Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lesser Wanderer Butterfly and a Pointed Greenhood

This is a Lesser Wanderer Butterfly. Danaus petilia (was D. chrysippus petilia) I have seen a few of these Butterflies this year, but not many. This one sat placidly on a stem of Kangaroo Grass, beside a small creek, beside Tourist Road, in Kangaloon.
Lesser Wanderer Butterfly
Here it is sitting on a rock shelf, beside the creek.

Here is the Pointed Greenhood (Pterostylis acuminata). This yet another case of an Orchid which is not supposed to be here. It is meant to be a coastal plant, found at lower altitude. This is on the sandstone plateau, on Tourist Road, Kangaloon, at an altitude of 625 metres (thanks Google Earth). Alan Stephenson has confirmed my tentative ID for this plant. Normally it has fawn tinge to the front of the hood. But the gaping sinus and the pointed labellum are diagnostic.
Pterostylis acuminata - note the bulging "sinus"
 Here is another plant, taken two days earlier.
Click to enlarge
Note the pointed labellum
That is the source of the name "acuminata"
Pointed Greenhood - Pterostylis acuminata
My thumb was intended as height gauge. I have placed my fingers to the ground, and stuck my thumb out horizontally. In that position, it is just touching the hood of the flower. That makes the flower 20 cm tall.

Here is the labellum and the sinus, seen from close up, and low down.
Pointed Greenhood - Pterostylis acuminata
The Greenhoods and the Butterfly were about 50 metres apart - hence I have published them together. Some more of the "natural jewels" of Tourist Road, Kangaloon.


Lyndell said...

Thank you for these gorgeous photos. There is something about Greenhoods that just makes my heart sing.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Lyndell
Well there is lots to like about Greenhoods - and Butterflies.
One lot is subtle and graceful, the other lot showy and bright.
Glad you enjoy them
Not sure where you are, but my autumn season of Greenhoods is just starting.
Plenty to look out for from now till spring.

mick said...

Two beautiful things and you say both somewhere near a road. I have to go right away from roads and into the bush to find anything like that.

Denis Wilson said...

We have this road, called "Tourist Road" which runs beside the Catchment lands for about 10 Km. Entry to the Catchment is banned (penalty $10,000) but the road side verge is slashed for about 50 metres wide, for 10 Km length. The restricted access "Special Area" starts beyond that. So there is plenty of area to explore.
Great Orchid habitat, except when they slash at the wrong time of year, and behead the budding Orchids, or cut off the recently pollinated seed pods.
Apart from that it is great habitat, and easily accessed.
People wonder why I am walking along slowly, or lying on the ground. Someone once thought I was having a heart attack (which was at least thoughtful of them).
But you would realise I was just taking photos of nearly invisible Orchids.
Most locals know me or know what I am doing at least. Blue 4WD drive, blue terry-towelling hat. Its that guy taking photos again!

Lyndell said...

Agreed - to me butterflies and our native orchids are both rather 'other-worldly' things that make me believe in the possibility of fairy-folk :)

I live in Sydney's inner-west Denis - don't think there are any native ground orchids left round here! Haven't been able to find the time to visit the National Parks etc of late so I really appreciate your blog with all the gorgeous photos.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Lyndell.
All the best Orchids of Sydney were the Rock Orchids, and most found their way into Gardens on the North Shore, unfortunately.
If you ever get out to Mt Annan they will have some Orchids, somewhere. Not really sure where. Always ask the helpful staff. They usually are only to happy to answer a good question.
But maybe that's a bit far for you. Not sure what's in the Sydney Gardens (apart from Flying Foxes).