Maui Page, September 14, 2011, Wednesday
Bad Ass Banyan Tree
Sitting beneath one of the most amazing trees I’ve ever seen - the largest Banyan tree of its kind in the world, here in Lahaina, Maui. It appears to be a mammoth root extending unto another smaller series of trunks like a huge connected family. And from its boughs extend branches reaching higher like one would expect a tree to do. The tree has a surplus of bright berry looking blooms that are dropping even as I write this down. And for the other nerds out there, Its official genus is Ficas Benghalenes, and it was officially dedicated for preservation in 1982.
Winged things I noted also seem to favor this tree; with not only the dainty small pigeons, but the familiar more burly type that I’m accustomed to seeing on the mainland. Flies are here as well. Less welcome, I might add, and probably attracted to my coconut scented lotion. Also, a strange bird I see meandering about this island. I think it is of the “myna” variety, fearless, and with strong yellow legs. Earlier in the day, I watched one of these birds drop down from a tree and plant itself on the sidewalk a few inches in front of an approaching cat! And the cat was strange looking enough as it was, a walking portrait of a number of strays I’ve spotted in a few communities, and all which bare an obvious bit of DNA that is clearly Siamese.
But getting back to the tree, it reminded me of a series of roots that had grown immense in proportion and somehow became entangled with a tree before growing up, and out of the earth, in clearly the wrong direction! Also a number of vines are hanging a meter or more from the branches towards the middle. Only I couldn’t tell if they were independent of the tree itself or not.
And prior to approaching this amazing tree is a small strip of beach that used to be a frequent hub for Ali’i (royalty). There is also a fresh water spring that is guarded by Mo’o (a giant lizard), or so the myth goes. And from the face of Front Street, pass the Banyan tree and beyond the beach line, is this huge peel of ocean perfect for surfing, a favorite spot for Ali’I according to the information placard. As well as a huge skeleton of coral sitting along the edge of the street that was used as a fort back in the 1800’s.
Got to bring this to a close as the birds lift off and on to another venture – and following suit, so shall I.
Mahalo for your eyes, and Aloha from Maui.