Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Knight's Hill - a view to live for.

Instead of the platitudinal phrase: "a view to die for" why do we not use the positive sounding "A view to live for"?

This is certainly appropriate for a friend's property at Knight's Hill, overlooking the Illawarra coastal plain, all the way to Wollongong. Lake Illawarra is in the centre of the photo, just this side of the Ocean. The hills behind Wollongong are visible on the left. They are the main hills of the Illawarra Escarpment, of which Knight's Hill is the southern limit.

I am advised that, at night, one can see the lights of planes taking off from Mascot Airport, at Sydney, from this property. That would be approximately 90 Kms away.
There is, just below the cliff edge, a large plant of the Rock Orchid (Rock Lily) (Dendrobium speciosum). I need to go back and check this plant, for it might be the recently described Illawarra Rock Orchid - which (apparently) has paler flowers than the Sydney plant, and a slightly different flower structure.In case you did not see the Orchid flowers, (they are there in the photo above - go back and have another look), here they are (severely cropped).

I am sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but I was suffering a severe case of vertigo when taking this image, so I did not hang around the cliff edge too long. I had to go back from the edge, and sit down.

Here is another vertigo-inducing photo location - taken from the rock edge. In the green paddock below the hill is the next power stanchion - possibly a kilometre away. It is a mighty span of cable, below this point.
Here is another rock-loving Orchid - the tiny Dockrillia striolatum (formerly Dendrobium striolatum). It is growing in tiny crevices in a large rock, right on the edge of this massive sandstone rock which is the very top of the abrupt cliff face. And here is a specimen flower - just to prove that it is really an Orchid that I was showing you.
And here is a more normal form of Orchid - for this blog - a Ground Orchid. This one is the familiar Tiger Orchid, also known as a Donkey Orchid. It is one of a complex group of the Diuris family. As far as I can work out, this is Diuris suphurea. It is the first one I have seen this season - but I heard of one flowering at Burrawang, (close to Robertson), ten days ago.

1 comment:

Gaye from the Hunter said...

ahh, Denis, we nature observers are crazy creatures - that cliff edge looks like scary stuff :)

I also saw my first donkey orchids of the season recently. Diuris suphurea is the only one I have identified in the Hunter Valley yet.

I have also seen magnificent blooming rock orchids, Dendrobium speciosum, high in the canopy of rainforest trees recently - huge plants !! The roots that hold onto the substrate must be amazingly strong.

I always look forward to hearing about your adventures in the bush and sharing in your finds.