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The Petroglyphs

When the ancient Hawaiians lived here, they carved figures of people, sails, and other icons in the smooth pahoehoe lava.  The figures remain to this day, and are now protected by a boardwalk and a proscription against taking rubbings and impressions.    For a number of years the drawings were outlined with sand to make them easier to see, but that is no longer the practice, so you have to depend on the map.

The petroglyph field extends for acres, and the walk meanders to enable the visitor to see all the glyphs.  That’s Mt. Hualalai in the background.

Here you can clearly see where the Kona Village logo came from.  The sail image is common in the field.

Some glyphs are very simple and small, while some are large and elaborate.  Some represent very broad shouldered males; some are expressions of undying love.

The kiawe tree is pervasive in the dry areas of Hawai’i.  Imported from Peru in 1828, it now covers 150,000 acres.  If nothing else, I’d have to call it determined, based on the way the roots have anchored in the lava.  It is related to mesquite.

The kiawe tree not only takes root in places other trees might avoid, the trunk suggests that a life on the lava isn’t easy.  Builds character, I guess.

Visitors to this area also included wild goats and once included wild donkeys.  The donkeys were removed to a much friendlier environment in Waimea, but the goats still forage among the shrubs.  Petra sent me this picture and the one of the nene.

The nene goose is the state bird of Hawai’i.  Once common, they are now rare.  Kona village had a pair of them, but unfortunately they were of the same sex, so they remained a pair. Since they are protected, the village couldn’t obtain another pair, even for conjugal visits. Another unintended consequence.