West Australia (WA) is in a drought and had very little rain last winter. So we have been "fossicking" (Aussie for searching) for flowers. This involves stopping along the roadside and combing the brush along the sides of the roads for something in bloom. Because of the drought, we have seen no large fields of everlastings. These are "ephemeral" flowers blooming only when there is sufficient rain. Then the roadsides are lined with swatches of white and pink flowers. Now we have only saw the red dirt on the roadsides.
But we have found many of the prickly grey Kwongon shrubs in bloom. These are banksias, grevillas and the most familiar plant to US gardeners - the red bottlebrush bush. Yesterday we also looked specifically for orchids. These can be tough to find because they are wispy or camophloged to blend in with the brush. They also grow on the ground much like our native lady slipper orchids. But as we travelled south it has become cooler and wetter - better conditions for orchids. And we have found several yesterday in Cranbrook. We hadn't planned on stopping in this small town on the edge of the stirlings but we saw a large sign for a wildflower show. Of course, we couldn't pass it. The local wildflower club had a nice display especially give then poor wildflower year. We asked where we might see some flowers and they directed us to the local natural area. There was a 1km walk and we spotted 6 orchids on the walk.