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Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Hunting for wild orchids, Western Australia

It seems to be a shame to miss the wild orchid season while I keep you in the Northern Territory on my half lap of Australia so for this week I am going to drag you away from my travels and back to the south west of Western Australia where the wildflowers are blooming. If you missed it, I did share a few local wildflowers back in September.





In mid September a couple of weeks after we returned from our 7 week trip, we went down to Dunsborough for the day, about an hour south of where we live. I had been looking at the wild orchid walks in our area in my orchid book, Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia (Bob Liddelow), and this walk was one I wanted to do. It follows the coast from Dunsborough to Meelup - around 3.8km. It was a beautiful morning, so off we went. 

Bob warns on his Facebook page:  If you purchase this book you may become as addicted to finding, and photographing, native orchids as much as its author.
Too late!  

Before we set off on the walk we stopped at our favourite cafe in Dunsborough - Hot Chocolatte- fabulous coffee, friendly staff and delicious treats.  Seriously, is this really the only photo I took? I loved their decorations hanging over their counter. If you are down that way, you must check them out.



 The walk follows the coast starting at the far end of Forrest Street, south Dunsborough. The trail is easy to follow. We didn't go the whole way, but saw plenty of orchids to keep me happy as we wandered along. Not long after we started out we met a local who told us where to look for some of the orchids, which was very helpful.  The trail follows the coast and is a lovely part shaded walk - part sand, part gravel, part formed limestone track. The weather was perfect for walking. 

Make sure you stick to the track and be aware it is illegal in Australia to pick wildflowers.





 Here are some of the wild orchids we found: I am not a wildflower expert, so my identifications might not be accurate, but I was able to get some assistance from the very helpful members of the Wildflower Society of Western Australia on Facebook. Thank you!  

 I must tell you here that many of our native wild orchids are tiny, not like your fancy exotics in Asia. I wish I had a comparison photo for you. They blend in very well and you have to be lucky to see them. 

For those interested in technicalities - the wildflower images were all taken with a 100mm macro lens, hand held. 

So clockwise from top left - one of the white spider orchids Caladenia longicauda; possibly the Dunsborough spider orchid - Caladenia viridescens; Chapman's Spider orchid - Caladena chapmanii; Vanilla orchid, also known as the Lemon-scented sun orchid - Thelymitra antennifera;  Purple Enamel orchid - Elythanthera brunonis; Diamond Spider Orchid - Caladenia rhomboidiformis. 
The 4 spider orchids we had not seen before - so exciting for me.  Lucky for me also that my husband is a great orchid finder! 

Another look at the Chapman's Spider orchid - Caladena chapmanii

And a couple of donkey orchids: Possibly the Purple Pansy orchid - Diuris longifolia; and the Dunsborough Donkey orchid - Diuris amplissima - but then again it could be your common Donkey orchid. 


There were lots of other wildflowers too: in the top row some of the native pea varieties, then (I think) the red Mouse Ears - Calothamnus rupestris; pink Swan River Myrtle - Hypocalymma robustum; and one of the eucalypts

 In the top row below - Cowslip orchid - Caladena flava; one of my favourites Southern Rose - Diplolaena dampieri one of the acacia wattle varieties;
and below - one of the yellow Hibbertia buttercups;  white everlastings (which I was a bit surprised to see here) and I think Coastal Banjine - Pimelea ferruginea 


 We also saw some kangaroos and a New Holland honeyeater



We had a wonderful couple of hours wandering along the track. And I am already looking forward to going back another day. 

Unfortunately on the way back about 300 metres from the car, I had a slip on the limestone path. I broke the end of my fibula (in my ankle), and this is me for 8 weeks. Sadly my wildflower season came to an abrupt end. But it could have been worse, and I am so glad it didn't happen while we were away on our trip. It is 4 weeks on now and hopefully by the end of the 6 weeks it will be mended. As my radiologist reminded me - our bones take longer to mend as we get older and we have to be careful of falling. I know!
I was so glad my husband was there to help me back to the car. He has been my fetch, carry, shop, cook, clean, wash, iron, drive and everything man. Thank you! 


  More information about Western Australian orchids -
Orchids of south west Western Australia 
 Orchids of Western Australia
 Book - Guide to Native orchids of South Western Australia - by Bob Liddlelow (R&R Publications)

You might also like:
Down in the woods today - hunting for wild orchids 
Hunting for wild orchids in Western Australia's mid west 

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you have a favourite wildflower hunting spot? Have you injured yourself when you've been bushwalking? I don't recommend it!
I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

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13 comments:

  1. How absolutely gorgeous. Orchids certainly do come in all shapes and colours. To see them in the wild would be fabulous. I'm sorry to hear about your injury Jill. I can imagine that it has slowed you down a bit. I hope you're back up and around in no time.

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    1. thanks Kathy, me too. I am so sorry to be missing out on the orchids this year, but glad I at least got to see some of them.

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  2. Hello, Jill! The wild orchids are beautiful. I love the beach views, kangaroo and the honeyeater. Lovely photos and post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead.

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  3. Hoping you mend quickly! I know what you mean! I fell just yesterday and luckily only skinned my knee. Thankful for so many things but especially having family around. Take care! Your photos are just breathtaking!

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  4. Oh I'm so sorry your got hurt! I know you are like me and want to be out and about. I see different flowers on different trails but haven't thought about a best trail for seeing them. The orchids you've shown are so exotic. It amazes me that we can see things in the WILD so perfect and beautiful! Take care of yourself!

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  5. Jesh, All Seasons15 October 2019 at 09:09

    Hello Jill,

    Love all the birdcages at the coffee place! The variety of spider orchids are so artsy and beautiful. Love the Red mouse ears (aptly named:)) and the ones on the last row are all beautiful - and all so different from each other!
    On the collage above the kangaroo, the top middle flower is stunning in color and design! So sorry you fell, which has no doubt limited your photography on the rest of the trip! Nice to have a husband who took over for you for all the necessary chores. This was really a feast of orchids, Jill! Many thanks for posting them, so we could enjoy them at All Seasons. Hopefully you can take off the cast in two weeks! Have an easy and comfortable week, Jesh

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  6. WOW! The orchids are stunning! I really enjoyed admiring your lovely photos.

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  7. Some very interesting and beautiful orchids!

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  8. Jill - I know what it is like to become addicted to finding flowers, especially orchids, and we have very few varieties of orchids in Montana! My husband is also very adept at spotting them, once he knows what he is looking for. So sorry about your ankle, but it sounds like you have a positive attitude about it, which is most of the battle (and having a supportive spouse). Thanks for sharing these beauties with everyone at Mosaic Monday.

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  9. Oh, no! What a bad time to be less-than-usually mobile! I do hope you heal quickly. The orchids are stunning to see, especially knowing they are growing wild.

    It's great to see your post on 'My Corner of the World' this week!

    My Corner of the World

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  10. You found some beauties! Hope you're soon up and running about.
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-stroll-through-arboretum.html

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