The Magic of Kamakou

Photos by G.T. Larson

Molokai's Kamakou Preserve, an ancient Hawaiian rain forest, is considered by many to be the jewel of the Conservancy's Hawai'i preserves.

A narrow boardwalk leads the way through the rain forest and protects the fragile forest floor.

The red-flowered ōhi‘a lehua is the dominant tree species at Kamakou, forming the majority of the forest canopy. 

Turn over a leaf at Kamakou and you may find the Hawaiian happy-face spider.

The pinao'ula, a rare native damselfly, is one of thousands of insects that live in the Hawaiian rain forest. 

'Akala, the native Hawaiian raspberry, is large, tart and tasty.

'Apapane, a native Hawaiian honeycreeper, perches in a dead ‘ōhi‘a snag, preparing to sing his courtship song.

A beautiful 'ama'u fern will unfurl from this tight coil.

Sunlight illuminates the colorful fronds of the 'ama'u fern.

Colorful banded tree snails live on tree leaves at Kamakou, cleaning off the mold and algae.

The flower of the native 'akala hints at the meaning of its Hawaiian name, which is "pink." 

Pēpē‘ōpae Bog at Kamakou is a tapestry of miniature native plants dwarfed by the acidic, water-logged soil. 

Kamakou Preserve is one of the few places where you can see the full range of colors of the 'ōhi‘a lehua blossoms.  In most other places, the ‘ōhi‘a lehua blossoms are red.

A shaft of sunlight illuminates the ‘ōhi‘a trees in full bloom at Kamakou.


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