Let’s Talk Food: Easter Sunday

This Sunday is Easter Sunday and a Christian festival, often called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Tropical Gardening: Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Christian Holy Week

Palms are a key component of Hawaiian gardens, and it was date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) leaves used to greet Jesus as he entered Jerusalem the Sunday before Easter. Date palms are not often used in the typical garden because nurseries seldom carry them. On the other hand, the pygmy date palm is much more delicate, smaller and popular. Pygmy date palms (Phoenix roebellini) fit well in limited spaces and are slow growing, so consider them in that they are drought and wind tolerant. They will tolerate full sun and shady locations as well. However, the date palm of the Middle East and other dry regions of the tropics or subtropics should not be ignored. It is extremely tolerant of dry, windy and salty locations where most other palms would not survive. They can be grown from seed if you have the patience. At Spencer Park in South Kohala, there are fruiting specimens that actually produce edible dates. Collecting seeds there is an option for a fun project.

Volcano Watch: The 2018 eruption of Kilauea was big on a global scale

The 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano had devastating effects on the lower Puna district, destroying hundreds of homes, burying subdivisions, and permanently affecting the lives of thousands of residents. The voluminous lava flow had a major impact on the Island of Hawaii, but how does it compare to other lava flow eruptions on Earth in recent history?

Tropical Gardening: What would Hawaii be without palms?

Hawaii is famous throughout the world for its beauty, friendly people and for the varied climate that is ideal for almost all the palms on the planet. This Oct. 10-19, the International Palm Society is celebrating its 32nd biennial meeting here. Every two years, members from all over the world meet to learn about this amazing family of plants. They meet in such exotic places as Thailand, Brazil, Madagascar and New Caledonia. This year they will focus on the rare endemic genus Pritchardia. To get involved in this year’s events, go to the IPS website, palms.org for details.

Ukrainian archbishop: Minority faiths at risk if Russia wins

The top-ranking Ukrainian Catholic cleric in the United States warned Thursday that religious minorities in the Eastern European country stand to be “crushed” if Moscow gains control, as fighting raged on more than a month after the Russian invasion began.

Volcano Watch: Remembering the 2011 Kamoamoa eruption

The 35-year-long Pu‘u‘o‘o eruption on the middle East Rift Zone of Kilauea was a remarkable opportunity for scientists to improve volcano research and monitoring. Even short-lived episodes in this eruption, like the four-day-long Kamoamoa eruption, offered important insights. For the 11th anniversary of the Kamoamoa eruption, this week’s “Volcano Watch” highlights the episode and some of the data collection.

One more new pest now attacking our forests and gardens: the acacia whitefly

It seems just when we think we have dealt with one epidemic another pops up. The avocado lacebug caused widespread defoliation of avocado trees in 2021, and now we have a new pest attacking our native koa, wili wili and uhiuhi. The acacia whitefly (Tetraleuodes acacaciae) has become widespread on Oahu and will soon be found on the Island of Hawaii if it is not already here. Not only does it attack our native acacia koa, other hosts include the shower tree (Cassia species) and related legume trees like the bauhinias are vulnerable as well. Acacia whitefly infestations may cause leaf yellowing, wilting and even defoliation.

Volcano Watch: New instrument with new potential: the Absolute Quantum Gravimeter

As the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continually improves our monitoring and eruption response capabilities, we acquired a new, state-of-the-art instrument called an Absolute Quantum Gravimeter. HVO scientists are excited about the AQG’s ability to measure very small mass changes beneath the ground surface, which will help detect underground volcanic processes.

Tropical Gardening: Spring rains mean it is time to fertilize

This weekend is the last two days of winter and Monday is officially the first day of spring. It has been a dry winter for many parts of the island, but now some areas are beginning to get a bit of spring rain. This makes it difficult to make general recommendations that apply to all. Parts of the windward side received enough precipitation to remove nutrients like nitrogen and actual topsoil as well. West Hawaii received much less but with our excessively porous rocky areas, even an inch of rain can leach important elements essential to plant growth.

Let’s Talk Food: St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday

This Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day and what comes to mind is corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread. But Irish barmbrack, which is sort of a fruitcake and bread with flavored dried fruit and spices. Although usually served around Halloween to celebrate their harvests, it is also a great St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Volcano Watch: Magma chamber music can tell a revealing tale

Disturbances to a magma or lava body — such as Kilauea Volcano’s underground summit magma reservoir or its current lava lake — can occur for a variety of reasons, including rising gas pockets or the fall of wall rocks into a lava lake. When a body of magma or lava is disturbed, the fluid in it can respond by vibrating or sloshing in a variety of ways.

Tropical Gardening: A healthy lawn adds value to your home

Whether you have a home with a large yard or an apartment with a small lanai, plants create a more luxurious mood. Attractive trees, shrubs and lawns actually increase the value of a home. In fact, if you cut down that big shade tree in the front yard, you may actually be reducing the value of your property by thousands of dollars. Just think how much it would cost to have a landscape company replace it! When trees are destroyed, it affects the whole community.

Let’s Talk Food: Kai Cuisine: Fresh pasta

Kai(n) or Kai Cuisine opened their brick and mortar shop at 346 Kilauea Avenue last year. It has become a happening block with Hilo Bottle Shop and Basically Books next door. At the end of the building, the Pizza Hut is being demolished to make room for a drive-thru Taco Bell.

Volcano Watch: Comparing today’s Kilauea summit lava lake with past observations

The Feb. 3 installment of “Volcano Watch” introduced some of the data streams that are used to monitor eruption pauses and renewals at Kilauea’s summit, including ground tilt from borehole tiltmeters. Tilt data also provided valuable insight into the behavior of the lava lake that occupied Halema‘uma‘u crater from 2008–18, before the series of collapses in 2018 changed Kilauea’s summit topography.