Tonight - more plants I loved as a kid growing up in Hawaii.
Less words, more pictures, and MUCH more silly!
First up - the mighty Banyan tree. Best in the world (at least the parts of the world I've seen) for climbing!
The real name of the plant below (which I just found out myself) is Bryophyllum, but most of the people I knew called these "air plants", because it takes nothing but air to start new ones. If you pick a leaf & pin it to a curtain, before too long each notched point on the leaf starts sprouting tiny leaves & roots! Nice picture here of a leaf with new sprouts coming along. Eventually they will want their roots in soil (which is what set me a-googling for a name other than "air plant" - you get a lot of plants in an "air plant" search but this is not one of 'em) but it's such an interesting thing to watch these starting off with no sustenance other than the air & the leaf from which they spring.
Sleeping grass. Why is sleeping grass fun?
Because it does this!
BTW, the time I was shooting this was one of those moments I was glad I was on my own this time - I think I would've been too embarrassed to explain to somebody why I needed to spend as much time as I did taking pictures of trailside weeds. But I was just fascinated with this stuff when I was a kid, couldn't walk past a patch without stopping to play with it.
Strawberry guava - not so much a plaything as a hiker's trailside treat.
Unfortunately, they are also one of the worst invasives around & have a pretty dramatic effect -
but I still enjoyed the one I found.
I think I would love these trees even if they didn't have a "toy component" (as we say in the children's publishing industry) simply because they remind me of every camp I ever went to as a kid in Hawaii & because I love the sound they make when the wind sets those long needles whispering among themselves.
But I was also VERY fond of playing with these tiny cones & slender twigs they drop.
Here's what you do with them - you collect a few twigs & cones. You break the twigs into various lengths --
and then you have --
Tinkertoys! I always made little goatlike critters out of them, like this one, but I bet a cleverer kid could get a LOT more complicated with them.
And in closing, here is some pure silliness with the lovely Hibiscus, as promised (or threatened) in my Pua O Ka Honua post.
I'd mentioned that our hibiscus hedge was so big I'd carved a little secret playhouse into it. I'd also mentioned that there was something very silly that we did with the flowers - well, here you are!
First, you need to find a nice red or pink hibiscus.
Pull off a single petal.
Carefully split the petal at the base. Peel the two sides apart for an inch or so. Now stick the petal on the bridge of your nose, and viiiii-ola --
you're a rooster! Cockadoodledoo!