Tucked away near the edge of Kawainui Marsh, Ulupo Heiau is a powerful reminder of the Hawaiian civilization that once thrived here.
Pictures don’t really do it justice or capture the size and scope of this historic stone temple, where Hawaiians once sought spiritual support for harvests and battle.
“Sacred Grounds” reads the aging sign warning visitors not to remove stones.
A plaque links the heiau to the “mythical” menehune, who some historians believe were actually the first wave of Polynesians to reach Hawaii, from the Marquesas islands, before a second wave arrived later from Tahiti and marginalized the first wave.
The heiau is flanked by carefully tended kalo (taro) patches, called lo’i.
Some lo’i are ringed by stones.
Mature kalo have distinct broad leaves.
The lo’i are also home to a few ducks.
They seem pretty happy.
A few Common Waxbills dart around.
And a few Cattle Egrets hunt along the edges.
A friendly Shama Thrush sings a greeting and provides fine company.
Some ripe papayas nearby are ready to drop.