Last weekend, I visited some gold mines in the Adelaide Hills. I was at a recreation park, and many visitors were there with pick and shovel, and a few even had fancy detectors. Most did not appear to be very successful in finding gold, which is not surprising considering the site has had thousands of visitors over many years since the mines were closed.
Was I successful?
Well I didn’t find any gold, nor looked for any gold, but I did find some gems. Yes, those wonderful little orchids are up and flowering already, although not many. I found some Corunastylis sp. also known as the midge orchid. These plants are so, so tiny, with the whole plant standing under ten centimetres or three inches, The flowers can’t really be appreciated unless seen under a microscope, or in a picture. Unfortunately my camera has been struggling a bit with focusing (and they are too small for my phone camera), so sorry for things being slightly blurry.
At another site I saw some Eriochilus cucullatus, Parson’s band. Unfortunately they were not flowering at the time. Again these plants are still very small, and it can make it very hard to find them. They have a small white flower.
It wasn’t until I reached home that I realized I had photographed three plants at once (there are three in the picture!). In this species the leaves do not emerge until after the flowers.