“Little Australia” in Maui, Hawaii

Life for a Life: Palm for a Palm

IMG_1965 IMG_1966

The expression “life for a life” usually has dark connotations.  Revenge murder.  This story, however, is about giving life after taking a life.

The main purpose of all my “lumberjacking yoga” in the last seven days was to provide more sunlight for some Royal Palm trees. I also did a lot of pruning in this area in Dec 2010 for the same reason. Since then, however, the invasive “junky” jungle trees have outgrown and overshadowed the two Royal Palms. Literally.

A Steward of the Earth is occasionally called upon to play a referee for the sake of protection of the endangered species.  In this case, our two Royal Palms.

Well, this Steward of the Earth screwed up. He made a judgment error last night. After researching and planning carefully how to take down a large (40-ft) invasive tree that was overshadowing one of the palms, I thought I had it figured out.

In fact, I was quite proud of my chainsaw work when a 40-foot tree fell exactly where I had wanted it to drop.  Alas, one of its top limbs, which no chainsaw known by man could have ever reached, caught the top of the palm tree on the way down.  I was hoping it would have just brushed over it.

But the palm bent, groaned, and then gave up the ghost.  Its top 15 feet or so snapped and broke.

It also broke my heart to witness it.  I literally felt like crying. Not because of the tremendous amount of physical effort and planning I put into it. But because in the end – I failed to protect it. I killed the palm I was trying to save.

So last night, during my midnight meditations, I apologized to the Spirit and asked what I was to do. The guidance I got was that I was to get another palm and plant it into one of our new rock wells. It would stand alone there.  Thus it will be in no danger of being overshadowed by any other trees.

Ptychosperma Elegans: Solitaire Palm, Native to Australia,

Which is what I did this afternoon.  But instead of going to a large nursery, something guided me to go to our local hardware store. I remember seeing some plants outside when I was there last.IMG_1965

Lo and behold, there was one palm there. Just the perfect size for our needs. The label on it read “Solutary Palm.” I had never heard of such a palm. So I walked in to ask the store owner about it.

“What kind of a palm is the ‘Solutary Palm?’”

She laughed. “That’s Gary’s spelling for you. I told him to change the sign.”

“I don’t understand?”

“It is a Solitaire Palm.”

“And that’s a breed?”


Later, I found out that the actual name of this particular palm is Ptychosperma Elegans. We actually have  some elsewhere on our property. And that one is indeed solitary.

I also learned that the Solitaire palm is native to eastern Queensland, Australia, where it occurs in coastal rainforests.  So now I understand why the Spirit guide me today to that little hardware store with the only palm they had.  It helped reconnect me to the land Down Under in which I once had a home (see the Bolt Hole, WA).

And now, this is what this “Solutary Palm” looked like after I planted it this evening.  When I did it, I did not know it was native to Australia. As it turns out, this “Aussie” is now right next to two Eucalyptus Trees.  And they are both under the Eucalyptus Hill.

Guess that’s now our “Little Australia” at the Rainbow Shower. 🙂

IMG_1966 341px-Ptychosperma-elegans-alexander-palm-solitaire-palm-1

PS: I have just discovered that we already have a Solitaire Palm. And it is actually NOT a solitary plant. It is a triplet, nestled between our living room where my Steinway is, and Elizabeth’s studio. Here it is now (left) vs. five years ago (right).

IMG_1978 RainbowShower001

Also see below – a shot from last September.



And now, compare that to the same triple solitaire palm from almost five years ago. It has nearly doubled in size since then…

Triple Solitair Palm 7-14-14


  1. Hi Bob,
    Not related to this post, but were you once married to Betty Louise Hunt, who died in 1971? She was my cousin.

    1. Hi, Moira. I am so sorry to take this long to get back to you, but I only now noticed your comment from 2014 as I was deleting some of my old mail.

      Yes, I was married to Betty until she passed in June 1971. Where are you based?


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