Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
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Sunday, 15 September 2019

September wildflowers in Western Australia

I love September because it is the time for wildflowers in my corner of the world - the south west of Western Australia. I always say there is always something flowering in the Australia bush, which is true, but in spring in September the bush really comes alive with colour and an array of unique wildflowers found nowhere else in the world. 

I know I promised last week to bring you more of my recent travels - half lap of Australia, but because we have been on three wildflower short walks this past week in my area, I just had to share. 

Opposite is Western Australia's floral emblem -  the green and red Mangles Kangaroo Paw - Anigozanthos manglesii







Spring is a prime time to visit Western Australia to see its wildflowers. Boasting up to 12,000 known species, the main wildflower season starts in July in the north, till November in the south. Each region has unique wildflower species due to environmental differences such as soil type, fauna, plant systems, geography and weather. 
 
5,700 known plant species exist in the south-west of the State. Separated from the rest of Australia by desert and semi-desert, many endemic plant species are found only here. 

 I have shared some of our wildflower walks before. I am lucky to have a few that I don't have to go far from home to visit. 

The first is a little corner of bush near my home. I always go there to look for wild orchids this time of year. Sadly every year the weeds that grow here get thicker and thicker and spread further and further through the bush. The council burn off before summer, but this only seems to make the weeds grow thicker the next winter. I hope they don't eventually choke out the orchids.

Here is a patch of pink fairy orchids, pushing up their heads despite the weeds. 


Below you can see, clockwise from left top corner -
Milkmaids - Burchardia embellata ; Mangles Kangaroo Paw - Anigozanthos manglesii ;  Scarlet Running Postman - Kennedia prostrata ; one of the Hibbertia family ; one of the Donkey orchid family - perhaps the Dainty Donkey Orchid - Diuris aff. recurva ; Pink Fairy orchid - Caladenia latifolia ; Cowslip orchid - Caladenia flava ; and White Spider Orchid - Caladenia longicauda




Another place close by is along the Collie River near where we live. There is a formed limestone track along the river which is popular with walkers. Again, weeds are invading the banks, however there were enough wildflowers to satisfy me without holding up my companions too much! 

Below you can see: clockwise from left top corner - 
One the pea family ; one of the eucalypts ; Wild Violet - Hybanthus calycinus ; Pink Fairy orchid - Caladenia latifolia ; Winged Wattle - Acacia alata ; Cockies Tongues - Templetonia retusa ; one of the Cottonheads - perhaps Rush Cottonheads - Conostyllis juncea ; Native Wisteria - Hardenbergia comptoniana ; and in the middle Purple Mat Rush - Lomandra purpurea (marked as uncommon in my flower book).

Purple Mat Rush
In fact there are over 900 species of Eucalypts. I just found this interesting article: ABC net-Eucalyptus-trees-an-iconic-Australian
- so perhaps you can forgive me for not being able to identify this one  



 And some water birds - White Egret and Yellow-billed spoonbill



 We also went out to visit Manea Park which has many walk trails and is very much favoured this time of year. Unfortunately because of the low rainfall during winter, we found it to be very dry and not many wildflowers flowering as yet.  

Though we did see these orchids: Clockwise from top left hand corner:
Leaping Spider Orchid - Caladenia macrostylis White Spider Orchid - Caladenia longicauda ; Bird Orchid - Pterostylis barbata ; Jug Orchid - Pterostylis recurva ; Purple Enamel Orchid - Elythranthera brunonis ; one of the Donkey Orchids ; and in the middle the Queen of Sheba orchid - Thelymitra variegata  - sadly closed up and finished at the time of our visit.
We had never seen the Leaping Spider and the Bird Orchid before - I am always happy to find a species new to me.
Leaping Spider Orchid
Bird Orchid
The Queen of Sheba from a previous visit - she is a fickle little thing - a sun orchid she only comes out when the sun is shining which it was on the day we visited. But she likes to hide too.  And she only last a few days. The kangaroos also like to eat her!


My first tip for taking great wildflower photos is to have a patient companion! Please click on the link for a few tips on How to take great flower photos 

 It is essential to have a good wildfloer identification book or 2 or 3! The ones I've used for this post are:
Colour Guide to Spring Wildflowers of Western Australia - Part 2 - Perth and South West - by Eddy Wajon
Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia - by Bob Liddlelow

Last week my latest offering to On The Road magazine was published in the September-October 2019 edition.  You can read an excerpt here - Exploring Western Australia's wildflower hotspots

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you can enjoyed this little look at some of our unique wildflowers.  Do you have somewhere you like to look for wildflowers? Perhaps you would like to share in your comments. 

I'll be back next week with the first installment of my Half lap of Australia
Donkey Orchid

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.  

You might also like: 
Hunting for wild orchids 
Hunting for wild orchids in the Midwest 
Once in 40 year wildflower extravaganza
 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for your lovely photos of the WA wildflowers. I found some orchids when we were at Wave Rock. I will now have to go to my photos and check which ones as I don't know their names. Thanks again for the details.

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    1. Hi Rosie, you can always send the pics to me and I can see if I know what they are.

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  2. I love the egret and spoonbill! Would love to see and photograph them. I also love the amazing variety of flowers/plants in your area!!!

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  3. Hello Jill, the wildflowers are beautiful. I would love to take a wildflower walk. Love the Spoonbills too, they are cool looking birds. Great post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead!

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  4. The bird orchid is something to see and I love the little fairy orchid! You don't think of seeing flowers like this in the wild! Love that Spoonbill too. It's probably my favorite bird of all! Enjoy your week!

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    1. we have some truly unique and wonderful wildflowers in Western Australia

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  5. Oh my, how lovely they all are! And the bird orchid really does look like a bird! Amazing!!! Wishing you well!

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  6. Your wildflower photos are stunning <3

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  7. Beautiful Kangaroo Paw flower! The colors are so bright. All the wildflowers you found - are stunning - wonder if the government/forestry, or whatever agency it pertains to can do something about the weeds problem??
    Seeing all the wildflowers, and because you are an excellent photographer, have you ever thought on publishing a book of Australian wildflowers? I know it would be a lot of work, but it would also show some of your work!
    Anyway, I hope that you'll have the time "sometime," but it would be a great treasure for plant/flower lovers.
    Many thanks for letting All Seasons in on your travels, Jill!! Really appreciate your interest and skill to show it photographically! Have a fun week!

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    1. It is the council that burn here every year, which seems to make the weeds grow thicker. Unfortunately they are now out of control.
      Thank you for your kind suggestion about the wildflower book. But there are many wildflower books in Australia already, done by more expert photographers than me. Also trying to get a definite identification is very difficult when there are so many varieties that are very similar. But thank you for the thought!

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  8. What amazing and intricate wildflowers grow in your country. Just gorgeous. The egrets are such beautiful birds.

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  9. Jill - Australia has such a diversity of flora and fauna - the statistics are always eye-opening. But your photos do so much more to drive home the point. Your talent for finding and documenting this beauty shines through this post! I love the names - some of them are obvious - like the Bird Orchid - but others have me wondering … Thanks so much for sharing your spring with Mosaic Monday!

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  10. Stunning shots! Nature is very beautiful in WA!

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  11. I always enjoy your wildflower photos - and these are no exception. Thanks for linking up #teamlovinlife

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