Tuesday, 9 October 2007

A desert beauty

From our base in Geraldton on the coast of Western Australia we headed east, to look for rugged landscapes and swathes of paper daisies and other wildflowers. We drove east all day, stopping at Ellendale Pool and Coalseam Park and stopping to look at anything that caught our eye in between.

Driving is not the ideal way to look at wildflowers - even at slow speed it's easy to miss even the big colourful plants when your head is turned to one side - but it does allow you to travel big distances when you have limited time. There are always discussions as to whether it's worth turning back to check out something glimpsed. We had a great day and saw some fantastic country and wildflowers.

But then, the icing on the cake! In a tourist brochure I had read that it might be worth asking at the Canna Store for information about wildflowers in the area. It was late in the day and we were only about 20 km from Canna. We decided to give it a go because I really wanted to see the famous Wreath Flower Lechenaultia macrantha and this was really our only chance. As we pulled up in front of the little store I thought we were going to be disappointed because it was shut. But then we noticed the little blackboard and checked it out – directions to campsites, wildflower sites and, most importantly, the Wreath Flower. How friendly is that?

Canna Store

It was even later in the day, and the sun was just above the horizon. We followed the directions, driving slowly along Evaside Road north of Morawa looking left and right. Then I spotted the first plant and Phil spotted the markers some previous tourist had put on the side of the road, and I was out of the car before it came to a stop really.

Lechenaultia macrantha

Lechenaultia macrantha

Lechenaultia macrantha

There were about 50 plants in full flower growing between the road and the railway line. Why would such a lovely plant choose such an inhospitable place to grow? I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the lechenaultias, the colours of the environment, the effects of the late afternoon light. I took as many photos as I could before the light faded.

Then we turned west and drove over 200 km back to Geraldton in the dark. I wonder how many great plants and vistas I missed.


Duncan said...

Absolutely beautiful Boobook, when we were there we almost missed the wreath flowering, only got pictures of the last few flowers. I'm green with envy.

Duncan said...

By the way, welcome back!

Lynette said...

What wonderful photos - to visit Western Australia in wildflower season is a great dream of mine.