We decided to have an overnight trip over to Munglinup even though the forecast is for a very wet, windy and cold weekend. Saturday morning was beautiful sunny and cloud free, so much for the storm forecast for Friday night. First point of call was to fill up the Triton with diesel, buy some supplies from Woolies, grab some cash for accommodation and our favourite $2 coffees from Shell.
First stop was along the highway opposite the Dalyup tennis club. Only found a lone greenhood Banded greenhood (Pterostylis vittata) then on the way back noticed he had a spent friend.
Onward to Cascade falls, on Loop Road, where we parked in the same spot as our first ever visit and walked along the Lort River to the so called falls. For the middle of winter the water was rather low. Unlike last time, which was later in the season, we found diddly squat, however the sunshine and fresh air made for perfect walking weather. Back on Cascade Road we head west towards Neds Corner Road and stop at the first Cascade Nature Reserve which incorporates the old Cascade School site and slowly drove around. Nothing caught our eye so we headed further west to the next section of the Nature Reserve. We took a track north and parked in a limestone quarry/pit and decided to go for a bush bash and see what, if anything, we could find
I came across a bunch of very small Pterostylis rosettes however nothing was in bud so I assumed another dud area so I took a pic of the leaves. 2 metres away were some more rosettes and one was in flower but not fully developed, so more pics were taken. It was a Shell orchid with dark brown tones. As I was struggling to stand up I moved a small branch and hidden beneath was a fully formed Shell orchid flower. From my pictures and orchid book it would appear to be a Dwarf shell orchid (Pterostylis brevichila) as they flower July to September and are found between Hyden and Mt Ragged. Very excited to find something new so yelled out to Deb to come over and check it out.
With added enthusiasm we venture further afield together and Deb spots some nice Banded greenhoods (Pterostylis vittata) and very close by some spent Pygmy orchids (Corunastylis tepperi). Many more of both were found. A dark banded greenhood is found and appears to be a Cupped banded greenhood (Pterostylis concava) but they range as far east as Mt Barker so it must be a Dark banded greenhood (Pterostylis sanguinea). Walking around we find more greenhoods and shells in full flower and many more pygmy orchids finished for the season. Lunch time, then south along Neds Corner Road.
We stopped alongside the road as up ahead the rain had finally arrived, so we made a quick check of the scrub. I was excited to find a Donkey orchid in flower. It appears to be a Green range donkey orchid (Diuris sp. ‘Green Range’) which flowers July to September from Denmark to Esperance. Further specimens were found and then we bolt back to the Triton as the rain arrives with a vengeance. Unfortunately it does not stop for the rest of the day, though is does lessen in magnitude.
Another stop on Neds Corner Road found more Dark banded greenhoods and Green range donkey orchids. A right turn had us travelling west along Mills Road, where I spied a Donkey orchid with a double head on the side of the road. Young river provided a break but no orchids found. Further along Mills Road Deb took a track to the east and spotted a lone Donkey orchid. A little further along and the Triton sinks into the muddy track causing 4WD to be engaged to reverse out. No more down that track!
Afternoon tea consumed in the Triton, waiting for the rain to ease up, at the Munglinup River crossing. (Mud Map SE 32) Only a few leaves found here. So next was our usual stop along Mills Road which turns up more Donkeys and Greenhoods and then our final stop is at East Naernup Nature Reserve with further Donkeys and Greenhoods found. We head via Doyle Road to Munglinup Beach Caravan Park to our little cabin for the night