Queen of Sheba Orchid, Eneabba

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.02.20 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.03.02 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.02.54 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.02.39 pmMike and I have been on the hunt for this stunning orchid for over 7 years.  The location is vaguely suggested in Bob Liddelows book “A Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia”.  When we realised it was so close to the farm, here in Eneabba we had to keep searching.

We have been doing searches for the Queen of Sheba for about a month now each time Mike’s home from work.  Wesley was with us when we found it and it was such a little victory for our small family!  There were six out in bloom on this particularly sunny morning we found them.

They are a sun orchid so need full sunlight to open… so we were very lucky!  Seeing them in real life, it’s insane how colourful they are.  Such a delightful orchid.

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.09.25 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.11.37 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.11.23 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.11.09 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.10.56 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.10.46 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.10.26 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.10.19 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.09.51 pmScreen Shot 2018-09-10 at 5.09.40 pm

There has been plenty happening here on the property lately now that spring is upon us.  I’ve been gardening as fast as I can before the summer hits, and chasing Wesley through the bush showing him plants and bugs and spiders!  I’m still working on a community project and have also got word that a story is being published soon about all the spider’s I’ve found around the home.  Exciting times!  I’ll share that when it happens.

Wesley moved officially into his bunk bed this week – which has been awesome.  He’s such a big boy now.  He is a lover of nature, and I have to share this now before I forget.  But last week I found a large dead frog in the yard.  I’d placed it in the garden and told Wesley about a daddy frog I’d spotted.  He picked it up and gingerly played with it for 40 mins or so before Mike took him away.  The thing is, I’d watched him talking to the frog, high fiving it, and shaking it’s very stiff hand.  It was so cute.

This week we’re also preparing to host Great Grandad and Dee!  We’ll also be travelling North to Kalbarri which will also be a first for us.  It’s coming up fast – and we’re all looking forward to it!  I’ll post pictures when the trips complete so you can see what the place is like – apparently, it’s beautiful!

Taranaki, to close 2016.


We’ve just returned from a few very nice days up in the Taranaki region at Kerry Lane (which is a charming little resort).  Mike’s brother Rayden had entered a tennis tournament so we travelled up with him and his partner Fredrik to watch him play.  Mike and Rayden also played a wobbly doubles match, and in between matches we took in the local scenery.

There was a really charming antiques shop that I managed to find a heavy cotton blanket (it has a gorgeous checked pattern in a cornflower blue with white as a base) that will be perfect for cozying up in the winter.  The blanket, I’d expect to pay somewhere between $100.oo-$200.00 as it is a luxurious heavy cotton.  The store offered 25% off and I scooped it up for a measly $12.00.  It’s hard to find quality in modern goods, so I was pretty stoked!

Whilst Fredrik and I browsed the store, Wesley began to squawk/talk to someone.  I turned and couldn’t help but laugh.  He was “talking” to a very creepy doll.  Minutes later the same thing happened as I approached another doll on the other side of the room.  Thank god, they didn’t talk back.  Though the woman who owned the shop joked she didn’t know what the dolls did at night when she left… I inwardly shuddered.

Taranaki country is quite hilly, and is spectacular to look at whilst driving around.  It’s located on the edge of the Western side of the country.  The mountain is an inactive volcano that is covered with walking trails and waterfalls.  It was here that we found my most favourite of favourite things.  Several species of native orchids were sprouting from the earth.  Actually Mike found them, just to be clear.  He’s getting quite good at it.

The images of the mountain were taken at dusk and dawn…and again during mid morning before our hike.

On the way home we stopped at our friends dairy farm and enjoyed a nice relaxing meal and played with the kids.

We travelled homeward, settled in, and rested.  The last night of 2016 we all tucked into bed for a much welcome sleep.  That is until Wesley woke and partied all night with his dad.

Today we rise to 2017.  We’ll all be another year older soon, and I can’t wait to see what this year brings.  Hopefully… just hopefully it brings a little more sleep.

We’ve just gotten word that some friends from Western Australia are booking last minute tickets to New Zealand for a holiday, and we’ll be seeing them in about a weeks time…2017 is kicking off to a good start!

We hope you have all made it through 2016 with fond memories too.

Holly, Mike & Wesley

Ps:  A couple of the photos of Wesley with family are some images from Christmas Day.  We had a really nice lunch at Mike’s mums which is just a short walk up the road.

A Forgotten Spider Orchid

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.44.24 PM

I’ve been looking at some photos in my archives today and came across this orchid (just popping out) from our trip to Stirling Range National Park last September.  It struck me, that I’d not noticed this photograph properly when I first reviewed the images.

It’s a stunner of an orchid, and in admiring it…I suddenly had the thought to look up the orchid season here in New Zealand.

As luck would have it – there is a fantastic site that shows the locations and flowering times for the native orchids throughout the country.  There are some even blooming this month.

It looks like the season is heaviest during the spring/summer period (Oct-Jan) which is awesome.  I’ll hopefully be able to make it out and hike some rugged tracks and be able to bend down for long periods of time by that point!


I’ve also been meaning to get some photos of the spectacular jumping spiders here – but each time I’ve been out with my camera they seem to go into hiding.  We’ve spotted at least 10 different species around our home and Mike’s mums.  I’ll have to keep trying.

Lately, I’m mostly resting, meditating, doing prenatal yoga, reading and taking Tess for little short walks.  The link to the prenatal yoga video was provided to me by a good friend (thanks Emily!) recently and has helped me stretch out muscles that have been – lets say mildly dormant the past few months.  The videography is beautiful (as is the music) and even for someone who might not have a lot of experience (if any) with yoga the narration is gentle and encourages safe practice.  If you’re limited in movement this is a great place to start.

We also did a two day antenatal class this past weekend, and also took a tour of the local hospital.  It was so nice to be around other people who were at the same stage of pregnancy, and could laugh together about all the crazy changes we’ve been going through.

This provided a great place for the partners to ask questions and have open discussions about all the things we were unsure of.  I also loved watching Mike dress a baby and wear a pregnancy suit, it was really a great intro to parenthood for us.  If you do get the chance to sign up for a class I’d highly recommend it.


Stirling Range National Park – For Nature Lovers!

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.47.43 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 5.01.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.57.58 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 5.00.07 PM

Mike found this little king skink on top of a mountain.Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.49.09 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.59.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.58.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.59.13 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.50.01 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-15 at 4.41.18 PM

I was just going through some of the images from our trip last month (already reminiscing) and found a few we’d not yet shared. I’m in love with this landscape and believe I could have easily stayed there well into November even when the orchid season had passed.

A few of the critters I described in previous posts are now shown in all of their glory (or partially in the case of the snake).

If you ever come across a bob tail lizard – just be warned they can really injure you if you’re not careful.  You can pick them up behind their head rather easily but beware of putting anything near their mouse trap like mouths.

– Unrelated to our trip – 

It’s beginning to really heat up here in Perth as summer is just around the bend.  We’ve been growing a number of herbs and veggies on our balcony along with some small seedlings – and I can say we have for the first time (in 5 years of living in Australia) managed to grow a rather bountiful roma tomato plant.  It’s just starting to ripen and I cannot wait to eat them with some fresh basil and mozzarella with olive oil.  That will be heaven on a plate.

I know some of you are now slowly morphing from the cozy comfort of the sun, indoors to artificial heating – and I truly hope that winter is not too long for you (though I do love the snow – so will admit my slight jealousy of missing out on snowboarding!).

I’ll post again soon.



Wildflowers of Western Australia – Stirling Range National Park

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.40.59 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.41.14 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.39.48 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.38.35 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.39.31 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.38.17 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.39.16 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.38.48 AM

These are some of the images that were taken during our trip last week, I don’t know the names of everything for certain at this point.

It’s the long weekend here in Western Australia.  I hope you’re all out and about enjoying the sunshine too!

I’ll be catching up with friends and soaking up some sun – my alabaster body needs some vitamin d stat!

What will you be doing with all this free time?