Wildflowers and Reptiles

Last week, Lucy and I aimed to go on a bushwalk in heathland to do some wildflower photography (along with some hopes of seeing some reptiles!). We found a fire trail in the Royal National Park which was situated just before the Little Marley bush track and went through the same kind of heathland as Little Marley and also heads towards the coast. It seems this fire trail links up with Little Marley. As we started the bush walk, it became evident that it was perfect timing for wildflowers and also perfect weather for reptiles!

These are some of the heathland wildflowers we encountered:

Boronia serrulata | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Boronia serrulata | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Gompholobium grandiflorum | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Gompholobium grandiflorum | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Epacris coriacea | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Epacris coriacea | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Pyllota ericoides | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Pyllota ericoides | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Heath form of the Broad-Leaved Geebung (Persoonia levis) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Heath form of the Broad-Leaved Geebung (Persoonia levis) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Wedding Bush (Ricinocarpos pinifolius) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Wedding Bush (Ricinocarpos pinifolius) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

 

After spending some time enjoying the variety of wildflowers that were in bloom, we noticed the temperature was rising and the day was getting increasing hot. This is where we started seeing reptiles appearing. We saw a few large coppertail skinks (Ctenotus taeniolatus), two mountain dragons (Rankinia daeminensis) and two Whites skink (Liopholis whitii). With some quick reactions and skill, we managed to catch a Whites skink and a mountain dragon (which are both incredibly fast!). This was unfortunately the only way we could photograph them, as we didn’t have the long lens and every time we got close, they always ran away.

 

Whites Skink (Liopholis whitti) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Whites Skink (Liopholis whitti) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Mountain Dragon (Rankinia diemensis) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

Mountain Dragon (Rankinia diemensis) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

 

After the excitement of catching two lizard species, we decided to head home. Yet on the way home, with keen eyes we still found some interesting plants!  The first being an sun orchid in the Thelymitra genus (I am unsure which species, I will have to go back to see if I can get a shot of the column in the  middle of the flower to properly ID) and also the NSW floral emblem: the Warath (Telopea speciosissima). They were literally on the side of the road on the drive home through the Royal National Park. Unfortunately someone seems to have recently collected the road side Waratah which is very disappointing.

 

Sun Orchid (Thelymitra sp.) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

Sun Orchid (Thelymitra sp.) | Copyright Chad Beranek (2014)

The floral emblem of NSW, the Waratah (Telopea speciosissma) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

The floral emblem of NSW, the Waratah (Telopea speciosissima) | Copyright Lucy Kidson (2014)

 

In the past, Lucy had always considered heathlands boring, but after this adventure she respect the heathland a lot more!