These king-in-a-carriage orchids reminded me of a pair of dancing Brolgas. Ok bird experts, perhaps not brolgas, though the photo certainly has an “Awwww” feel about it. This post is a pictorial of hammer and duck orchids, some were found in the Stirling Ranges while most came from a secret little location south of Mount Barker.
Northcliffe is a small town in the south west of W.A. near Pemberton. The population of Northcliffe is officially less than 500 people and it’s known for it’s farming as well as forestry and more recently in February of 2015 it became better known after one of Western Australia’s worst bush fires ravaged the area.
The Stirling ranges were the next hot spot on my list for wildflowers. Unfortunately the Stirling Ranges are only about 150km from the Fitzgerald river so there are a lot of the same plants in both areas, but the Stirlings have a third dimension which makes all the difference, height. The tallest peak in the park is Bluff Knoll and at 1099m high it’s the second highest mountain in W.A. and the only place that has regular snow in Western Australia.
You might be thinking it’s a strange picture to start a post about the Fitzgerald River National park, especially when I’ve been doing a wildflower tour around the south west of the state. After all the park is touted as having the most diverse collection of flora to be found within any park in Australia, it has 20 percent of Western Australia plant diversity within it’s boundaries and many plants are only found within the park.
Pea flowers are found through out Western Australia and in a vast array of sizes and colours with some of the more common colours being red, yellow and orange and mixes of these. I’ve neglected them a little with my photographs, well there are two things I’ve neglected, pea flowers and acacias or wattles.
Perenjori is a pretty hot, dry and desolate place, well at least I think it is anyway, it’s 350 km north of Perth on the edge of the wheat-belt area of Western Australia. Any further northeast just isn’t viable for cropping of any kind and it’s easy to know that it’s the edge of the grain growing regions because of this…
Mullewa is about 100km inland from Geraldton and right on the boundary of the wheatbelt and the expansive rangelands. You’ll notice as you leave Mullewa heading north or east there are road signs about road conditions, now you’re heading out into the real outback. I drove from Geraldton in a loop passing by the Mumbida wind farm, dropping in at the Ellendale pools, passing through the Coalseam conservation park then up through Mullewa before returning to Geraldton.
I spent a total of 3 days in Kalbarri and I think for this time of year that was probably enough time for me, things were starting to warm up and the flies were incredibly annoying. I’d left the caravan in Geraldon and was staying in a hotel and as my luck would have it, a couple with a young child moved into the room next to mine just after I arrived. All those empty rooms available and they put the screaming baby right next door to me, and there was a door joining our rooms so the sound just seemed to travel straight through.