Have time for a quick spin out to Coolinup road (Mud Map SE 37/38 ) due to Debbie’s work roster. After a wonderful cooked breakfast we pack up the Triton for our day trip. Heading east with foreboding black clouds all around, we arrive at our usual first destination on Coolinup Road.
I push into the scrub to find some greenhoods, as they are always here. Debbie though skirts the bushes to see what she can find. I locate a Banded greenhood (Pterostylis vittata) which flowers April to September in a range between Perth and Balladonia. Also found are Dark banded greenhoods (Pterostylis sanguinea) which flower June to September , however range inland between Mullewa and Toolinna Cove. Only a few plants fully formed though which must be down to the dry start to our orchid season.
Debbie finds some greenhoods as well underneath the bushes in the granite runoff. Then she discovers the Bird orchid leaves are sprouting with greenhoods nearby.
Further around the rock Deb yells excitedly as she has found our first leek orchid of the season. Appears to be an Autumn leek orchid, but which one? I will be naming this specimen the Autumn leek orchid (Prasophyllum parvifolium) due to it’s colouring. Thes little guys flower June to August and are found between Eneabba and Mt Ragged.
And close by was a small double headed Banded greenhood, just to finish off this location.
Feeling buoyed by finding the leek orchid we decide to check out the track leading into a bitumen dump. Unfortunately nothing seen whilst coasting in, however I did spy a new track that had been made into the scrub. By track I should say, 2 wheel ruts squashed into the vegetation. On the way back from the bitumen dump I convince Deb to pull over so we can have a quick check.
This proved to be a good decision, as a little way in we were finding Hare orchid leaves, Red Beak leaves and some spent White bunny orchids. Then Debbie stumbles across a Hare orchid (Leporella fimbriata) still in flower. These are found between Kalbarri and Israelite Bay during the months of March to June, so we are lucky to find one still flowering, albiet already fertilised. Then a little bit further down the track another one is found.
Further along we come to another granite clearing, however it is at least twice the size of our first regular location. Excitedly we spread out to inspect the site. It looks like prime habitat for later orchids, so we put this one into our data base (heads) for later in the season. Debbie is again the first to find an orchid flowering. This time it is a Granite bunny orchid (Eriochilus pulchellus) which flower April and May in a range from Esperance to Balladonia. They are also found elsewhere in specific areas. Further bunnies are also found however no photos taken.
As it is lunch time we head back to the Triton and make our way to the usual gravel pit off Lane Road, where we can eat in peace. Debbie rustles up our Tuna and Chickpea salad, then we walk around eating from our respective bowls. Many leaves are found before I uncover another Hare orchid, whilst moving in to check out some Banded greenhoods.
That is all we have time for today so we head off home to Esperance. It was nice to get out into the fresh air after a hectic week of work.
Orchids found today:
Autumn leek orchid
Dark banded greenhood
Granite bunny orchid