Further up the hill from the spot where the Petalochilus hillmanii are growing (on Cambewarra Range) I had found leaves of what were likely to be Bird Orchids. I have not reported these, as there has been no previous record of this species here. One was budding, so I figured I ought wait till it flowered, to get a positive ID.
Well, yesterday, I took Alan up that ridge to show him what I had found so far, up there. I mean, in addition to the Tall Leek Orchids I have reported on from this spot.
We pulled off the road and straight away I found my path blocked by this magnificent specimen of a Blue-tongued Lizard. It clearly felt little urge to move out of my way. It was soaking up the warmth from the hard, hot soil.
|Blue-tongue Lizard soaking up the warmth|
This is the close-up of this Lizard. Uncharacteristically it made no attempt to hiss at me, nor to attempt to scare me with its spectacular blue tongue. I was actually hope it would do that, as the light was perfect for photography..
|This Blue-tongue just tried to out-stare me.|
Anyway, we eventually persuaded the Blue-tongue to scurry off the road, to safety. Then we went looking for the Bird Orchids.
After showing Alan the leaves of known plants of that species, we then browsed for other possible plants. This strategy was rewarded with one plant in flower, and another advanced bud. This allowed us to make a positive ID of that species. Illawarra Bird Orchid - Simpliglottis chlorantha
These plants are "within range" and they do like to grow at this altitude. But they have not been reported from this locality before. They have been reported from the Budderoo Plateau (to the north) and from the Budawangs (to the south). So it is nice to be able to "fill in the gaps" in the range of this species of Orchid.
|Illawarra Bird Orchid - Simpliglottis chlorantha|
Here is another shot of the entire plant.
|Two leaves and the open flower of Illawarra Bird Orchid.|
So, yet another Orchid species for the list from this extraordinary locality.