Gardening Inside a Crater

Today, for the first time, I appreciate the wonder of botanical gardens. Someone created this one inside the Koko Crater.   It starts at the edge of a tunnel formed by forty foot high blooming bougainvilleas that grow inside a 100,000 year old basalt basin. Their purple, cream yellow, and magenta flowers litter the ground while those still clinging io the bushes perfume the air. Friends warned us that temperatures inside the crater can reach 90 degrees but today’s trade winds moderate things for us. It carries the scent of flowers up through hibiscus grove (now full of plants setting seeds),and dying out as we reach the Americas cactus forest. There the golden light of late afternoon backlights the fibrous plants. I won’t describe the walk through Africa and Madagascar except to mention the long tailed laughing thrush, whose song lives up to it’s name, an intensive red northern cardinal, and other unseen birds that fill the air with sweet song.

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