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a visit to the Lyon Arboretum

The Lyon Arboretum is the only university botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest in the U.S. I visited this beautiful botanical garden yesterday for the first time. I went with a friend to explore and take photos.

The Lyon Arboretum is located at the very end of Manoa Road. It was quite an adventure getting there. As you reach the end of the road, your driving skills will be tested as you come upon a few very narrow hairpin turns. The signs warning of falling branches also made me a little nervous. Fortunately my car made it there fully intact.

Once you arrive, you are greeted with this magnificent view.

There are a few trails on the lower grounds and many more trails that go up into the mountains. We decided to stay on the lower grounds. The first trail we took led us to the Hawaiian Ethnobotanical Garden. Not far from the start of this trail, we noticed a guy hanging from a rope climbing a huge tree.

We walked over to investigate. When we reached the small group of people nearby, I heard my name called. I was shocked! The person turned out to be someone I taught with at my former school. She asked me if I was still in Hawaii. At first, I wondered if that was a trick question. I replied, "Yes, I am in Hawaii". Turns out for some reason she thought I moved to the mainland instead of just transferring to another school on Oahu. Small world!

View of taro plants by the tree climbing activity:

More photos from our walk:




We returned to the main office area to explore another path. Here are two more views from the the main office area.


We were fortunate to be near the main office area when the first rain shower hit. I took this photo just after the rain stopped.

The next path we took was the Lower Lawns path. This was located to the right of the main office. I loved this group of palm trees.

This path also led us to a very cool water lily pond.

After spending quite a bit of time taking photos of the water lilies and hanging out under the gazebo during the rain showers, we decided it was time to leave.

We continued on the path heading towards the parking lot. As we walked by this pretty pink flower, I spotted something hanging on the side of the flower. It turned out to be a green gecko with blue and red spots.

He (or she) was so cute. As we watched this gecko crawl along the leaves, we realized that there was a whole family of geckos hanging out in this plant. This gecko was pretty curious and came right up to me as I took more photos. He started out by peeking his head over a leaf and eventually even posed for me. This is one of my favorites...

This group of plants was located at the very end of the path right near the parking lot entrance.

At one point yesterday, we were attacked by mosquitoes. I originally planned to use this post as my itchy PhotoHunt post, yes a stretch, but I was technically itchy while taking many of these photos. BUT this blog program has not been cooperating and it has taken forever to upload these photos. I tried to get into my blog to start a new post last night, but no luck. I tried again this morning. After starting my post, the problems continued. After getting a few photos uploaded, I stopped to watch a movie on Netflix, thinking taking a break would solve the problem. No such luck.

Eight hours later, I only have two more to photos to upload, and then of course I will need this blog post to publish. I was itchy last night but for some strange reason (since I usually end up with huge welts) the bites are no longer bothering me. So no PhotoHunt post for me this week. Instead, I hope you enjoy my visit to the Lyon Arboretum.

Comments (8)

What an amazing place. Love your photos! Sorry you were itchy but glad it didn't last long. And yes, the gecko is very cute! Happy Monday!

I love that little Gecko pic, so adorable!!! And so so tropical... It makes me miss the warmth sometimes!


Wonderful photos, I really love that little gecko! (And the water lillies are just lovely.)

Kathy (trekcapri):

Hi from Belgium Girasoli photo collection. Like the close ups, thanks so much for sharing


Beautiful collection of photos. I visited the Arboretum years ago with my children and we enjoyed it a lot.

Love the gecko shots too... The water lily made me think of Monet and Giverny. Thank you for sharing.

Very cool shots - close ups are quite clear - especially liked to gecko too. Unfortunately, Geico Insurance has used a gecko in their obnoxiously ubiquitous ads here that it's the first thought that comes into my mind! Love the taro patch. Ty's been trying to figure out a way to grow taro here (I know = quite unlikely) so he can provide his own poi! Have a great weekend.

Barb Cabot:

It truly is the tropical paradise at its finest...lush and lovely. Great photos....but ooh no mosquitos...yiks! Itcy for sure.

Thanks everyone! I did end up with a delayed itchy reaction on Monday - but it wasn't too bad. I have dealt with much worse reactions in the past.

Eden, the water lilly pond reminded us of Monet also.

menehune, Ty must really miss poi! I know I would. Is he trying to grow it inside or do you have a greenhouse? Good luck!

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