and those birds are spectacular. I have never been to Hawaii but see many reasons to go from your stunning images. Thank you for the tour as I am guessing I will never see this place first hand.

  4. Donna, thank you. This was my first trip to Hawaii, and while so many things seemed amazing, I didn't really feel at home there.

  5. Welcome back! My impression of Hawaii was similar to yours: crazy the differences only a few miles apart. Also, I was amazed at how few people are actually around! I watched way too much Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii and Fantasy Island as a kid I think...

    anyhow, Merry Christmas to you!

  6. Glad your book from your two trips. Hawaii looks luscious in all of your photos. It amazes me when I see poinsettias growing so tall outdoors. I see them when I visit New Orleans, too. Have a great holiday!

  7. Jess, thank you. I also thought that everything in Hawaii is slow, traffic and people :). Merry Christmas to you too.

    GirlSprout, thank you. I was amazed to see the poinsettias too, I have never seen them so huge!

  8. Wow, you have seen very pretty plants,views and habitats
    Now I have a good indication from Hawaii, loveley island!!

  9. Welcome back Masha, its good to have you back in "blog land". The photos of Hawaii are Fabulous, how amazing to see orchids growing in that way. Wild, prolific and freely flowering. And thanks for the photo of "our" crane :)

    I wish you and your family a blessed and happy Christmas & Holidays.

  10. Skønne billeder.
    Tak for rundvisningen.

  11. Wow, such wonderfull photos, each one is so full of life, even those with the lava plain.
    So vivid. It is so nice to wander through your pages, so beautifull

  12. Welcome back, Masha ! Great places and gorgeous pictures ! Those hibiscus are stunning ...
    Have a nice week and enjoy your garden. Hugs !

  13. What wonderful photos from your trip to Hawaii. It sounds like you had a fantastic time.

    To me, it is always great to get back home, no matter where you've gone.

    Have a lovely Christmas and a great 2012.


  14. Marian, thank you. You are right, it is a lovely island, full of wonders for someone used to a colder climate.

    Christine, thank you, and merry Christmas to you too! The cranes were so beautiful, lucky you to have them close by.

    Landbohaven, thank you. I am glad you liked the pictures.

    Corina, thank you for your lovely compliment.

    Dani, thank you. I loved the hibiscus too and fortunately I get to see it here, although not so big and lush.

    FlowerLady, thank you, yes, I did have a great time. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time!

  15. Glad you are safely home, but I must admit I am envious of your trip to Hawaii. I have never been there but always wanted to. Spectacular photos.

  16. Welcome back! Sorry your trip to Russia had some stress in it. So glad to hear you got to get away for a few days to relax. And how wonderful to be able to see a paradise such as this! Thanks for sharing. Some of my family has been to Hawaii, but they are not gardeners, so I only see pictures of boats, cities, food, etc.! haha Loved your lava pic, too. So very interesting. Like the placenta of the earth.

  17. Thank you, Carolyn. It was my first time too :). I hope you will go too, it is an interesting place.

    Holley, thank you. I loved your comparison of lava to the placenta, so unusual, I would never have thought of it myself.

  18. What gorgeous pictures you have brought back with you from Hawaii! I have never been to Hawaii but my parents and my aunt love it.

    I am especially fond of the last picture of the gecko.

    There's no place like home though is there. Welcome back ~ you were missed!!

  19. Thank you, sweetbay, for such kind words. I am glad to hear from you again!

  20. Dear Masha, I am so glad to see you posting again! Sorry to hear that the trip to Russia turned out to be stressful, but I hope your trip to Hawaii made up for that, at least a little :-). Your photos from Hawaii are gorgeous and captured the tropical atmosphere so well. I love the pictures of the gecko and the chameleon, what strange creatures they are!

  21. Christina, thank you. I am happy to hear from you again. Yes, I didn't even realize it was over a month since my last post. I am hoping for a quiet Christmas and a whole next year with nothing but my roses around.

  22. Welcome back! I dont't post comments usually, but I really missed your posts and your garden and the way you see and let us see the nature and the roses!

  23. Claudia, thank you very much for letting me know you missed my posts. I appreciate your taking the trouble to tell me, it made me very happy!

  24. Glad you're back and comfortable, Masha, and that you enjoyed your trip to Hawaii. I have fond memories of the islands, too. Your gecko and rainbow shots are fantastic!

  25. Hi Masha,

    I wish you and your family all good for Christmas and every happiness in the coming year.

    Lots of greetings, Elly

  26. Beth, thank you. I am glad you had a good time on Hawaii, it doesn't seem to be difficult, does it?

    Elly, thank you, and merry Christmas to you too!

  27. Здравствуйте.
    В эти святые дни Рождества Христова, хочу поздравить вас с праздником. В этот день Христос пришел, чтобы спасти наш Мир от Тьмы.
    Желаю вам, чтобы светлый праздник вам подарил тепло, и уют в ваш дом, здоровья вам и вашим близким.
    С Рождеством Христовым и с Новым годом.
    Воеводин Дмитрий.

  28. Życzę zdrowych, pogodnych i wesołych ŚWIĄT :-). Pozdrawiam

  29. Thank you, Giga, merry Christmas to you too!

  30. Hey Masha,
    Fantastic photo's of your holiday in Hawai. (I can only dream of it). I wish you a lovely christmas and a very healthy and fantastic 2012 from my little paradise in Holland
    gr. Marijke

  31. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,
    Hear the music, see the lights,
    Frohe Weihnacht, Frohe Weihnacht,
    Merry Christmas allerseits..

    * * *
    *.˛.°★。˛°.★**Schöne Weihnachten!*★* *˛. ˛ °_██_*。*./ ♥ \ .˛* .˛.*.★* *★ 。* ˛. (´• ̮•)*˛°*/.♫.♫\*˛.* ˛_Π_____. * ♥ ˛* .°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./______/~\*. ˛*.。˛* ˛. *。 *(...'•'.. ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田 |門|╬╬╬╬ .:

  32. Brookesrosegarden.comDecember 29, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Masha, what great pictures of the vegetation in Hawaii. I will be going in March for two weeks. We have planned our itinerary for wonderful shooting in the jungles and the ocean. I cannot wait.
    Did you see my blog on winning the Best of Show for rose photography?
    What luck but one that has encouraged me to take rose photography more seriously and learning about shooting plants and flowers which I know you love to do and are so great at it. I love all your pictures - even the ones that give instructions (pruning climbers). I will be starting this weekend.
    Brooke -


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