Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Meme

ALOHA, Friends

Our great blogging friend MAGIC EYE of MUMBAI DAILY PHOTO
has published a "mate" to the photo below
that I took on Wong Ho Lane here in Honolulu.
You can see his twin

Opposite Sides of the Pacific, Yet One World

I talk to the Trees

There is Warmth Here for
Thursday in WAIKIKI

Today's background music:

click on photos to get elevated
When you think of Hawaii,
these are probably the trees that come to mind.


"The trees are God's great alphabet:

With them He writes in shining green

Across the world His thoughts serene."

~Leonora Speyer

But we have much leafy treasure, both native and introduced.
Here is a tamarind tree, a member of the bean family Fabacceae:
Tamarindus Indica


"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day,
he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.
But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods
and making the earth bald before her time,
he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen."
Henry David Thoreau

Here is a cool historical illustration
of the flowers, leaves & pods of the tamarind


"You can live for years next door to a big pine tree,

honored to have so venerable a neighbor,
even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you,
dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night."
Denise Levertov

Try living under a coconut palm: *BOOM!*

Here is the Manu O Ku (White Tern) the official Honolulu bird
that oft lays it's single egg in the crook of the tamarind

Photo Source

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything."
William Shakespeare


(Note: As I write this, it is a chilly morning.
We expect today's temps to reach only 76 degrees, Fahrenheit!
The air is "cool" and dry, but the sun is most pleasant.
Kitty is laying against me for warmth.
We send this dispatch to you with love!)

A Tamarind tree was planted in Hawaiian traditional
over the PIKO (umbilical cord)

of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop
in what is now called Tamarind Square in Downtown Honolulu.
We nourish the`Aina (land) just as it nourishes us.

As we live on the `Aina, we "make our bones" or Iwi
which should be returned to it. The bones have Mana (spiritual power)
and so are hidden away from those who might wish to use that power.
No one knows where Kamehameha the Great lays for this reason.
We honor him at his statue outside the Hawaii Supreme Court,
but do not visit a grave or tomb.

Hawaiians called the tamarind, introduced from Asia or Africa,
Wi Awa Awa.
Awa Awa means "sour" or "tart,"
which fits since the tree has both sweet and sour varieties.

It is said that this tree was brought to our shores by
Don Francisco de Paula Marin who also introduced mangos,
grapes, even the plumeria as well as many other "local" favorites.
The first tamarinds were planted near what is today's
Foster Botanical Garden.

Most of our tamarinds are old trees found in dry places
where Hawaiians used to live in traditional fashion.

Some Chinatown markets sell the tamarind fruit,
we also see it dried, canned,
or preserved with rock salt and wrapped in yellow cellophane as a sweet.

OH sweet trees!
I love you-
and I don't care who knows it!

What the?!
A local food columnist coincidentally wrote about isle cooking with tamarind HERE.

ALOHA, cloudia