Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Silverswords and taking responsibility

I was still recovering from a nasty cold over the weekend but  I nevertheless joined other members of my Rotary Club in going up Mauna Kea, one of several mountains/volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We went up there to work and do some star gazing at the Visitors' Center, which is over 9,000 feet above sea level. The Center's official name is  Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station on Mauna Kea.

Most of the gentlemen gathered weeds while the ladies watered Silverswords, a highly endangered plant unique to only two places and only  in the state of Hawaii: at the Haleakala mountain on the island of Maui and up on  Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.

My fellow lady Rotarians and I went to a designated place where young Silverswords were being nurtured.  Each young plant was ringed by protective stones and marked by a small flag.

I watered the plants not just in my assigned area but also in others.  I even surprised myself by returning for another once-over just to make sure that the plants were saturated with water. 

I could not quite identify the overwhelming feeling but I  felt both  blessed and strangely comforted to have been in close contact with something struggling to live.   

I thought of the efforts that have gone into nurturing  the young plants and saving them from joining the ranks of the dinosaurs and other flora and fauna now extinct.

I thought it simply beautiful  that people cared enough to take responsibility!

Photo of ilversword plants  from

I took this photo of a very young Silversword. Note the tiny flag to the left of the plant.

 Ariel and a Silversword

For more info about Silverswords, please click on the following links:

Posted with Aloha!


  1. Silverwords are important. That means that you are doing important work!

    1. No doubt about it Mitchell Hegman. Mahalo for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Nicely Done Ariel. The world needs more people like you.

  3. A great adventure indeed. I'd like to note that Silverswords were wiped out on Hawaii island by invasive animals: goats and sheep. Another good reason why we should do what we can to control invasive species.