Into the Boranup Forest with Mim and Em
Mim points at some birds that are being very noisy in the upper canopy of the forest. A bird of prey, probably a Brown Goshawk, is getting too close to a magpie nest. Some wattlebirds join in the chase. This is a life-or-death story for the baby magpies! There is always something going on in the forest if you pay attention.
We look down and find some pink fairy orchids. This is quite a large one near to Mim’s shoes. We are careful not to tread on the basal leaves around this orchid. Did you know that orchid plants don’t flower every year? Sometimes they only have enough energy to send up a leaf - they make energy in this leaf (those of you who are older will know that they make energy through photosynthesis) and store it up in their little roots until they have enough to make a flower. Maybe some of these basal leaves will have enough energy to make flowers next year.
Em has found a pink fairy orchid that isn’t pink, it’s white! You’d think that this would be called a white fairy orchid, but there is another type of orchid that already has that name. This is a Caladenia latifolia, not a Caladenia marginata. So maybe we can call this a white pink fairy? Names can be very confusing sometimes.
Miriam Wei Wei Lo juggles her writing life with a wild array of other jobs including parenting, piano teaching, domestic chores and curriculum development for Sheridan College. She loves the poetry of the Margaret River landscape and hunting for orchids in spring time with Em.
Emily-Rose Lochore is a student at Margaret River Senior High School. She loves reading, writing, drawing, playing the clarinet and going for walks in spring to look for wildflowers (especially orchids).