Monday, 24 September 2012

Flowers natural and unnatural.

Frances had a couple of things to do in Canberra this morning so I took myself to Black Mountain Nature Reserve to see if I could find a few orchids.  Here is the basic habitat of Black Mountain.
Where there any orchids?  I am here to tell you, the place was carpetted with orchids.  Those I encountered (I was going to say "dug up" but that might lead to questions being asked.  They'd be answered firmly "NO.", but I'd rather not have people get excited unnecessarily.) were all common species, but if you don't get enjoyment from looking at them I suggest you abandon the struggle.

The commonest species - undoubtedly in 1000s - were Petalochilus fuscatus.  The colour seemed to vary from nearly white to pink washed.  (With the whitest ones I tried hard to convert them to Stegostyla cucullata, but cannot find any with sufficiently curved dorsal sepals nor enough pink on the labellum.)

I found one plant I was pretty certain was P. carneus.
Quite a few (10's) Cyanicula caerulens were still in flower.
Again 10s of Glossodia major were beginning to appear.
I also took this snap of sun on the 'dew' of a Drosera sp.
A female Gang-gang Cockatoo imitated a rusty gate hinge above me - as did her mate, but I couldn't spot him.
I then met up with Frances and we moved into the mainly unnatural world of Floriade, a garden show which attracts folk in hordes to look at beds of garden flowers.  As with everything run on business grounds (who mentioned the National Folk Festival?) the event is heading towards the point at which the concessions are occupying more turf than the actual attraction.  As well as increasing numbers of stalls etc, it seemed to us that there was a lot more lawn visible this year than in the past.  Here are some images of the beds:

The last image shows a rather wilder side of the event: I am unsure if the daffs on the island are leftovers from past beds or if they have escaped over the past 20+ years.  My final plant photograph is of a magnolia, surely a delight to those in Switzerland who will now have to struggle through Winter without these beauties.
I would like to say the bird of Floriade is the Black Swan, but they all seemed top be outside the event, munching on the grass.  Still beautiful birds.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Any sign of Donkey Orchids and Spider Orchids?

Flabmeister said...

Not a one. I was ever hopeful of some spiders, but I didn't get to the place I regard as most promising. The Diuris seen to be a bit hard to locate this year: perhaps the cold Winter has delayed them?

I have checked back to last year and D pardina was first seen on this date, while D sulphurea was about a month later. We get very few D chryseopsis here.