13/08/2021 ….. Esperance to the Jam Patch, Nth Lake Grace

Esperance, Nature Reserves, South Buniche NR, Western Australian Orchids, Wind Farm

Day one of our annual road trip. This time however we are travelling with a larger group and are heading up into the Pilbara, where orchids are not located, so I will be recording only the days which include finding orchids. We leave home at 7.45am and head up to West Beach to say goodbye to our grandkids, then as we are over that way we call into the Wind Farm for a quick gander.

Here we find the Mosquito orchid (Cyrtostylis robusta), Curled-tongue shell orchid (Pterostylis rogersii) and Pink fairies (Caladenia latifolia). Deb grabs some quick snaps before we head off west towards Munglinup.

Deb drops me off at the cleared block near the Munglinup Roadhouse, whilst she goes to the toilet. Walking back to meet her I find some donkey orchids in flower. From my knowledge or the area they are either Green Range donkey orchids (Diuris littoralis) or South coast donkey orchids (Diuris brockmanii) which have very similar features and distribution.

From here we head to Ravensthorpe then north to Lake King, where we have a tavern lunch. With full bellies we head west toward Lake Grace. However along the way we look into the verge at South Buniche Nature Reserve. Here we locate 3 different species in the Pterostylis genre. First up is the common Jug orchid (Pterostylis recurva) followed by some snail orchids. These little guys could possibly be two different species due to their colouring and rosettes. The final orchid is the unique Frog greenhood (Pterostylis sargentii).

We now move onto our planned overnight stay, the Jam Patch, in North Lake Grace. We expected other campers to be here, however we lucked into being all alone. Before setting up camp fully we venture off on the Red loop walk trail in search of orchids. Hairy-stemmed snail orchids (Pterostylis setulosa) are the first orchid to be found.

At the edge of a flat granite rock I was lucky enough to stumble across some spider orchids. From the location alongside a granite rock I will take a stab and name these the Chameleon spider orchid (Caladenia dimidia) which occurs between Paynes Find and Norseman during July to September.

It was great to find some spider orchids as it was looking like a Pterostylis type of day. We kept walking the trail and came to the lake which provided great reflection shots and is where the featured image was taken. The only other orchids found though were a great bunch of more Hairy-stemmed snail orchids. So I have posted a photo just to show the number of orchids in such a small location. Also posted a pic of our camp for the night. Was a nice day to start our road trip. Not as many orchid stops as usual, but this trip we are travelling much larger distances.

29/08/2020 ….. Gnowangerup to Hamersley Inlet (Road Trip 2020)

Chirelillup NR, Fitzgerald River NP, National Parks, Nature Reserves, Road Trip, Western Australian Orchids

A much earlier start to the day as we did not need to wait for the camper to dry out. We arrive at our first location by 8.30am and explore widely this time, as we have had quick visits on other occasions.

Chirelillup Nature Reserve

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid

(Diuris brachyscapa)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

??? greenhood

(Pterostylis sp.)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Small mantis orchid

(Caladenia attingens subsp. gracillima)

Joseph’s spider orchid

(Caladenia polychroma)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Slender spider orchid

(Caladenia pulchra)

Well after our extensive search of the reserve we decide it is time to move on. We don’t get far before we pull over at a patch of scrub, due to seeing a large colony of donkey orchids whilst driving past.

Gnowangerup-Jerramungup Rd

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid or Small flowered donkey orchid.

(Diuris brachyscapa or D. porrifolia)

Stark white spider orchid

(Caladenia longicauda subsp. eminens)

Wheatbelt spider orchid

(Caladenia x cala)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Short-sepaled spider orchid

(Caladenia brevisura)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Purple-veined spider orchid

(Caladenia doutchiae)

??? Hybrid

(Caladenia x sp.)

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid or Small flowered donkey orchid.

(Diuris brachyscapa or D. porrifolia)

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

Wowsers! what an awesome random roadside stop that was. Hybrids plus numerous species found. We do though have to move on, so onwards to Ongerup we go.

Ongerup

Cowslip orchids

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid

(Diuris brachyscapa)

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Drooping spider orchid

(Caladenia radialis)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Blue china orchid

(Cyanicula gemmata)

Time for lunch so we head for the nearby Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre, where we have enjoyed a nice meal on previous visits. This visit was no exception. With a full belly we move on towards the Fitzgerald River National Park.

Calyerup Rocks

Western tiny blue orchid

(Cyanicula aperta)

Sugar orchids

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Common bee orchid

(Diuris decrementa)

Whoops, we somehow drove into the Park Rangers residence, and were chastised for this. Oh well we know better next time. As we plan to camp at Hamersley Inlet we move further along the South Coast Hwy until we reach West River Road. Due to failing light we stop only at the lookout, before pulling into our overnight campground. After setting up we go for a quick walk and of course look out for any orchids that catch our eye. The inlet is very dry compared to when we last visited a few years back.

Hamersley Inlet

Western wispy spider orchid

(Caladenia microchila)

Sunset over the inlet

After enjoying the beautiful sunset over the inlet we head back to the camper to rustle up some dinner. We then enjoyed a game of Tri-ominos before hitting the sack. Random stops today proved very successful with many orchids found, so we don’t always have to plan everything upfront.

28/08/2020 ….. Nunijup Lake to Gnowangerup (Road Trip 2020)

National Parks, Road Trip, Stirling Range NP, Western Australian Orchids

We awake to a cool morning, so I take Deb around exploring the area whilst the camper dries out. We discover other orchids as well as the ones I found yesterday afternoon, so the wander around was worth the effort.

Nunijup Lake

Tangled white spider orchid

(Caladenia longicauda subsp. redacta)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Tenterden yellow spider orchid

(Caladenia straminichila)

Common spider orchid

(Caladenia varians)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Leaping spider orchid

(Caladenia macrostylis)

Well our next planned location is the amazing Stirling Range National Park, which is quite a distance, so we pack up the camper. We spy more orchids as we slowly leave our campsite, so grab some photos. Finally on the road, with high expectations for the day.

Stirling Range National Park

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Dancing spider orchid

(Caladenia discoidea)

Hare orchid

(Leporella fimbriata)

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid

(Diuris brachyscapa)

Pink bunny orchid

(Eriochilus scaber subsp. scaber)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp, reptans)

Silky blue orchid

(Cyanicula sericea)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Blood spider orchid

(Caladenia filifera)

Joseph’s spider orchid

(Caladenia polychroma)

Blue beard

(Pheladenia deformis)

Lemon-scented sun orchid

(Thelymitra antennifera)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Rabbit orchid

(Leptoceras menziesii)

Red beaks

(Pyrorchis nigricans)

Common bee orchid

(Diuris decrementa)

??? spider orchid

(Caladenia sp.)

Zebra orchid

(Caladenia cairnsiana)

Ravensthorpe snail orchid

(Pterostylis sp. ‘Ravensthorpe’)

Mosquito orchid

(Cyrtostylis robusta)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Yawning leek orchid

(Prasophyllum hians)

Well we were not disappointed. At least 22 orchid species found which blows our minds. The bush fire caused devastation, however the regrowth of the Australian bush is amazing. It’s now 4pm so we had better move on and find our overnight camp.

Kingia in flower following the bush fire

We struggled to find a camping location so made the decision to book into one of the Gnowangerup Hotel units for the night. We enjoyed a wonderful bar meal and bevy.

22/08/2020 ….. Montague State Forest to Highbury State Forest (Road Trip 2020)

Foxes Lair, Highbury SF, Montague SF, Other Reserves, Road Trip, State Forest, Western Australian Orchids

Where better to wake up than in the middle of a forest!! After eating breakfast, listening to all the birds chirping and chittering, we pack up the camper before exploring our surroundings, for an hour or so.

Montague State Forest

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Slender snail orchid

(Pterostylis crispula)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Hairy-stemmed snail orchid

(Pterostylis setulosa)

Rosette

Clubbed spider orchid

(Caladenia longiclavata)

We finally get back on the road around midday and head to Narrogin to obtain some supplies. We will lunch at our next orchid hunting location, which is on the outskirts of town.

Common donkey orchid

(Diuris corymbosa)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Dark banded greenhood

(Pterostylis sanguinea)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Blue beard

(Pheladenia deformis)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Primrose spider orchid

(Caladenia xantha)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Cupped banded greenhood

(Pterostylis concava)

Hairy stemmed snail orchid

(Pterostylis setulosa)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

After spending a few hours walking the trails around Foxes Lair we make a move as we need to find another secluded overnight stop, as our planned stop at the Highbury Tavern could not go ahead as it was closed. We turn off the highway on Highbury Road West passing Highbury Nature Reserve and reach Warren Rd. Turn south or keep going west? West it is. Reaching Tarwonga Road we turn south then take a track into Highbury State Forest. Here we camp up at the Telstra Tower and once set up, we scout around.

Highbury State Forest

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Another day comes to an end. We settle in for the night around another camp fire and recount our wonderful day of exploration for orchids.

21/08/2020 ….. Pingeculling Nature Reserve to Montague State Forest (Road Trip 2020)

Goodenough NR, Horne NR, Hotham River NR, Montague SF, Nature Reserves, Pingeculling NR, Road Trip, State Forest, Western Australian Orchids

We pack up camp after breakfast and head back the way we came yesterday, as we don’t wish to encounter any more trees across the track by heading further west. Deb grabs some orchid photos on the way out and we inspect a farmers rubbish pile for any collectables.

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp.flava)

Common donkey orchid

(Diuris corymbosa)

As we didn’t find much in the rubbish dump we jump back in the Triton and head back to Moorumbine Road then turn south. Along this road we find our next stop, the Horne Nature Reserve. Weirdly the only access to the reserve is a sealed road which leads to a Telstra tower. So we park up at the tower and go exploring. We find some orchids, however more excitedly, we come across an Echidna.

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid

(Diuris brachyscapa)

Little pink fairy, dwarf pink fairy

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Echidna playing hide n seek with us

It’s now after 11.30 in the morning, so we make tracks toward Pingelly. On the Aldersyde Pingelly Road we pull over on the side of the road, at the strangely named Goodenough Nature Reserve. We explore for orchids and are not disappointed.

Goodenough Nature Reserve

Green spider orchid, Fringed mantis orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

Blue beard, blue fairy orchid

(Pheladenia deformis)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Red-veined shell orchid

(Pterostylis hamiltonii)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Feeling a bit peckish, we decide to head off and check out Pingelly for lunch. Whilst waiting for our counter meal, Deb relives our time at Las Vegas.

After enjoying an amazing lunch, we head south down the Great Southern Hwy. We only just leave the townsite when we pull over to check out some promising woodland. This proved to be a great decision.

Just South of Pingelly

Crimson spider orchid

(Caladenia footeana)

Blue beard

(Pheladenia deformis)

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Was very happy to have found a red coloured spider orchid, however we must move on. Our next stop is along Langes Road in the Hotham River Nature Reserve. We go exploring this wonderful woodland (Featured Image) and find a few orchids, which is a bonus.

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Common donkey orchid

(Diuris corymbosa)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

Banded greenhood

(Pterostylis vittata)

Blue china orchid

(Cyanicula gemmata)

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Frog greenhood

(Pterostylis sargentii)

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

After a wonderful exploration of the woodland we make tracks further south, reaching Yornaning a small town on the highway. It is here we stop for a walk around the dam.

Yornaning Dam

Western wheatbelt donkey orchid

(Diuris brachyscapa)

Cowslip orchid

(Caladenia flava subsp. flava)

Dark banded greenhood

(Pterostylis sanguinea)

Hybrid caladenia

(Caladenia flava x C. reptans)

Blue beard

(Pheladenia deformis)

Green spider orchid

(Caladenia falcata)

It’s now after 3.30pm so we need to think about where we will camp the night. We travel west to the Montague State Forest. Taking a track in, we slowly drive along looking for a suitable place to camp. We come across some orchids and finally reach a large fence with a gate that is locked. There is a cleared area close by so we set up camp for the night.

Montague State Forest

Little pink fairies

(Caladenia reptans subsp. reptans)

Big clubbed spider orchid

(Caladenia magniclavata)

Sugar orchid

(Ericksonella saccharata)

Jug orchid

(Pterostylis recurva)

Small flowered donkey orchid

(Diuris porrifolia)

What a wonderful day orchid hunting today has been. We settle in for a secluded night under the stars in the middle of the forest.

Overnight camp