Wandering in Wongermine Reserve


OK that maybe a little bit melodramatic, but there was no doubt that getting out and about after a few weeks of lockdown was a bit of a rush! So where did I go? What did I do with this new found liberty? Well I went to Wongamine Reserve near Toodyay to look for two types of orchid and do the walk trail. Pretty sad eh?


The main entrance to Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.




The reserve isn’t really visited any more the gates are locked and many of the signs broken or over grown. In fact speaking of overgrown the walk trail is so overgrown in places that I  suggest that if you do want to visit and walk there that you take a GPS and download the walk track from Trails WA and follow that.

The reserve was closed a while ago and many of the trails and signs have fallen into a state of disrepair. Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.


Some of the vehicle tracks have not been used for a long time allowing termites to build mounds on them. Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.


This was one of only two trail markesr on the walk trail. Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.


Was there anything positive about the visit? Well yes there was actually. The woodland is home to quite a variety of bird life – I didn’t photograph any as I was not carrying a suitable lens as I had gone to photograph orchids. I would expect from walking through the bush that would be quite a display of wildflowers in spring which would make the journey well worth while. There were quite a few species of dragonflies as well which at the time surprised me for some reason.


Wongamine Nature Reserve by Paul Amyes on 500px.com
Australian Emperor Dragonfly (Anax papuensis) Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.


Did I find the orchids? Well the Winter Spider Orchid is only 6cm tall with a 2cm flower and the Crinkle-leafed Bunny Orchid is 10cm tall with a 9mm flower  and considering that the reserve is 330 ha of bushland I think I did well to find anything at all. I didn’t find any Winter Spider Orchids, I have photographed them before at Babakin, but I found lots of the Bunny Orchids. In fact I never seen so many Crinkle-leafed Bunny Orchids before. So all in all it was a great day out.


Wongamine Nature Reserve by Paul Amyes on 500px.com
Crinkle-leafed Bunny Orchid, Eriochilus dilatatus subsp undulatus. Wongamine Nature Reserve, Toodyay, Western Australia.


Small, but…

… beautifully formed.


Hare Orchid
Hare Orchid, also known as the Fringed Hare Orchid, (leporella fimbriata), Bickley, Western Australia. Olympus OMD EM-10 with Olympus Zuiko m4/3 60mm f2.8 macro lens. 1/20th sec, f4.5 at ISO 200.


The hare orchid was about 7mm  or 028 of an inch wide. Now I’ve looked for this species before but it is quite difficult to find amongst the debris of the forest floor and its colour makes it blend in with the background. I had decided to visit a friend and near where he lives is a patch of scrub between two roads that is home to this species. I thought I would n’t find anything as the I hadn’t had any luck in finding one in the previous two years and I only had an hour to search the area. After 20 minutes of bush bashing, no paths, I found something quite unexpected. A colony of crinkle leafed bunny orchids.


Crinkle-leafed Bunny Orchid
Crinkle-leafed Bunny Orchid (Eriochilus dilatatus), Bickley, Western Australia. Olympus EM-10, OLYMPUS M.60mm F2.8 Macro lens. Metz 44-AF1flash. Exposure 1/180 s at f/4.0 ISO 200 in manual mode.


So quite delighted with the find I get down at plant level with my camera and snap off a dozen or so shots trying different apertures and flash combinations. Mindful of the time I rolled over to put my stuff back in my bag where there in front of me was the hare orchid literally under my nose.


It certainly does.