Today we leave Cave Hill Nature Reserve and make our way east along a 4WD only track to the Coolgardie-Norseman Highway at a siding called Higginsville. We stop off for morning tea at what appears to be an abandoned site of “who knows” as it was cleared and had rusting pieces of machinery etc lying around. At this place I stumbled across some Hairy-stemmed snail orchids (Pterostylis sp. ‘inland’). No other orchids found before we reached the highway.
Once on the Highway we head south towards Norseman. We stop off at the Mt Thirsty Rest Area to dump our rubbish in the bins where I have a very quick look around for orchids. Nothing found, so off we go again. We arrive in Norseman and park next to the hotel as we plan to get a counter lunch. After checking out the pub and the lunch menu we decide to pop across the road and grab something at the Full Moon Café. What a great choice. The food was awesome and the service was friendly.
Better make tracks as our destination is still some 100kms away. Peak Charles located in the Peak Charles National Park is 651m in height and is visible from kilometres away. We plan on camping here for a night or 2.
We arrive after 5pm, so pick our camping spots as they are too small to share, and quickly set up. A camp fire location is chosen and we set about getting that set up. Once the basics had been set up we go for a late afternoon walk to check for orchids. We did not locate any orchids in the understory of the scrub before we reached the actual granite rock. However once on the rock the yellow of the donkey orchids caught our eyes. The Yellow granite donkey orchid (Diuris hazeliae) was found growing near a previously burnt log.
Further into our hunt we find a lone spider orchid. From the location it will be a Western wispy spider orchid (Caladenia microchila) which flowers July to October in an Easterly range from Kondinin to Madura on the Southern Nullarbor Plain.
Then we stumble across our final find of the day, the good old Hairy-stemmed snail orchid.
Three orchid species found late in the afternoon bodes well for tomorrow where we will have a full day to explore. Now for a campfire cooked dinner and bed.