Well after a wet night we awake to a windy and overcast day. So we have breakfast and pack up some damp campers, but not before I have a very quick scout for any orchids that may be around. Guess what? I found a patch of Mallee banded greenhoods (Pterostylis arbuscula) which are a recently named species. Common name “Mallee” is yet to be confirmed.
As the track had become a boggy mess after last nights rain we sneak out of our camping spot using a recently pushed through “chicken track”, so called as you bypass the gnarly parts of the track. A little way along, but a few hours into the drive (9.50am), we get out of the Tritons to check out a particularly challenging bog hole, when I spy something small and bright green in the drab understory of the surrounding woodland. It is a small Midget greenhood (Pterostylis mutica) which upon closer inspection has neighbours.
Also nearby were some Hairy-stemmed snail orchids (Pterostylis sp. ‘inland’) which are found inland to Kalgoorlie on a line from Kalbarri to Balladonia.
We move on and finally reach the Southern Cross – Forrestania Road intersection, which is 18.02km from Wattle Rocks. It was a long tough stretch of the track but we have made it to Mount Holland, where after much deliberation we have decided to camp for the night. After about 1/2 an hour we have set up camp and started collecting fire wood but before we have lunch we decide to climb up the so called Mount. No orchids found on the climb up, but on the lee side of the hills summit some small orchids are found.
Possible Hairy-leafed snail orchids (Pterostylis echinulata) however these are recorded as flowering June and July so late August may be a bit of a stretch. Also they are recorded between Hyden and Kulin so a bit East of this as well. Have a very hairy stem so may just be small more Hairy-stemmed snail orchids. A 3rd party has confirmed ID as Hairy-leafed snail orchid.
Also very close by were some small Sugar orchids (Ericksonella saccharata).
Making our way back down the Mt we cross the vehicle track and come towards the camping ground from the East. Debbie finds a lone Midget greenhood with a Mallee banded greenhood as a neighbour.
Back to camp for lunch, then afterwards Richard takes his Metal Detector for a spin, I go for another explore whilst Deb get organised for dinner, which is cooked over the campfire. After we hit the sack the heavens open up and we have a wet night to content with. Toilet breaks in the rain are not fun….