Once upon a time on the island of Hawaii, wiliwili, ‘ohi’a, sandalwood and lama trees tunneled their roots into the lava encrusted earth, grew tall and sheltered a variety of plants such as halapepe, ilima and pua kala, along with insects and birds like the amakihi. Though earth-bound, the forest was a powerful force of nature attracting clouds that brought precious rain to the land. Time passed and people came. Only the strongest of all the plants, the wiliwili tree, survived the voracious appetites of the sheep, horses and goats brought by the people. As the forest disappeared the clouds vanished and the land became parched. The wiliwili survived, but is now endangered.
This image depicts eighteen species of trees, shrubs, birds, and insects that populate the dry forest ecosystem and will one day thrive again because of the restoration efforts of organizations like The Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative.
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