Sunday, 10 August 2014

20 Minutes Out (Whistlepipe Gully)

Family friends are disappearing off to Germany for a sabbatical and so last weekend they dragged us on a bushwalk to Whistlepipe gully. Located this side of the hills, barely 20 minutes out of Perth, Mundy Regional Park/Whistlepipe Gully with the requisite water course for J (the 9 year old), rocks to ramble over for those who eschew the beaten track, and native flowers for the photographers.

Despite the reaction of the garden to this beautiful weather, we naturally assumed that the native flowers would not yet be out. So imagine our delight to be able to point out a collection to rival those in Mum's back yard.
Thankful that I had brought my camera, I quickly trailed behind the others (including J who was in search of water and a lunch spot), but was glad to catch the quirkiness of the native flowers in the sunshine.

Crawling up an embankment to photograph a pseudo Scottish thistle (this one not a Dryandra I'm told)...

... and the view back down the valley...

I stumbled upon an outcrop of Donkey Orchids which I think sent a cry of delight though our group and directed our eyes towards finding more for the duration of the day. 

While this spot had the water J was after, it  was scarcely two minutes from the car, and so did not qualify as a suitable lunch spot. 

Following the gully upstream we often had the roar of a waterfall or gurgle of the stream, or on one particular occasion the joy of being five billy goats gruff tramping over the bridge of a J troll ready to hurl mud pies at each and every one of us. 

Wandering off the beaten track and away from the onslaught of waves of dogs, we discovered more wonders, many of which I was visually familiar with, even if I had no clue as to the plant's name or family.
Often, the raw and striking beauty and sharp colour, a flash in an otherwise dusky landscape, were enough to catch my interest.

Something that almost looks like an edelwiess orchid with every petal covered in a downy white fur.

Something cool and alien-like

More donkey orchids though these looked bigger and slightly different from the ones we had encountered earlier.

A kangaroo paw (or relative) illuminated in the sunlight.

A colour combination I always refer to as Eggs & Bacon, but possibly a different plant. 

A Hovea (known simply because Mum kept pointing it out)

Something delicate

As is typical of the Australian bush, there were fallen trees and branches throughout the scrub, some big, some small, some beautifully decorated by nature, the presence of termites being the only thing keeping us from contemplating carrying it home.

In other places the scars of an old forest fire still remained. 

A sea of green and gold the spiky wattle carpeting a small corner of the valley.

A miniature world on the side of logs, along the length of cracks, or dipping down the side of granite boulders.

Looking down onto the Perth plain with the city in the distance.

I forget we have such beautiful places on out doorstep. 

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