You may be wondering what this is, it’s a flying duck orchid of the Paracaleana genus of orchids which rely on mimicking wasp species for fertilization. The big warty “head” of this duck orchid looks like the female of a wasp species, an unsuspecting male wasp flies down and tries to literally pick up what he believes to be a female, the warty head flicks around swinging him under to the business part of the flower, to pollinate it or collect pollen to spread to the next flower he tries to “pick up”.
Fossicking for anything other than gold within Western Australia is a bit of an oddity, something you rarely hear about, especially in the lower half of the state. In fact I’d passed over the idea of fossicking for rocks and minerals here almost completely, but while visiting friends in Kalbarri we went for a look at some old lead mining areas near by and we found some lovely samples of lead and different forms of copper.
I’ve been tumbling rocks constantly for the last few months since I bought the tumbling kit. After years of collecting rocks while travelling around the country, it’s great to finally be able to see some of them at their best, polished and shining. These ones above were from Tassie along the north coast where there are a couple of fossicking areas, I believe most of them are jasper, though there’s some agate in there and petrified wood as well.
I’m not sure why I’m writing a post about this, perhaps just the feeling that I need to speak out and say something, because I’m not there, not able to physically do something to help in any way. To those who don’t know details, don’t understand what is going on here in Australia at the moment, the country is on fire. The country has been on fire for a while but it’s getting worse a month into Summer and already over 12 million acres have burnt.
I’ve been living in the Sprinter van for 6 months now, some of that time was on a trip north up near Broome, then heading south for the spring wildflowers but much of the time has been spent living around town in the burbs of Perth. Perhaps the longest period I’ve spent living in the one area while in a van, at least the longest period while free camping the whole time. Living in the one area is very different to travelling around, you start to have regular places you go for eating, toilets, showers and sleeping, while if you are travelling around every place is new.
I left Perth of a mission to drive the loop up towards Broome hugging the coastline before returning down the inland route following the wildflowers, a great trip of diversity. Beautiful ocean views, rugged coast lines and pristine beaches followed by wide open inland spaces with endless skies and carpets of colour. It was a good test for the van, over 5000km in just over a month through a wide variety of country.
Looking through a backup drive I found hundreds of old pictures from the past 18 years of my backyard, produce I’ve grown and aquaponic systems that I’ve built, so I thought I’d put the best of them into one post so that I have a reference. The picture above was three different varieties of beefsteak tomatoes from the “crazy tomato year”. I grew about 40 different varieties of tomatoes in the one year.
This is going to be a post filled with plant pictures, it’s been a while since I posted up a selection of plant pictures and they keep building up as I regularly go out and take more pictures. I just spent a whole day out at kings park taking photos even though I have dozens that I need to put up already.
I know, very boring first picture. Things are moving forward with the van build, the electrical side is taking shape with the batteries installed and some of the major wiring done. Strange to think that as I update with this new blog post the van is in having the 240V electrics done while the last time I made a post the van was having some of the 12V electrics installed, and I’m sitting in the same cafe, my blogging cafe.