We’ve just returned from a wonderfully relaxing and educational weekend near Eneabba, Western Australia. We stayed at the Western Flora Caravan Park where local legend Allan Tinker has been giving tours and recording flora details for a number of years. Allan, is very passionate about the local flora, and had been very helpful for me over the past few years when I needed a hand identifying several mystery flower species.
Our accommodation was a very charming, caravan which had a double bed, kitchenette, and came kitted out with fresh towels and linen.
For our trip, I recently purchased a macro lens to test on the endless variety of wildflowers and orchids with my very new camera the Canon 5D Mark III. This camera is a dream to shoot with. The ergonomics and wide viewfinder are very enjoyable to work with. All of these images were taken with the body and macro lens.
During the daily tour at 4:30pm, Allan teaches the group the various channels through which pollination can take place. Wind, birds, insects, and mammals… Each flower is designed to attract a specific pollinator. I cannot even emphasise how informative this session was. Caravan guests attend for free while non staying guest pay a fee of $28.00. When the tour is completed you can also opt into joining a large home cooked meal put on by his wife Lorraine.
At the end of the session, Allan selects various flowers and magnifies them in his microscope, which is simultaneously projected onto a screen. This is an invaluable experience as it enhances the experience by showing you details you’d otherwise miss. Such as a small insect leeching nutrients from the Geraldton wax, or the delicate fibers that construct a minute petal.
In his closing remarks Allan spoke of the need to educate ourselves with the connection of each plant and it’s place in a vast system of interconnected dependent species. He touched on the topic of Fracking, and voiced concern over the future of the region.
Each of us is responsible for this planet.
Mike helped me find a variety of orchids (several of which I’d not yet seen before). This is a pale cowslip orchid, being one of them. The season for wildflower enthusiasts is currently in full swing. I met many men and woman who are in retirement, travelling with their cameras and stories… I felt I have “found my people”. 60-70 somethings who are just MAD for nature, birds, flowers…beauty. I was truly at home here. Mike laughed when I told him this in confidence…
On the way home we stopped at Mount Leseur to see if we could spot the beautiful Queen of Sheba orchid (which I’ve yet to see, but would love to view it just once). We didn’t have any luck, but we did enjoy the slow easy pace of our journey back to the city, as neither of us was really ready to return.
If you’re interested in travelling north to view the wildflowers, please do head to the Western Flora Caravan Park.