Shell Shocked

Pink Everlastings by Paul Amyes on
Found in abundance across Western Australia in spring are pink everlastings (Helipterum roseum). In many places they can form thick carpets of vibrant colour. York, Western Australia. Canon EOS6d with Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro IS L lens. Exposure: 1/250th sec, f8, ISO 100.


I’ve written about going to York Golf Course to photograph flowers, particularly orchids, before  and today I’m going to do so again. This time was a little different. Firstly I was looking for pink everlasting daisies (Helipterum roseum) and secondly I went on a Saturday just after lunch instead of early on a weekday morning. It was a bad idea – a very bad idea. It was like something out of the movie Saving Private Ryan. The golf course was full. Here in the Wheatbelt when we say something was overcrowded it means there were three people, so to see roughly thirty people in one place was sensory over load – where had they all come from? To cap it all it was just after lunch the club bar been open and it seemed like everyone had been imbibing freely. Up to this point I thought it was the done thing to shout “Four” upon teeing off. Well at the York Club the word began with F and had four letters but it certainly wasn’t “Four” It was reminiscent of the opening scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral.


It went something like this. “Swish” went the sound of the club as the golfer made his swing, followed by a sharp “thwack”, followed almost immediately by a loud “F**k” as the ball was sliced into the rough. Unfortunately I was, along with the pink everlastings, in the rough. The late Spike Milligan once described an artillery barrage as being like Chinese water torture except with solids in his autobiography “Rommel?” “Gunner Who?”. Well the balls didn’t explode on impact, but they certainly had the effect of making me hit the deck and take cover. The only time I’ve moved faster was when the Rugby club president declared an open bar (my excuse being that I was an impoverished student at the time). After thirty minutes of cowering in the dirt wishing there was an air raid shelter nearby I decided to call it quits and I beat a hasty retreat back to the safety of the car. I did manage to get the two pictures of Everlastings shown on this page.


Pink Everlastings by Paul Amyes on
Pink everlastings (Helipterum roseum). In many places they can form thick carpets of vibrant colour. York, Western Australia. Canon EOS6d with a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro IS L lens. Exposure: 1/60 th sec, f16, ISO 100.

As I made my tactical withdrawal I hit the cover of some bushes where I found a small clump of green spider orchids (aka Fringed Mantis Orchid, Caladenia falcata) so I quickly stopped to grab a couple of photos.



Encircled by Paul Amyes on
Fringed Mantis Orchid or Green Spider Orchid, Caladenia falcata, York Golf Course, York, Western Australia. Canon EOS6d with EF 100mm f2.8 IS L macro lens. Exposure: 1/160 sec, f8, ISO 100.

All I can say is was a very traumatic experience. Every time I hear someone hitting a ball I develop a nervous twitch.


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Mark Twain Was Right

Pterostylis sanguinea by Paul Amyes on
Dark Banded Greenhood Orchid. York Golf Course.Western Australia. Olympus OMD EM10, Olympus m.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 macro lens, Metz 15 MS-1 ring flash. Exposure: 1/13th sec, f8, ISO 200.


 “A good walk spoiled.”

Mark Twain

I’ve been hanging around the York Golf Course. Not to play golf you understand – I’ve never understood the compulsion to dress up in silly sweaters and shoes and drag a bunch of sticks in a cart around a large field while trying intermittently to knock a ball into a hole. No the reason why I’ve taken to loitering at the York Golf Course is that is home to a significant number and variety of wildflowers. Not on the fairways off course – they are barren bits of grass with the occasional large hole filled with sand. No the interesting stuff lies in the rough between the fairways. It’s not without its hazards mind you. Those people in their funny clothes reckon they can hit a ball straight down the fairway to the flag in the hole – well most of ’em can’t, they slice the shot and the balls land like a barrage of misplaced shells in an American artillery strike. The ground is littered with balls in among the bushes. I thought the rules state that you have to play the ball from where it landed, well the number of “lost” balls in the rough at York plainly shows that this is not happening. It’s so bad that next time I visit I’m seriously contemplating wearing a helmet. You can never be too careful.