They came to the wilderness banks of Pine Creek to camp for awhile, Steve and his wife Lee, and stayed 14 years. Steve built a stone pitched bush house, photographed reptiles and found an interest in orchids. I arrived late one afternoon, long after the hard work, to the peace and quite of a bush sunset.
After a quiet night with only the sounds of the bush, we set out to drive to the top of the range along Jacobsons track. Here Steve stopped on a non recognisable bend in the road, pointed thru the rainforest down the slope, and informed me that we were going to climb down to the creek.
We slid down, rather than climbed, passing on the way clumps of Calanthe triplicata, the white flowered Christmas orchid. The creek was running with cold clear water, around big boulders, almost overhung by the rainforeat trees. In the larger trees, hanging from the larger branches, were huge plants of the spider orchid, Dendrobium tetragonum var giganteum, several in flower.
On the slope into the creek, hanging from small trees under the rainforest canopy, were clumps of Bulbophyllum radicans.
A pendulous growing species, with tiny red flowers, similar to a neighbouring Bulbophyllum aurantiacum.
Small clumps of another tiny red flowered species, Bulbophyllum macphersonii, clung almost like moss to the thin understory tree trunks.
Out in the open canopy high in the larger trees along the bank were a few plants of Dendrobium ruppianum.
It was the presence of the Dendrobium ruppianum and Dendrobium tetragonum var giganteum that had
bought Steve back and me to visit. On a rock face, out of reach of the creek in flood time, Steve had photographed a flowering Dendrobium, a plant that had to be a natural hybrid between the 2 species growing naturally in this isolated rainforest creek.
We took photographs and left footprints, a memorable rainforest mountain creek. Now Steve and Lee are back in civilisation, two kids in need of schools and education. Still the interest in orchids, combined with computers, enabling this story to be read and the photographs to be seen.
Thanks Steve, at www.orchidsonline, great memories and a great way to keep them.
Photos from top D. ruppianum x tetragonum giganteum natural hybrid. Next Bulbophyllum aurantiacum, then Waterview Creek, Jacobson's Track, lastly Dendrobium gracilicaule insitu. Photos Steve Wells.
Check list of orchids found at this location;
- Bulbophyllum aurantiacum, Bulbophyllum macphersonii, Bulbophyllum newportii, Bulbophyllum radicans.
- Calanthe triplicata.
- Dendrobium adae, Dendrobium gracilicaule, Dendrobium lichenastrum var lichenastrum, Dendrobium linguaforme var nugenteae, Dendrobium racemosum, Dendrobium speciosum, Dendrobium teretifolium, Dendrobium tetragonum var giganteum.
- Plectorrhiza brevilabris.
- Pterostylis hildeae.