Hugh Erle Smith
 home | forays | next

Favorite Forays

Observations on Maui, Hawai'i, October 11, 2013

opening page | mushrooms 1 | mushrooms 2 | mushrooms 3

I've said this before. One of my passions is photographing mushrooms.

I don't know why. Maybe it's the diversity. Maybe it's the colors.

Maybe it's the different forms and methods of reproduction they have. Or their natural beauty.

I've said this before too. I generally don't eat mushrooms. Sure, if someone cooks them I'm willing to try them but, except for very few, even the different flavors quickly begin to taste like... mushrooms.

If I never ate another mushroom, it would be like Abalone or Scallops. I wouldn't miss them at all. So why do I pick them? Some say I hunt mushrooms just for bragging rights. This may be unconsciously true.

Competition can be an inescapable driving force for some. I know that I do not consciously hunt mushrooms to brag. That would be a complete waste of time. It is true though, if no one was interested in all of these Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Porcini, Morels and Matsutake I would have no interest except for a photograph, as well as all of those bugs that associate. But as it is I've burned up multiple dehydrators and I'm currently working on burning up four more, this time all at once. I can't help myself!

What's wrong with me?

Is there something wrong?

Maybe I should see a Mycologist.

I'll bet you think I think only about mushrooms. That's absolutely false. I like a good bug hunt like everyone else.

At our first location in Maui (we like to move around) we stayed on Michael and Terry's property on the Hana Coast, actually in the vicinity of Nahiku ('Nah he ku). Michael is a retired Arborist from the University of Hawaii at Honolulu ('HO no loo loo, not 'HAH no loo loo). Other than having a phone line coming up the hill, they are off the grid. Their acreage is jungle by definition.

We stayed at an elevation above 900 feet and the view from inside the jungle to the ocean was glorious.

Sandi and I were the only Haoles staying there. Those who live here but were not born here are called
Kama'aina (comma 'Ina).

I live in Northern California and I get up at 5:30 every morning. If I don't set the clock, I get up earlier.

Hawaii does not recognize Daylight Savings Time. Every morning I heard it; the crack of dawn. (I am now attempting to recover. One legend states your soul will require one day for every hour you fly to catch up with you. Hawai'i takes 5 hours from Sacramento).

Rainy season begins in Hawai'i about the end of September. This is a very general statement of course, since it rains daily in many places.

The Hana coast is the rainy side of Maui. Although Hana is the second wettest place in the Hawaiian Islands and one of the wettest places on Earth (Kaua'i holds that record), Michael said his property receives 100 inches more than Hana. That's over 8 feet MORE! How much does Hana get then?! It rained every night on and off usually into dawn. We had a wood-burning stove in our house. We were told people get cold here!

I don't think I ever stopped sweating. Now here in Wailea, I'm still sweating.

I learned all about Mosquito repellent while on the Hana coast.

You have to put it on BEFORE you go in the jungle.

(I learned this at the end of my stay on the rainy side).

I'm sure there are more than one type of Mosquito here because I never saw any of those that bit my hands and I have nearly as many bites there. I was earning four bites at a time. I lost count quickly every
day. But was it worth it? Well, I'm not used to these Mosquitoes so the bumps will last about two weeks.

Yes it was worth it.

Of course, there were mushrooms. It was difficult to quit hunting.

There's always something new! Amongst others there were:

  • Aseroe rubra, the Starfish Stinkhorn. Although I found several, I missed them opening. I found none in the egg or half open stages.

    How long do they take to open? Less than an hour? More?

    My Field-Of-View on these photos are a bit short because of the Mosquitoes.


  • Hypholoma

  • Shelves/Turkey Tails (Trametes, Stereum)

  • Slime Molds

  • Coprinus/Coprinopsis

  • Agaricus/Leucoagaricus

  • Pluteus

  • Lepiota

  • Galerina

  • Xerampelina

  • Xylaria

There were very few real Conchs.

Our last day on the Hana Coast, we got up early to be the first to arrive at Ohe'o Gulch, the famed location of the Seven Sacred Pools. The Seven Sacred Pools was a marketing scheme dreamed up to entice people to come to this side of the island. There are seven... or are there 8, or 11, or 2?

Regardless, none are sacred to the Hawaiians.

There is a waterfall here though, a two mile hike, part of it through a Bamboo Forest. It's called Waimoku Falls (Why 'MO ku) and it's 400 feet tall. This is not to be missed. It's an old volcanic vent and it appears as a curve far above you. You can stand at the base of it and even stand in the waterfall (rocks fall occasionally). Looking up, you see a perfect curve and with the jungle bending over the edges from 400
feet above, you feel as though you are looking through a Fish Eye Lens, like something is wrong with your vision, as if you are hallucinating!

I've been here before (not hallucinating) and this was to be the high point (no pun intended) of my trip to the Hana Coast, but this time I was to be disappointed.

Hawai'i is virtually 100 percent a tourist destination. Ohe'o Gulch is part of Haleakala National Park.

Remember the sequester? The National Parks were closed!

With a stroke of his pen any President could have opened the National Parks that bring in so much money but instead cost money just to keep closed. I traveled 2450 miles to see this place again. But instead what
I saw was, police tape all through the jungle, no parking and no stopping, all along the road, this pristine place a glaring embarrassment. The people here are not happy.

Now I'm in Wailea, a desert with man made oasisii(?) embedded.

Did you know that each Rhinoceros on this planet requires 3 square miles for a normal existence? Now you do. How much land does each golfer really need then? Well, looks like they've got it in Hawai'i.

Still, Kihei and Wailea have some great things in nature too.

And I'll admit, hunting around the edges of a golf course can be rewarding. (Always look through their leaf areas and pruning trash).

I've walked in the desert where no one here goes.

I've taken my shoes off and ran it through toes. (For Bill McGuire).

There are many creatures and fungus that easily associate with humans and their activities.

  • Athletes foot (a fungus)

  • Jungle Rot (another fungus)

  • Toe Nail Fungus (yet another fungus)

  • Tofu (an edible fungus, tastes bland) [Please note the short name for this Genus since there is only one]

  • Poi (see Tofu, above)

  • Birds Nest

  • Agaricus/Leucoagaricus

  • Amanita

  • Lepiota

  • Snails, four types

  • Slugs

  • Toads

  • 3/4-inch Frogs

Anole (ah 'NO lay) (a Reptile, a Lizard) as common as Leccinum in Alaska. Upon arriving here on the West Coast, I'm saying to Sandi, "Look! Look! Look!" Very soon though, it's "Quit looking. Shut up and walk."

In Hawaii if you speak of mushrooms there's always only one response.

And it starts with a look.

The name for a Cowboy in Hawaiian is Paniolo. I wonder if this is the root word for Panaeolus, or is it the other way around? Maybe Paniolo doesn't really mean Cowboy. Maybe it means Cow Patty or what's found in a Cow Patty.

Maui is a different sort of place. Everything cost twice as much or else they give you half portions. (This statement is not completely true. We found two places that had excellent deals on excellent food).

We went to this wine tasting place in the "Up Country". It was beautifully landscaped with large old-growth trees, some rivaling even the trees of the California coast. Not as tall and not the diameters we boast, but still giant in their own right. Eucalyptus, Norfolk Island Pine, Camphor, Banyan, Poinciana... Even California Coastal Redwoods have been imported.

The lady working in the wine tasting room said we could try three different kinds of wine. (The way she said it sounded pretty tight).

I said I only wish to try two unless you have really good stuff like Welch's or Boons Farm or a good port like M.D. 2020, maybe even a Mexican White Wine. No, she had none of the good stuff. She splashed our
first taste into a glass. I struggled to see if the glass was wet. Each tasting was barely two sips! I dribbled down my face so I lost one sip!

Oh well it wasn't Welch's anyway and they didn't have any Mexican Whites or even Golds.

And the line! I felt cattle were being treated better than us.




Move along, move along.

Except that I voluntarily got in line.


And I did buy a bottle of some Pineapple Wine. It tasted like Beer after I had left the building. Is there anything that tastes worse than Beer?

Yes, mushrooms.


Mushrooms in the yard though!

Although there were some puffballs on the rainy side,(Lycoperdon), I found no Puffballs on the desert side. I have found Batteraea phalloides in Hawai'i in the desert before so I was looking pretty hard.

Only golf balls. Common in woods around short cut grass. Synthetic rubber and plastic littering the woods. When no one was around, I threw a lot of balls back out on the greens. ("Is that your ball over there, Thad?")

I'll bet those people who call themselves golfers will justify all the stuff they shoot into the woods and don't bother going after. And now I'll get a bunch of letters justifying their lack of action, like they have enough balls. They might even say I'm obnoxious!

Don't they know they could have more balls than they already have?

I know there's a joke here somewhere.

Just so you know how much I've thought about this, I know that not all golfers leave their balls in the woods but then, NO non-golfers have any part in it.

Who's Partial Book of Translations of Hawaiian Words and Terms:

  • Hale ('HAH lay): House or home

  • Haleakala (Hah lay 'AHK ah la): House of the Sun)

  • Kapu (ka 'POO): No Trespassing, Keep Out

  • Hawaiian Speed Bump: Mongoose

  • Paniolo (panny 'OH lo): Hallucinogenic mushroom or spot to find them

  • Pau hana (pow 'HAH nah): finished work

  • Shaka nui (shah ka 'NEW ee): Good luck

  • Pomaika'i (po 'My ka 'EE): Good fortune

  • Mauka ('MOW ka): toward the mountain

  • Makai (ma 'KI): toward the ocean

  • Haole ('HOW lay): a Hawaiian term that means, "Your skin is so white you couldn't POSSIBLY be living!

  • Pu'u ('POO oo): Hill

  • Pee Pee Pu'u : a hill to Pee behind

  • Poo Poo Pu'u: !

  • Pu'u O'o: !

And there you have it, my latest observations in Maui. Pictures next, if you wish.

Pomaika'i! (Good fortune)

Hui ho! (see ya!)


Hugh (Who) Smith

opening page | mushrooms 1 | mushrooms 2 | mushrooms 3