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.
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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Monday, 5 September 2022

In celebration of spring in Western Australia

 Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are well. We are just back from a three week caravaning trip out through the wheatbelt and then down along the south coast.  


We were a little early for the full flush of spring wildflowers, but we particularly went to the south coast in late winter to see some wildflowers that flower this time of year and which we had never seen before. Yes it was cold and we had drizzly rain, but it didn't really impact us too much and we were rewarded with some magnificent flowers. And hey, what's not to like about an ocean cliff on a wild windy day. Trust me it was blowing an absolute gail when I took this photo, and I had to hold hard onto the railing coming down from the lookout. Next stop south is Antarctica. 

Today just a brief overview, and in the coming weeks I will share some more. 

First the queen of them all - the Queen of Sheba Orchid - probably one of our most flamboyant and colourful wild orchids - and the main reason we were down on the south coast in August. This is the Eastern variety - Thelymitra speciosa. There are two other varieties, all of which have very limited growing area. She really is stunning. We would propbably not have seen it if we hadn't been on a guided tour at Tozer's bush camp near Bremer Bay. Thankyou Paul our Botanist guide. 

Please click on read more to continue reading....

Not to be outdone, below is the Royal Hakea - Hakea victoria. So sculptural looking. The Noongar name is Tallyongut. This was the first time we had seen this in flower too. The flower is insignificant compared to the leaves. Growing 1 to 3 metres tall, the leaves are stiff, tough and spiky. Due to the poor soil it grows in, each year the plant withdraws some nutrients from it's leaves to nourish its flowers and seeds. This results in the changes in colour - first year yellow, second orange-red, third year dull red. In rich soil the leaves remain green. On one plant you can see all the different colours. So interesting how plants adapt. They grow in abundance in the Fitzgerald National Park near Hopetoun.


Below is the gorgeous Hood Leaved Hakea - Hakea cucullata - which we saw flowering in the Stirling Ranges National Park. See how the flowers grow in the cups of the leaves. This was the first time we had ever seen it in flower - so beautiful. And wonderful to see them establishing again after the devistating summer of 2020 bushfires particularly around Mt Trio where we saw them completely decimated last visit.



Another gem of the Fitzgerald National Park and the Stirling Ranges National Park is the Scarlet Banksia - Banksia coccinea. The southwest botanical province supports about 170 varieties of Banksias (including the Dryandras which have recently been incorporated) about 30 of which grow between Esperance and Walpole along the coastal regions. The stamens start curled over and then open up. Many of our wild plants like the hakeas and banksias have very spikey leaves. This is a protective mechanism - but it can make for spikey bushwalking!

But they are not all spikey customers. This is the delicate Swamp Daisy or Albany daisy - Actinodium cunninghamii. However it is not actually a daisy - It belongs to the Myrtle family which includes gum trees, bottlebrushes, honey myrtles and wax flowers. Look at the close up image and you will see a cluster of white petals around the outside of the actual pink flowers. Native of the south coast, I took these photos at Tozers bush camp near Bremer Bay. You really do need to look very closely at flowers to see their makeup which is not always apparent at first glance. I never knew this about the swamp daisy till it was pointed out to me.


And here is the Esperance King Spider orchid - Caladenia decora. We saw this variety in the Helms Arboretum in Esperance and also at Tozers bush camp.


I hope you have enjoyed this little look at some of our south coast wildflowers. this is just the tip of the wildflower-berg. There is so much more to share with you. I will be back over the next few weeks with more exploring in Western Australia's south and more wildflowers. 

And for my northern hemisphere friends .... yes we were closely watched by kangaroos a few times while we were out walking. This was a big boomer (male) but luckily he wasn't too bothered about us. 


Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Do you like to go out looking for spring wildflowers? It is my favourite time of year. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

You really need a good wildflower identification book during these trips. My favourite which I always carry with me are Eddy Wajon's books, and my latest find is Wildflower Country by Stanley and Kaisa Breeden. Magnificent photography. I am adding it to my birthday list. 

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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.

18 comments:

  1. Your wildflowers are incredible! And only the little spider orchid looks anything like what grows in our woods! Thanks so much for sharing these great gifts of nature!

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  2. I just can't get over the intricate shapes of the wildflowers you saw. What a wonderful trip and a great time of year to get outside. Love that you spot kangaroos on your hikes!

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  3. Jill, Thanks for sharing these exotic flowers! They are amazing. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

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  4. Hello Jill
    I love the beautiful view in the first photo, the rocky coastline is gorgeous. Beautiful collection of wildflowers, they are all exotic looking and unique. The Scarlet Banksia is amazing and I love the Queen of Sheba Orchid and the lovely Spider Orchid. The Kangaroo is cute, it does look like it is watching you. Beautiful photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your and the week ahead.

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  5. Such unusual flowers - at least compared to what I'm familiar with! All are beautiful but that orchid is just so striking.

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  6. The flowers you show are very interesting. I particularly liked Banksia. Recently, I had seen another variety of Banksia in Bangalore Flowershow.

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  7. The scenery in the south WA is so stunningly beautiful in deed!

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  8. Those floral photos are amazing. What gorgeous and varied blooms. The biodiversity you have in Australia would be a study for several lifetimes. Thank you for sharing them at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2022/09/the-next-generation.html

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  9. wow.... die Blumen sind so schön - noch nie habe ich solche gesehen. Und das freilaufende Känguru, richtig niedlich.

    lg gabi

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    1. Translate -
      wow....the flowers are so beautiful - I've never seen anything like them. And the roaming kangaroo, really cute. thank you gabi

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  10. Reizende und für mich außergewöhnliche Pflanzen!
    Herzliche Grüße
    Lieselotte

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    1. translate - Lovely and for me extraordinary plants! Best regards Lieselotte

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  11. Jill - the angularity of the stairs makes a wonderful contrast with the natural contours of the seashore. Nice shot! I keep scrolling back to the Queen of Sheba Orchid - the colors are so bright I can almost imagine that someone painted them! I love the close-up of the Swamp Daisy - such an intricate pattern. I wish I was hunting spring flowers ... I am collecting seeds instead! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

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  12. That orchid deserves the name. Happy spring from the reverse side!

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  13. Wow dear Jill, you show really fascinating plants! They are all beautiful, but I'm particularly impressed by the Scarlet Banksia with its "curls". It reminds me a bit of the South African Protea and yet it is different. (Are these plants related to each other?)
    I am amazed at the adaptability of the Royal Hakea. Nature is so breathtaking and we humans treat it so badly.
    As a resident of the northern hemisphere, I am of course also very happy about the kangaroo :-D
    Continue to enjoy the awakening of spring - on the other hand, I'm already looking forward to the colors of autumn!
    All the best from Austria to Australia, Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2022/09/juli-august-2022-teil-2-und-weiter-geht.html
    PS: Thanks for the title "groovy grannie" ;-DDD

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    1. Yes proteas and banksias are related! Proteas are native to southern Africa and belong to the same family of plants (Proteaceae) as Australia's native Banksias, Grevilleas and Waratahs.

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  14. Oh my gosh, that Queen of Sheba orchid is amazing. I didn't think anything else could come close in the awe-factor but the rest of the flowers sure came close -- what a wonderful trip for the flowers, perfect time of year. And a wild ocean is my favorite place to take our RV!

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I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.