23/05/2021 ….. Weekend away . Return trip .

Nature Reserves, Pallarup NR, Weekend away, Western Australian Orchids

After a great nights sleep in the Ezytrail camper, we awake to a beautiful day at Lilian Stokes Rock in the Frank Hann National Park. As the search yesterday proved fruitless we decide to pack up and head west to Lake King. We call into the tavern for lunch and refreshments before starting our orchid hunt.

First up we park up at the roadside stop and venture across the road to the walk trail No. 3 that leads north from the Blue house. There is a lot a rubbish from years gone by along this trail but we do find some Pygmy orchids (Corunastylis fuscoviridis). Mostly spent ones are found however on the return trip we did find some still in flower.

The only other recognizable orchid found were some Banded greenhoods (Pterostylis vitatta) just starting to flower. Nothing more found so we head off to another location.

We head south to a favourite location of ours.; Pallarup Nature Reserve. As it is nearly 3pm we have a quick scout along the track leading to the water tank. It is along here we find the Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulatus). Another bunny orchid without the crinkle-leaf is also found. Unsure of the identification so will just name this a ?? bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus). Any help in providing an identification would be appreciated.

We reach the granite rock and head above the catchment wall for where we usually find Hare orchids (Leporella fimbriata). We are not disappointed, however the numbers are lower.

22/05/2021 Frank Hann NP

Frank Hann NP, National Parks, Speddingup NR, Weekend away, Western Australian Orchids

Well we have decided to make a weekend of our orchid hunting and will camp overnight in our trusty Ezytrail camper trailer. Planned overnight camp is at Lilian Stokes Rock in the Frank Hann National Park. So we head north up the Coolgardie-Esperance Hwy to get our trip started.

Pulled over for the first exploration of the weekend.

First stop is the side of Boydell Road, a left turn off the highway. This is the first visit to this location for Deb and she finds the first orchids. Typical!! Seems to be Crinkle-leafed bunny Orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulatus) growing in the gravely verge. I change my direction to check them out and stumble across some as well. Whilst I’m busy taking photos Deb moves on.

I’m still getting shots of the bunnies when Deb calls out, as she has found a Hare Orchid (Leporella fimbriata). Excitedly I make my way over to get a photo.

A few more bunnies are found only, so we move to the north side of the road. Here we find some Banded Greenhood (Pterostylis vittata). Most were yet to fully open, however luckily we find one plant with 2 open flowers.

vittatus (Latin – longitudinally striped)

Making our way back to the Triton we collect discarded bottles from the verge. Doing our little bit to clean up the countryside, plus we now get 10c per bottle. I direct a turn north up Hillermans Road so we get to check out Speddingup Nature Reserve. Here we find some Banded Greenhoods in flower.

Green and white banded flowers

Crossing a watercourse/lake/saltpan we surprise 4 emus who run off. At this point we rise up to what appears to be a Gimlet woodland. As this is very different habitat to the sandy plain we had just driven through, we pull over to have a look. No orchids in flower located, however we did find Pygmy orchids that had finished their season and many small Pterostylis rosettes. Within these many rosettes where some stems popping up. These baby orchids had no rosette so I believe they will be a Shell orchid when they finally bloom. We will need to come back in a few weeks to check on the progress. After crossing 3 such water courses we come to one that is too boggy, so we had to turn around and head back to Speddingup Road West.

We chicken out !!!

From here we head toward Fields Nature Reserve where we plan to have lunch. However there is nowhere to pull off the road, so we continue until we reach the intersection of Neds Corner Road. Here we pull over at a great tractor sculpture and Deb knocks up a sandwich.

We then continue on Griffiths Road to Griffiths Nature Reserve and turn south down Edwards Road to get back on track. Cascades Road reached and we make tracks for our planned destination, Frank Hann National Park, more specifically Lilian Stokes Rock. We were shocked to see the destruction of the park due to a bush fire.

Camp set-up . Time to explore

After setting up the camper trailer we explore the rock. Deb finds the only orchid in flower. A fertilised Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid. Other leaves found of an unknown species. We then collect wood that someone had kindly sawn up. Campfire lit, drinks poured and dinner cooked. We sit back and enjoy the serenity.

Granite outcrops bloom with orchid flowers in April

Day Trip, Dempster Head, Road Trip

04/04/2020

We head NE of Esperance today to see if we can find the elusive Hare orchid, which we did not locate in March. At our usual spot on Wittenoom Road we pull over and check around. First up we find another of the White bunny orchids. This time we have located the Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulatus).

As the name suggests the leaf has undulated margins. This orchid is located from Northampton to east of Esperance and can grow to 250mm in height.

Further into our search the elusive Hare orchid (Leporella fimbriata) turned up. So happy that we have now found the quartet of species for the start of the season in the Esperance area.

Leporella is a monotypic genus which is found from southern Victoria to Western Australia. In WA the Hare orchids are found from north of Kalbarri to Israelite Bay.




10/04/2020

Today we head to another regular location to the east of Esperance; Coolinup Road which has increased in size due to previous explorations. Today we decide to check on the location we discovered last season.

Along the track in we are eagle eyed for orchids, however none were found before we reached the granite rock clearing. In the clearing we found many white bunny orchids that had finished flowering. Luckily there were still some in bloom.

The White bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. dilatatus) is found growing in the moss under the protection of a hakea bush in the shallow soil on the granite rocks.

These orchids are found between Dirk Hartog Island and Israelite Bay during the months of March, April and May and can grow to 350mm in height.

#wildorchidwatch

Many other White bunny orchids are found before Deb comes across a small drove of Hare orchids. Only one of which is in flower. Each orchid may have up to 3 flowers with pairs fairly common.

#wildorchidwatch

27/04/2020

Today I visit Dempster Head which is a shire reserve that overlooks Esperance Bay and First and West beaches. (Mud Map SE 34). First up I located some White bunny orchids growing alongside the track below the water tanks.

The size and shape of their leaves attest to my identification. With a length of 40 to 100mm and width of 5 to 18mm, the leaf of the White bunny orchid is by far the largest of the bunny orchids growing in the Esperance area.

#wildorchidwatch

Later on the granite rocks above Lovers Beach another small bunny orchid is found growing in the moss and lichen.

The Granite bunny orchid (Eriochilus pulchellus) as the name suggests is found growing in shallow soil pockets on granite outcrops from Esperance to Balladonia and Northcliffe to Bremer Bay, with a disjunct population in the Darling Scarp.

The flowering season is over April and May with plants producing up to 10 flowers. It has a short stature of up to 150mm and produces a small smooth leaf only 5 to 15mm in length and 3 to 8mm in width.

Very happy to have found during the month of April, the 3 bunny orchid types, that flower in the Esperance area.

2019 Road Trip – Redmond West to North Walpole

Numerous days, Road Trip

26/08/2019

Waking up in the middle of the bush is a great way to start the day. Now the logistics of turning around on the track and heading back to Redmond West road is our immediate concern. We had to reverse the campers back down the track about 100 metres where there was a push back into the bush. Deb completes the manoeuvre reasonably easily however Richard baulks after his first attempt and heads back to where we camped to try his luck. Nothing doing back there so he attempts it a 2nd time and after a bit of toing and froing he also turns around successfully.

Whilst waiting for Richard to catch up I go for a walk ahead and find one lone Banded greenhood (Pterostylis vittata) growing on the verge.

Steady going until we reach the water hazard with the 4 options again. Deb takes it first and travels the same route and ends up in the same predicament. However this time with her toing and froing the camper jumps out of the tracks and becomes bogged in the surrounding marshy ground. I end up stripping down to undies and singlet, then using the small shovel dig out mud so the MaxTrax could be inserted under the camper wheels. With another attempt Deb successfully gets out of the bog. Whilst doing this 3 motorbikes turn up and we find out they had crossed the Hay river. Initially they thought we had as well and were amazed as it would have been too deep for us. They were relieved we had not tried to cross.

Now it is Richards turn. He ends up taking the opposite track and with some speed makes it through on his first attempt. Oh well we know better now to check all tracks thoroughly before making an uninformed decision.

Getting through without bogging down

Finally we reach Redmond West Road and head west back to Hunwick Road and west to Keith Road which follows the Hay River down to the South Coast Hwy. From here we head to Denmark and decide to have a pub lunch. We drop into the Denmark Hotel and order our lunches. We sit outside in the fresh air and enjoy our meals and drinks. We then go for a walk around the town checking out the quaint local shops. I also take the opportunity to visit the bank to say hi and grab some cash. Leaving Denmark we stop just past Walpole at Crystal Springs campground which is in the eastern part of D’entrecasteaux National Park. Way to weedy for us so we move on to the next camping option.

This is Centre Road Crossing which is located in the Walpole Wilderness Area (WWA). Established in 2004, the Walpole Wilderness covers more than 363 000 hectares of national parks, nature reserves and forest conservation areas. It incorporates seven national parks and surrounds the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park. We find this campground empty with enough room for our two campers so we set up camp .

I then go for a little explore and stumble across a nice hood of snail orchids growing on a fallen log some 1.5m above ground level. The crinkled leaves to the rosette provide a clear identification. The Slender snail orchid (Pterostylis sp. ‘crinkled leaf’) is found flowering from Perth to Albany during the period late June to September. It is said to grow to 200mm in height however one of those found measures 280mm in height.

Fading light, so time to sit back and enjoy the campfire and company. Not such a great day for orchids but we are now on another adventure. Roll on tomorrow.

Solo search North

Day Trip, Nature Reserves, Red Lake Townsite NR, Road Trip, Speddingup East NR, Truslove North NR, Truslove Townsite NR

11/05/2019

I get to go Orchid hunting by myself today, as Debbie is flying to Perth for an Awards night with her employer. After seeing Debbie off at the Esperance airport, I head north up the Coolgardie-Esperance Hwy. My first point of call is Fleming Grove Road. This is the 2nd visit of the season to this location, with the first turning up nothing. Let’s hope today is more fruitful.

A little white flower catches my eye. A White bunny orchid is found however on closer inspection of the leaf it appears to be a Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulates) which begin flowering in April over a large range from Northampton to east of Esperance and inland to Mt Jackson and Queen Victoria Rocks. This classification may be incorrect as one plant has 4 flowers and my references state they have up to 3. Also I don’t have a clear photo of the leaf due to surrounding vegetation. Other bunny orchids were found with less flowers which may confirm my classification.

Also found were some early Pterostylis genus orchids. Seems to be yet to fully open greenhood. Nothing more found so moving on to the next location.

Greenhood

Getting ready to emerge

Speddingup East Nature Reserve is that location. Driving slowly in first gear, I glance out the drivers window in a vain attempt at orchid spotting. Nothing seen at all so a bit despondently I turn around to head back to the road when I glance a gravelly track leading into the scrub. Why not give that a try, on foot this time, as it is very overgrown and too narrow, even for the Triton.

Nothing found here either, so I head into the scrub, for the walk back to the Triton. So glad I did, as there all by itself I find a perfect example of the Leafless orchid (Praecoxanthus aphyllus). This specimen stood 230mm in height and still looked fresh given they flower March to May. They range between Pinjarra and Esperance growing in sandy soils in scrublands and woodlands.

Feeling so much better now, I head off for Truslove North Nature Reserve. Turning just past the School site I slowly drive but find nothing. Parking up for a bite to eat, I call up Deb to find she had just arrived at her hotel. After a chat I go for a walk into the scrub, however do not find anything, so move onto the next locality.

Passing through Grass Patch to my destination of Red Lake Townsite Nature Reserve, where I enter at the school site. Again I slowly drive through looking out my window, with no luck at spying any orchids. So I get out and wander around on foot, which still brings up nada.

OK, so today is not proving very successful, however I continue on my trip further north, with my next stop at Salmon Gums. A little disheartened, I sit in the Triton listening to the final quarter of the Collingwood v Carlton AFL match. After some heart stopping moments Collingwood win, which improves my mood, so I move on to our spot for orchid hunting.

This spot was proving orchid-less as well, when on my way back to the Triton, walking along the side of the road ditch I see a little orchid, all by itself. Finally found a Pygmy orchid (Corunastylis tepperi) in flower after only finding spent ones in previous years. Only the very top of the inflorescence though is still open with the majority finished for the season. These little guys flower April and May only, from Corrigin to Eyre.

So lucky to have found the one and only Pygmy orchid as he proves to be the last orchid I find today. On the way back home, I call into Circle Valley, Grass Patch arboretum, Truslove Townsite Nature Reserve and Scaddan, which all prove to be void of orchids. Well at least I didn’t find any.

Oh well, it was a nice day out but only 3 species found. 2 were single specimens, so I was very lucky to have found them. Pterostylis orchids are starting up, so the season moves on. Such a dry start is making the hunt harder this year so far, so we can only see how it pans out going forward.

15hr Sunday Drive

Detours, Road Trip

12/08/2018

Saying our goodbyes to Kirstie and Hamish we set off for a leisurely trip home to Esperance. Usually a 7 to 8 hr drive over 725km, we however take 15hrs, as we make numerous stops to hunt for orchids.  Our first destination is Mount Dale in the Helena National Park. The wind is very chilly, however we brave this on our search for some orchid colour. We are not disappointed. First colour spotted is “yellow”. A Donkey orchid is found, but which one?? I’m making the call for the Winter donkey orchid (Diuris brumalis) which flower late June to August in a range from Jurien Bay to Collie. They prefer lateritic or granitic soils and up here in the hills that is the soil types encountered. Other specimens were found throughout our search of this area. 

Close to our first donkey the next colour found is “pink”. Little pink fairy orchid  (Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans) is found growing in the shelter of a granite boulder. These little beauties flower July to early October in a range from Northampton to Esperance. Singles, pairs and groupings are found in our extended search.  

Little pink fairy orchid

Often clumping habit

Deb then finds the colour “green”. A small patch of snail orchids hidden in a bush so only one visible for a  photo. Could not see the rosette however based on location, pointed hood with brownish tones and medium sized lateral sepals, I  will be naming it as Slender snail orchid (Pterostylis sp. ‘crinkled leaf”). These flower late June to September in a large range from Perth down to Albany. Another patch yet to fully flower was found and the rosettes appear to confirm my classification. 

Another species of “mixed” colour is found by Deb. Once again hidden or protected near a granite boulder. It appears to be an Autumn leek orchid (Prasophyllum parvifolium) which has been fertilised.

Next is a similarly “mixed” coloured orchid, which I found after pushing into the scrub for a few metres. Firstly I found a large patch of leaves and then with a slower look some orchids flowering were discovered. The genus of Cyrtostylis is known, but which species is it? By the smaller , duller flowers they must be the Midge orchid (Cyrtostylis huegelli) which is found from Kalbarri to east of Esperance during July and September. 

Well Mount Dale proved a good hunting ground with 5 species flowering, plus Jug and Bird orchids yet to flower found. Already 2.5 hrs (65kms) into our drive home, so we better move on, or we will break our 12 hr record for the drive home. Next stop planned is Williams Road (Mud Map SE6) however we detour into Westdale Road (Mud Map SE5) to see if we can find some of the species listed in the guide. First off we find the Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva) which flowers August to October in a range from Geraldton and Israelite Bay.

Deb is off exploring further whilst I slowly finish taking phone and camera pics of the Jug orchid. Only 2 mtrs away I find the Blood spider orchid (Caladenia filifera) and call Deb back to see. On the way back she also finds other specimens less than a metre off her original walk track. They are so hard to see until you find them , then they stick out more easily as we continue searching.

Disbursed around the area are Common donkey orchids (Diuris corymbosa) which flower August to October in a range from Gingin to Bunbury and inland to near Brookton, our actual location funnily enough.

Another new find for the season is the Blue beard (Phelandenia deformis) which flower late May to October in a range from Murchison River to Israelite Bay. Only 3 small flowers found but still it is a new one for this season. 

It is now 4 hrs since we left and we have only covered 90kms of the distance home. Better get a move on. 20kms later we arrive at Williams Road (Mud Map SE6) where we had planned to explore for at least an hour as Deb had quickly checked this out on Tuesday when she drove to Perth, when she found at least 4 species flowering. First up we locate some more Common donkey orchids before Deb calls me over to a patch of at least 3 species in close proximity.

First up are Banded greenhoods (Pterostylis vittata) and Hairy-stemmed snail orchids (Pterostylis sp. ‘inland’).

 Then as previously found in this location, there are Shell orchids everywhere. Many are finished as they flower from May to August. Mud Map records both Red and Brown veined shell orchids here in July so we have missed the peak flowering period it seems. From the flowering plants I believe them to be Red-veined shell orchids (Pterostylis hamiltonii) as they are darker coloured and most have the labellum protruding from the hood formed by the dorsal sepal and petals. These flower in a range from Toodyay to the Stirling Range in woodlands and Rock Sheoak thickets. 

Also located close-by are some Little pink fairy orchids. So 4 species all within a 3 square metres area. Great find Deb. 

Other species found during our search were Dark banded greenhood (Pterostylis sanguinea) and Jug orchid. Also found was a meeting of Banded greenhood and Shells plus a Banded greenhood with a huge inflorescence. 

It’s now after 1.15pm and we have only travelled 110km of the 725km trip. Back to the Triton and a huge patch of spent shells is found plus the very first Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava subsp. flava) for the season. These flower from north of Geraldton to Israelite Bay during July to December. 

Onwards to Brookton where we grabbed a Parmi Wrap for lunch. (Parma for Farmer – raising funds for drought relief in NSW/QLD). Eating whilst driving to catch up some time our next planned stop is the Corrigin Wildflower Trail which goes around the airport  and is part of the Corrigin Nature Reserve. Taking the road in from the Dog Cemetery our first find are some more Little pink fairies  

Little pink fairy

Nothing else found so onwards we go at a slow pace, then I jump out to walk and find some Frog greenhoods (Pterostylis sargentii) which flower between July and October in a range from Northampton to Grasspatch.  They are very small and growing underneath bushes, making photo taking a lay down on the job task. Further Frog greenhoods are found along the trail.

Further along the track whilst walking I spy some nice snail orchids. They are the Robust snail orchid (Pterostylis dilatata). Another grouping was found further along by Deb whilst driving slowly along. 

A sole Jug orchid was also found just yawning like a Pelican  and further along what appears to be Pterostylis arbuscular which is a Mallee form of banded greenhood. No common name yet.

Finally a donkey orchid was found. Based on location alone this must be the Western wheatbelt donkey orchid (Diuris brachyscapa) which flowers July to September between York, Tenterden and Ravensthorpe. Corrigin is slightly east of the line York to Ravensthorpe. 

Nearly 4pm, or 8hrs into our trip home and we have only completed 220km of the 725km required. Best move on to our next planned stop, Macrocarpa Trail near Kulin. Just before 5pm Deb finds our first orchid of this trail. Appears to be Hairy-stemmed snail orchids. 

Also found further Frog greenhoods, Robust snail orchids, Dark banded greenhoods and another possible Pterostlyis arbuscular.

Then as the light is fading fast we venture into the bush and finally there they are.. Spider orchids in flower. We now rush to get as many photos as possible .. They are so small and with the fading light our photos are not the best but we need to record the find. From the location and size I believe we found the Common spider orchid (Caladenia vulgata) and the Pendant spider orchid (Caladenia pendens subsp. pendens) which both flower during August. The former July to October and the latter August to early October. The Common spider orchid ranges from Kalbarri to Esperance whilst the Pendant spider orchid ranges from Wongan Hills and Walpole. The Length of the petals and lateral sepals are a distinguishing feature. 

The sun finally sets on our orchid hunting so we make tracks via Lake Grace for Steak Burger / Fish n chips dinner. Then after 15hrs we arrive home at 11pm. Long day however very happy at finding 20 species of orchid.

Homeward bound

Western Australian Orchids

20/04/2018

After a busy time in Perth it is time to head back home. Saying goodbye to mum n dad we make a stop at the Spud shed for fruit and veg before heading east into the hills on the Brookton Hwy. A spur of the moment decision had us take a turn north to find Mount Dale. This proved more difficult than we anticipated as I misread our Hema Map so thought we were on Omeo Road when in fact we were on Ashendon Road. However we did finally find Mt Dale picnic area, so had a quick look around but again unsuccessful in our orchid hunt. Views over the swan coastal plain though were amazing.

Running short on time we make tracks, eating our lunch on the go, with Williams Road (Mud Map SE 6) our planned next stop. This area had proved successful on previous visits so we had high hopes for it again today. Yet again we came away orchid-less. 

Disheartened we make tracks to see how far we could get before needing to pull over for the night. We made it to Gorge Rock Nature Reserve, east of Corrigin and make camp alongside 4 or so other caravaners. Not a great day, no orchids and not far in our travels back to Esperance. Oh well we have all day tomorrow.

21/04/2018

After breakfast we leave the camper open for the sun to dry out the canvas whilst we go for a walk to the rock. No orchids found on the rock so we headed back, fully packed up and headed towards Kulin. Our first stop of the day was at the Kulin Road Nature Reserve. We walked around looking for around 15 minutes, however as we found nothing we soon moved on. Just west of Kulin we turned into a spot called Macrocarpa Trail. It was a circuit through a patch of Eucalyptus Macrocarpa, which we drove around, however as it was only 1.1km we could have walked it if we had more time. No orchids found but the flora was still spectacular. 

In Kulin we parked up to visit the toilets and discovered a great free overnight camp only metres off the main road through town. Will keep in mind for other visits. From here we head east along the Tin Horse Hwy where we make a small detour to check where Jilakin Rock was as we passed this by last year. A small parking area with some run down facilities, but as usual we are short on time, so chose to move on to Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve as a known location for orchids. At last we have been rewarded with some orchids. We find only White Bunny orchids, which appear to be Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulatus).

From here we make tracks for Pallarup Rocks another of our fall-back locations. We are not disappointed. More Crinkle-leafed bunny orchids and finally another species. In the very spot we had previously found Hare orchids a few years back, we again locate some Hare orchids (Leporella fimbriata).

Arrived home in the dark but it was an enjoyable 2 day trek home, after spending 2 glorious weeks visiting family and friends.

Everything must be in 2’s, as we only found 2 Orchid species, one of which had 2 subspecies as well.

Slow start to the 2018 Season

Western Australian Orchids

A couple of trips to Helms Arboretum (Mud Map SE35), in mid and late March did not prove successful, with not one flowering orchid discovered. We were chasing the Leafless orchid and the Pygmy orchid with a possible Bunny or Hare orchid, if the season proved early. However no such luck and as our 2 week break was fast approaching we decided to focus our attentions elsewhere until then. 

7/4/2018

Triton and Camper

Leaving from our new home

Our 2 week break has arrived and we make tracks via saying goodbye to our little Grandson Oliver, for our first stop of the trip. Elverdton Road lookout just before Ravensthorpe has proved successful on previous visits but not this time. So somewhat disheartened we move on to Ravensthorpe to grab some supplies before moving on to Kukenarup Memorial west of Ravensthorpe. After having a spot of lunch we venture off on the walk trail and yeehah we find a very small Bunny orchid in flower. From the leaf shape I am naming this the Crinkle-leafed bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. undulatus)  which flowers April to May in a range from Northampton to east of Esperance. The orchid is limited to 3 flowers and is pollinated by native bees.

Very close by, Debbie finds a Hare orchid (Leporella fimbriata) which flower March to June in a range from north of Kalbarri to Israelite Bay. They may have up to four flowers per orchid and are pollinated by flying ants. Another flowering specimen and other yet to flower specimens found. 

 Nothing more found, so we hit the road again before stopping for the night at Chirelillup Nature Reserve, a few kms east of Gnowangerup. Set up the camper, then enjoyed a well earned glass of wine.  A quick look around before dark, however no orchids in flower found. 

8/4/2018

Moving on we pass through Gnowangerup to Broomehill, to check out the starting point of our planned trek in Aug/Sept this year. Tasted some wine, it was after 11am, purchased some cheesecake for lunch and headed off to Kojonup. Here we visited the Myrtle Ben Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (Mud Map  SC8) and walked around the White Sister’s Loop trail but did not find any orchids in flower. Possibly a better spot later in the season. We ate lunch on the Triton’s tailgate then onwards towards Dinninup. We stop along the way twice at what looked promising sites but nothing found, so a little disheartened we finally arrive at Bellside, the farm home of cousin Kerry and her family. After a wonderful catch-up over a pot of tea, we make tracks towards Nannup where we hope to find somewhere to camp along the way. Past Bridgetown we pull into the Bridgetown Jarrah Park, set camp, cook dinner then crash after the obligatory game of Yahtzee.  

9/4/2018

After breakfast we break camp, before heading off on a bush walk. We chose to walk the Fallers Brand Trail, which incorporates the Shield Tree Trail. It is so good to be back in the forest. No orchids in flower, however we did find some Bunny orchid leaves in bud as well as many Slipper orchid leaves. Deb finds a huge spent inflorescence of a Slipper orchid. A few weeks late it seems. The walk was enjoyable, even though it started drizzling halfway through. At marker 6 we cross the creek bed to marker 5 and backtrack to our camp site. On the way to Nannup we call into Karri Gully and take the walk trail hoping to find something in flower. Again no such luck but the forest felt so fresh and alive due to the drizzle. We visit a friend from Esperance who now lives outside of Nannup, where we enjoy a tour of their farmlet which borders the Blackwood River followed by a wonderful lunch. We now make tracks for Dalyellup where we are staying with friends from our time in Manjimup for the night. Old rivalries are relived as men v girls in a game or two of Canasta. Then we head off to Kmart for midnight shopping …Interesting way to end the day. 

10/4/2018

Following a leisurely breakfast we visit Deb’s cousin Alison who lives in nearby Australind. After a few cups of coffee and a great chat we backtrack to Donnybrook to visit another friend from our Manjimup days. We now head into the hills at Waroona along Nanga Brook Road, then Nanga Road before setting up our camper in my brothers backyard at my childhood home town of Dwellingup. This will be our base for the next few days and as we guessed, the nights are going to be cold. 

Nanga Brook Road
Nanga Brook Road – Mining overpass

11/4/2018 

Enjoying breakfast in the Lizard Lounge, the name given to their gazebo, is a great way to start the day. After having morning tea with Geoff and Robyn we go for a walk downtown then relax back at “The Corner Cottage”, the name given to their house,  until lunch. After lunch we head down to the Dwellingup visitors Centre to grab info on the Marrinup POW Camp. We get side tracked as usual and visit Marrinup Falls first and take the walk circuit, in the hope of finding some orchids due the environments traversed. Granite rocks, Creek bed and Jarrah/Marri forest.

Lost our way back to the POW camp so we had to 4WD along the power lines. After finding the parking area we hit the walk trail. I was unaware the POW’s were actually Italians from the war in North Africa and later the Germans were transferred from Victoria. I always thought they were Italians and Germans who lived in Australia but may have had allegiances with their mother country. The actual foundations etc were great however the interpretive signage was in a very poor state. The flower beds in the shapes of card suits and the fish pond were a change from the rigidity of life as a POW.  Again no orchids found.

We all headed down to the Premier Hotel in Pinjarra for the $10 steak night, where we caught up with my sisters, other family and friends to enjoy each others company at my late nephews local watering hole. However in less than 1 hour and barely finished eating my $10 steak, Geoff abducted me and whisked me off to Mandurah to play in his carpet bowling team. What a mistake that was. We came away with chocolates as the worst team on the night. Before heading home we popped into sister Maxine’s place for a cuppa. A late night tonight. 

 

12/4/2018

Breaky in the Lizard Lounge before heading off to Pinjarra with Robyn to buy supplies. First up we hit the chemist as Deb wasn’t feeling flash so needed some antihistamines and Panadol, then to Dome for morning tea. I grab a bacon and egg roll with chutney, whilst the girls only grabbed a coffee. I was so full that I missed out on Robyn’s homemade lunch of savoury croissants. 

After lunch Geoff and Deb are going fishing so as I had nothing else better to do I tag along. The Dawesville Channel (Cut) is the chosen fishing spot where it is cold and windy with a shower or two of rain thrown in. Deb caught the only keepable fish, a 28cm flounder. Other fish caught were either inedible or under size. Grabbing a snack from Red Rooster for the drive home, where Robyn has cooked a wonderful tasty lasagne. Early night to bed after watching some of the Commonwealth Games highlights.

13/04/2018

Late breakfast in front of the TV before we visit the Forest Heritage Centre. Firstly we check out the workshop and gallery then hit the walk trail. OMG we finally come across a flowering orchid. It is a white bunny orchid. The camera is still in the Triton so we back track to grab it then recommence our orchid hunt. Further orchids are found which all appear to be Common bunny orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus subsp. multiflorus) which is a new orchid to us as it is found between Perth and Albany in the months of March to May. These bunny orchids can have up to 20 flowers and when first flowering the leaf can be quite immature and continues to develop afterwards.

We completed the walk trail with no further finds but experienced the colourful emu figures, 11mtr tall wooden tree top walk, mother kangaroo and her older joey and the beauty of the Jarrah forest. Back to town for lunch at the local Blue Wren Café, then a drive out Holyoke way. We stop at a promising spot under sheaoks but it proved otherwise. So back in the Triton for a slow drive along the track with heads out the windows. Unbelievably I saw a lone White bunny orchid at the side of the road only centimetres from a tyre track, so we have to get some photos.

Further along the track we find some Easter lilies growing along the side of the track in a creek bed. Back to town and Deb busies herself with getting tea on whilst Geoff and I go for a walk to the cemetery. Along the way he points out a banksia growing in a rock and nearby a few metres off the track I spy another lone white bunny orchid. this is the first one Geoff has ever seen. After the sombre visit we make our way back home through the bush on the north side of the road where the soli was sandy, compared to the south side of the road , our usual route, where the soil is gravel. Possible Leafless orchid territory. Well the day ended with finding the White bunny orchid is 3 locations around Dwellingup, which is a first for us.

14/04/2018

Family day today…. Tim our youngest son arrives mid morning so I get out the Finska game, which proves difficult to play on Geoff’s luscious green lawn. However we persevere, Geoff mowing a patch lower, with playing multiple games, interrupted by Tim’s drone flying. A special treat of Mr Whippy is enjoyed thanks to Tim and Deb. After lunch, Tim, Deb and I head out to visit Megan, Geoff and Robyn’s daughter, in her recently purchased country cottage. Tanika my sister Maxine’s daughter is already there, so we have a tour around Megan’s property, inspecting the dam, chooks, parrots and sheds. 2 marron await our consumption at dinner, as we sit around under the gazebo chatting and enjoying a cold drink. Back to Dwellingup and the Corner Cottage where we enjoy a family dinner, including the marron and flounder, playing more Finska, flying the drone and of course eating and drinking. Richard had also arrived for the evenings festivities which concluded with us playing Cards Against Humanity, Last Word and Phase 10. A great night with Geoff, Robyn, Megan, Tanika, Tim and Richard.

15/04/2018

Today we are travelling the Fawcett Track which runs from Nanga Townsite to Quindanning. We pile into the Triton, Debbie the driver, Geoff the navigator and Robyn, Richard and myself in the back seat. the drive takes us through the beautiful Jarrah forest along the banks of the Murray River then the Hoffman River. We even came across a creek flowing strongly with crystal clear water. Where we crossed over the Murray River we stopped for morning tea. Here we got to watch wrens, robins and silvereyes flitting around. I was lucky enough to spy a firetail finch. From here we encountered a deep wheel rutted ditch which Debbie manoeuvred brilliantly only scrapping the underside which proved superficial at worst. Our destination of Quindanning was reached where we enjoyed a cold bevy and awesome lunch. 

After lunch we head east to Williams to check out the Woolshed. A quick check out the back of the Op shop opposite the Woolshed provides us with a pack of BIG chalk, a straw hat and a child’s book. We make it into the Woolshed with minutes to spare as the kitchen was closing up. We ordered cuppas and cake, before checking out the Shearing Industry display and retail shops in the complex. We leave at 4.05pm with the doors being closed and locked behind us. Moving on we head north along the Albany Hwy where I point out the Williams Nature Reserve, so we turn off the Hwy and head in. Comments were made around the suitability of the woodland for orchids and echidnas, when what do we find crossing the road but an echidna. Everybody jumps out of the Triton for a closer look, at the now stationary animal. Geoff and I head off up the road, whilst Debbie, Robyn and Richard encourage the echidna off the road and hunt down some scats, which will be sent off for research as a part of an App Debbie has on her phone. No orchids were found , so we jump back in the Triton for the drive back to Dwellingup, via Boddington. Geoff kept us all amused by making up songs. Back in Dwellingup, we say farewell to Richard as he heads home , whilst the rest of us collapse in front of the TV. 

Echidna on the road

Debbie, Robyn and Richard taking photos

16/4/2018

Today we celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. 

After breakfast we pack up the camper, then head up to the Dwellingup Pre-primary to have morning tea with Geoff and Robyn who are working today, as it is Monday. We say our goodbyes and head down to Mandurah to catch up with my sister Maxine for lunch. Her daughter Tanika also shows up, so the 4 of us enjoy lunch together. From there we pop into to see mum, who is looking well and was very chatty. Started colouring another page of her book before, all to soon it was time to leave, so she could enjoy her afternoon tea. We arrive at Debbie’s parent s place which is our home for a few days, whilst the camper gets a service. Mum cooks up a wonderful dinner and we crack open our Goldleaf sparkly to celebrate our anniversary. 

Visting mum
Mum always smiling

 

Dwellingup to Wagin

Western Australian Orchids

13/08/2017

After enjoying a wonderful lunch with my brother Geoff and his wife Robyn we make tracks for the long trip back to Esperance. Leaving Dwellingup our first stop is the cemetery. Nothing in flower found, so off to Inglehope Arboretum which also turned up flowerless. Not looking very promising, but we make one more stop on the Pinjarra-Williams Rd  in the Boddington shire to give the Jarrah forest one more chance to show us what it has to offer.

I check the South side of the road and Deb heads North. My side was burnt and I found a few leaves but nothing in flower. In a break between the noise of passing cars Deb informs me she has found some very tall snail orchids. New find for the season, Slender snail orchid (Pterostylis sp. ‘crinkled leaf’). These are found late June to September between Perth and Albany.

As I’m taking photos of the snail orchids Deb moves on a finds Mosquito orchids. As I walk in her direction I too find one which appears to be Mosquito orchid. I take photos of my orchid then head over to Deb. Her orchids are much duller and greener in colour so a closer inspection confirms we have made a brand new discovery. Midge orchid (Cyrtostylis huegelli) is the correct species as the labellum is much thinner than the broad one on the Mosquito orchid. These orchids are found July through September and range from Kalbarri to east of Esperance.

We now move on as we have limited daylight due to the fact we left Dwellingup around 2pm. At least we found something in the Jarrah forest closer to Dwellingup. Our next stop is still Jarrah/Marri forest however is closer to Quindanning. This spot never fails to disappoint. We find Banded greenhoods (Pterostylis vittata) and Little pink fairy orchids (Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans). Little pink faires are found July to October from Northampton to Esperance.

Also found are more Slender snail orchids (with the lateral sepals nibbled down) an unopened Jug orchid and Donkey orchids. Common donkey orchid (Diuris corymbosa) which are found August to October from Gingin to Bunbury.

Moving along we next stop at Mud Map SE 11 location on Williams-Kondinin Rd. Here we find our first Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava subsp. flava), in flower for the season. These are found July through December from Geraldton to Israelite Bay.

The most prolific orchid found was another donkey orchid. Small flowered donkey orchid (Diuris porrifolia) which are found late July through September from Perth to Boyup Brook, however  Florabase confirms sightings in Local Govt areas of Williams and Narrogin. Our site being in between these 2 towns I am confident of identification.

Also found were Banded greenhoods and Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva) finally open.

Moving on to another Mud Map SE 13 location which will be our last stop as it is getting late. (5.15pm) We race around for the next 30 minutes and find 8 different species which is amazing. Those already found today include : Slender snail orchid, Little pink fairy orchid, Banded greenhood, Small flowered donkey orchid and Cowslip orchid.

Now for the new finds of today: Dark banded greenhood (Pterostylis sanguinea), Cupped banded greenhood (Pterostylis concava) and Crowded banded greenhood (Pterostylis sp. ‘crowded’). The Cupped and Crowded are brand new finds for us in fact. The Cupped are found June to August from Bindoon to Mt Barker whilst the Crowded are found July to September between Katanning and Wongan Hills.

Light is fading fast so we make tracks for Esperance. We arrive home just before midnight….