2013 our three-month trip to Western Australia to see Wildflowers and Orchids.

Written by Pamela, adapted.

We left in midwinter in 2013 to drive to Western Australia the most direct route possible across the long Nullabor plain.  We called at many places along the way, including Hay in NSW, the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Perth where we visited their aquarium and Rottnest Island.  We had to fill in time for our plan to visit the Stirling Range National Park in mid-August to see the elusive Queen of Sheba orchid. The Queen of Sheba orchids open on sunny days during August.

Eventually (19th August 2013) we arrived at the Stirling Range National Park.   We are spent a fair amount of time on photography in all kinds of funny positions.  Most of the orchids are rather tiny.   On Tuesday we took the tour from our Retreat and spotted around 25 Queen of Sheba orchids.   Everyone was different from each other.  We also found a beautiful King Spider Orchid, and a White Spider Orchid and lots of others. There are plenty of mozzies! The area is full of flowering Canola crops and wheat.  Everything is a grand picture with the Stirling Ranges in the background.  They are such a dramatic sight.  Somehow the interesting outline reminds me of the rhythm of music and orchestras playing.   They are like poetry in motion.

At the end of August, we drove to the “Northern” part of the state rather than the Great Southern, so a few things are different.  We were looking for the Wreath flowers.  We had to drive a long way to see them, but they were out in all their glory.  They covered a space of about 150 metres long by about 3 metres wide.  They grow in the gravel that has been moved around by a grader.  The road is a new one, newly tarred, at least, so plenty of fresh gravel.  We hope you enjoy our pictures.  We were thrilled to see them, and it seems there are not many around this year.

The Pink Everlastings Daisies, so famous in the West, did not get rain in June, so there are very few of them around.   However, on a drive from Northampton to Geraldton we spotted two or three lots of them.   How blessed we were, as they are not mentioned on the Tourist advisory sheets, put out weekly.  We were able to advise the Tourist office in Geraldton where the Pink Everlastings were.  Now everybody else may go and enjoy them too.

At Mullewa we drove to Coal Seam National Park and it was delightful.  On one side of the river is a long reddish gorge wall, towering above the plain.    There is a wide, shallow river, which can get quite deep, but on the other side is a beautiful meadow of flowers.  I was in flower heaven.     The meadow was covered mostly with common yellow weeds with black centres and the Yellow and gold Everlastings were interspersed with the weeds, but they all blended into one very pretty meadow.  It was a large meadow, flowers as far as we could see.   Walking by the river was beautiful.  Bright green flowered meadows also lay on the other side of the river in front of the gorge wall. 

Here are the common and botanical names of some of the orchids and wildflowers we photographed, which you can see in the photos below.  Graeme and I photographed many using a technique called focus stacking which allows you to merge several photos taken at a range of focus points into one composite photo so that all the important parts are in focus at the same time.

Australian Native Mountain Bell Wildflower Darwinia Meeboldii

Queen of Sheba orchid - Thelymitra speciosa

Dryandra Formosa – Protoeaceae family

Stark white spider orchid Caladenia longicorda Subsp. eminens

Bird Orchid - Pterostylis barbata

Jug orchid - Pterostylis recurva

King Spider Orchid Caladenia pectinata

Reaching spider orchid - Caladenia arrecta

Stumpy Spider Orchid - Caladenia ensata

You may view some of the stories of our trip in this page of our blog .

2013 WA Wildflowers and Orchids

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