This past week while Mike was home, I was able to take some time and wander through some native bush about a 10 minute drive from the farm. At one location there were some very large gumtrees that I’d been observing as we travelled around and decided there must be some orchids sprouting at their feet.
As I carefully searched the forest floor, I was greeted by several kookaburra cackling in the trees above and even a small euro kangaroo – which took off from her resting place only about 10 feet from where I was walking. The roo particularly was of interest as you don’t really see many euro’s in the area. It’s had a more red colour to it’s fur and was more broad in it’s features.
Wandering the bush I felt this sense of excitement and that joy, that comes from looking at beautiful colours and observing the bugs and birds. We were all moving through the lazy pace of the day, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine. There were at least 4 species of orchids out – though I’m having trouble confidently identifying the green hooded orchids. They all look so similar!
I was only away a couple of hours, and when I came home Wesley greeted me with this big beautiful hug. It was so nice!
While I am here I may as well report that camera has since been smashed. The lens is in 4 pieces – and I’m not 100% sure my camera body works – as I’ve not got a lens to attach to it. I had run outside quickly to capture some bees for Mike as he wanted some for a hive. They had swarmed so I ran out quickly – thinking Wesley was safely playing in the house. I came back to my camera on the floor…and the discovered that it was a goner. What a silly mistake! Thankfully wee man was not hurt at all…the body and lens together are very heavy and could have badly injured him. Phew!!
We also had about 500k beetles swarm the farm yesterday. The air was very still and at first all the noise I thought we were being swarmed by the hive I had caught the night before. The trees were dropping leaves, and the sound of the things hitting the house was almost comical. The devastation to the bottlebrush trees is incredible – these little beetles sure know what they want to eat! The were around for about 2 hours – and if I had my camera I’d love to have shown you all the madness.
I’ve been prepping our living room for a bit of a makeover. Over the past three evenings I’ve been taping, touching up the trim and starting to put up a prime coat in the shade that would replace the current medium green shade. I was hoping to brighten up the space and make the room feel more open. I’m now second guessing my colour choice. It’s this really pale yellow – which I thought would make sense with the 50’s style of the house but it’s not quite right. We had previously painted several of the rooms various shades of soft grey and I have a feeling that might be the route we take for the living room too. In a few weeks our shipping container should arrive from NZ so hoping I have finished this before our furniture arrives.
Have you ever painted a wall and immediately regretted the choice of colour?
Right off the front foot of our trip, Mike and I made a wager (honestly, though it’s very rare we are not in some form of a competition). It was: Whomever could spot the most orchids would owe the other person $100.00. Mike then stipulated that he would need a 10 point lead to keep things fair as he thought I might be difficult competition (and that he’d be hard pressed to get me out of the bush before he found his). I accepted the challenge.
We couldn’t double up – and tracked our progress daily (Reminding each other constantly of how much the other needed to catch up – and shouting with extreme enthusiasm when one did find a new orchid). Who would have thought this could be such a thrilling activity?
Mike was well and truly ahead of me by day three as he had stayed at the front of the orchid walk and counted every new species as one of his own (we saw 14 during 1.5 hours at Mount Trio on our second day).
The end score was: Mike – 22 species & Holly – 16 species
He beat me by a mile. In the end it made our hiking and wandering very interesting and pushed us to take the time to find more plants.
What helped us was a book called “A Guide to Native Orchids of South Western Australia – Second Edition” by Bob Liddelow. Mr. Liddelow details the GPS coordinates as well as shows small maps of prime locations to find orchids. It was with his help that we were able to find large concentrations of orchids throughout the many regions that we came across, in fact we planned our travels around these locations.
Orchids flower here from July – October so there is a large period of time you’re bound to spot something. We were both very happy with the information that Mr. Liddelow shared, his gifting of this sometimes confidential information has helped us both stoop down low and really look for the treasures that the forest floor might otherwise be hiding from us.
Here are a few of the orchids we found during the trip:
- Purple Pansy Orchid
- Sugar Orchid
- Purple Enamel Orchid
- Sugar Orchid
- Lemon Scented Sun Orchid
- Hare Orchid
- Little Laughing Leek Orchid
- Greenhood Orchid
- Jug Orchid
- Red Beaks
- Silky Blue Orchid
- Crab Lipped Spider Orchid
- Dancing Spider Orchid
- Little Pink Fairy Orchid
- Cowslip Orchid
- Common Dragon Orchid (this one attracts a male wasp with pheromones to pollinate it)
- Zebra Orchid
- Dwarf Spider Orchid
- Fringed Mantis Orchid
Just a note if you’re curious about the camera set up I’ve used for these images. They are all shot with the Canon 5D Mark III and a 100mm 2.8 Macro lens. (All of the images on this blog from Sept 2014 onward are taken with this gear. No special lighting or flash were used, simply harnessed the natural light available at the time.
Do you shoot macro? I’m curious to learn more about the different techniques… do you have a favourite subject that you like to photograph?