The orchid hunting continues as I travel east along the southern region of the state though heading into the area around Fitzgerald River national park, it’s hard not to photograph the stunning array of other plants.
But of course orchids still abound, like this beauty I found on the side of the road south of Jerramungup, just a random stop to search the bush on the edge of the road, I was about to leave when I decided to check the area in front of the car and there she was.
A lovely hybrid cross of a fringed mantis orchid with…….? something else. Who knows, it wasn’t obvious from the other orchids in the area as there were very few, other than fringed mantis. Hybrids hybrids, hybrids, here’s another one, just a little passed it’s prime but still rather nice, the bent spider orchid, a cross between a lazy spider and a Joseph’s spider.
This is another hybrid spider, a cross between a dragon orchid and I’m not sure what, possibly a Joseph’s spider as they were in the area.
So many hybrid orchids out there, it’s amazing the variety you find and it makes identification so hard when you aren’t an expert.
A tinged spider orchid is a cross between a pink candy orchid and a white orchid of some kind, in this case an Esperance white spider . This next one is another named hybrid called the Wheatbelt spider orchid.
Above you can see one parent, the green spider aka fringed mantis Caladenia falcata, with 2 of it’s offspring wheatbelt spiders. These would be a cross with the Esperance white spider you can see in a couple of photos below as the “diva”. This is where identifying them gets so difficult because technically, I believe that the following 2 images are both wheatbelt spiders, yet they look very different.
That’s why I often can’t be bothered trying to identify each and every orchid I post on here, there’s only so many hours in a day and I’ve been hunting orchids for over 6 weeks full time now. This often means up at 5.00, out in the bush for 10-12 hours, then back to sort and download images, finishing late at night, then off to bed before staring all over again, 7 days a week. Why am I trying to make it sound like a chore? 🙂
No hybrids in this photo, just a photo that I liked with the two different orchids and a big spider sitting on the labellum of the Esperance white spider. When I’m taking photos I’m always looking for angles, imagining a scene, seeing something from a different angle like the scene above from a different location.
She’s a diva with her elegant flowing white sepals, the fringed mantis straining to get close, then a change in focus, putting the diva out of reach, out of focus, gives it a feel almost like an oil painting.
And to complete the scene, the rest of the crowd.
Too much time wandering out in the bush I think. This next on is a shirt orchid, Thelymitra campanulata, catchy name, pretty orchid.
And now for something completely different. This is a coral lichen, an amazing thing I found growing in clumps on the ground around Jerramungup.
Grows in a crazy three dimensional lace network in a form or shape very similar to coral.
Caladenia radialis or drooping spider orchid is probably what this one is.
I set out with the intention that this post would be a few orchids, then lots of other plants I’ve photographed along the way. It’s ended up being all orchids and one lichen, oh well, perhaps the next post, there are so many photos.
And now to end with something special, I found a spot on the side of the road where I discovered a lutea Fringed mantis, or Green spider orchid, Caladenia falcata.
A couple of hundred metres down the road I was shocked to find a second one, whats the chance of finding two in one day as I’d seen thousands of this orchid in it’s normal form yet only just found my first lutea version, and now there’s two in the one day.
While photographing this orchid I looked up to see a third one near by.
What the hell, 3 in one day, a triple, a trifecta, what are the chances? Hang on, there’s another one.
I’d better look around this immediate area, ok, there’s another…
In the end I found 9 in one day, with 8 of them being in an area of perhaps only 10 or 12 square metres. This is the second time I’ve found a lutea orchid that seems grouped together in large numbers, I can only guess that the genetic mutation which causes it gets passed on via seed. I’ve asked whether this is the case a few times with different people but no one seems to know. Undoubtedly, if you ever find a lutea orchid you should look around for more nearby, you never know your luck.