Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bird Orchids again

Colin and Mischa came out to the sandstone plateau country of the Budderoo to see the Bird Orchids. According to their sharp eyes, it seems there are many Orchids which should be able to be found there at other seasons - Thelymitra (Sun Orchids), Speculantha (Tiny Greenhoods) and Corunastylis (Midge Orchids).
There were not many Bird Orchids in flower. However, it was great to see areas where the ground was carpeted in leaves.
While some flowers are fully open, many buds were in evidence.
This Bird Orchid is fully open, and the pollinia (pollen grains) had been dislodged by an insect attempting to mate with the flower, in the course of pollinating it. You can see the relatively large golden pollinia lying on the labellum.
We left the Budderoo and went across to Macquarie Pass to see the Pterostylis hildae, which is new to them. Straight away, they settled in to photographing these plants, from all angles. The two lightened "rings" in the image indicate the location of Greenhoods they were each photographing. By contrast, I have to lie down on the ground and get within 4 inches of the flower to capture decent images. Different technologies for different people.
This shot indicates one of the drawbacks of my approach - a leech firmly planted on a wet leaf, is sniffing the air, working out where its prey (me) is.
I put my finger down in front of the leech, and it latched on straight away. I had expected that it would "loop" its way up along my finger. But it did not. I did a bit of a panic, and sought help from Colin to get it off me (because I had my camera in my other hand), before it had time to cut its way into my finger, and inject its anti-coagulant juices. Fortunately, we were fast enough to have avoided it cutting into me.Colin, who claims to have a magnetic force field to attract leeches, then checked his ankles, and had to remove at least one leech. Mischa did the same a little while later.


Beth said...

Thank-you Denis for sharing your expeditions with us. I love to see what is flowering around the place and to hear of your exciting encounters.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Beth
Its good to have loyal readers, like you and Lynn, from the local area, as well as other Nature Bloggers from further afield.

Duncan said...

What a great time you're having with the orchids Denis, they take a bit of beating don't they. I'm looking forward to when I can get out looking again, maybe in a weeks time, the helmets are flowering.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Duncan
I think I have caught your "Lurgie".
Hope you are back and out again soon, Helmets sound good. I only get the small autumn flowered C. acontiflorus up here. But down on the coast they get the winter/spring flowering species. Great flowers. They always make me laugh. So comical.

David said...

Hi Denis,
Sorry to be away for so long, though I am slowly getting back into it.
Glad to see you survived the leech attack!
Not too many down here...
Very nice captures as always :)


Mosura said...

LOL - You stuck your finger in front of a leach. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time :-) I'm no better! I remember allowing a bee to sting the back of my hand just to prove that they always rotate in an anticlockwise direction in order to rip the sting from their abdomen.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi David and Mosura
Thanks for comments.
Allan, I guess the reason we are "nature bloggers", not "scientists" is that we use ourselves as guinea pigs (and David can make the same claim) whereas "scientists" would have research assistants who would be "volunteered" for being stung, or "Blood-suckered".
You've gotta laugh.
Nice to share silly obsessions and curiosity with fellow sufferers, though.