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.