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.
Taking photographs is one of the ways to keep myself amused while the lock down is still on, although it’s slowly letting up with W.A. opening some of it’s internal travel restrictions. Just outside of the cottage where I’m staying there’s a birdbath that’s proving to be a great joy with a wide variety of birds visiting it through the day.
Obviously social distancing rules don’t apply to everyone, that’s one crowded bath. So how hard is it when your living a “van life” to suddenly be required to lock down and not go anywhere? A large part of life in a van tends to consist of using public spaces and places so to have these taken away puts you in a bit of a pickle.
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.
Getting oh so close to finished now. A quick trip up to Perth as I had a warning light show up on the van which needed seeing too, turned out to be an intermittent fault with the alternator that’s being replaced today. This has given me a good chance to have a bit of a shake down of the van, see how all the living aspects of of the fit out are working or are going to work in real life.