Amid the old lava flows on the west coast of Hawai‘i, locals have a tradition of arranging coral on the jumbled rocks to create temporary graffiti. It tends to be “friendly” graffiti, more like carving one’s initials in a tree than tagging a freeway wall with spray paint.

Random Grafitti in Coral on Lava

We drove past a beautifully drawn whale several times before we finally decided to stop by the side of the road, and Katie stepped out to get a picture:

Whale in coral on a lava background - Kona, Hawaii

Then there was this one, which looks like it was actually spray paint instead of coral, but we couldn’t figure out whether it was supposed to be a missile, a cross, a tombstone, or, well, a phallus.

What the heck is that?

Back to initials in trees, we spotted an odd tree which seemed to have every single leaf covered with names.

Autograph Tree

At first we couldn’t believe people would do this to every single leaf, but we later discovered it’s actually called an autograph tree.

Autograph Tree close-up showing names carved in the leaves.

Note: These photos were taken throughout the week of April 4-10, 2005

Update: I’ve posted higher-res photos on Flickr

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