Stirling Range Drive
Friday 13 October 2006
south-west Western Australia

"The jagged peaks of the Stirling Range stretch for 65 kilometres fron east to west...

"Stirling Range National Park is one of the world's most important areas for flora, with more than 1500 species packed within its boundaries. More plant species occur in the Stirling Range than in the entire British Isles and 87 plant species found in the Stirling Range occur nowhere else on earth."

"Stirling Range National Park," Landscope,
Volume 20 Number 4, Winter 2005, pp 52-3.

We wanted to travel north to Williams, to attend a biodynamic agriculture field day on Saturday 14th.

Resolving to come back to the Stirling Range Retreat to enjoy their orchid and bird walks, etc, we travelled through the National Park about 40km westward, before turning north.

Here are some pictures along the Stirling Range Drive, much in the order as taken. Some are of very tiny things, some very large. Most of flowers, some of other vegetation and patterns. A constant delight to shift focus from large to small and to discover the unexpected.

The first plant below is of particular interest. Not only is it a great beauty, from the pea family, but it is a great protector of the park from herbivore intruders. A sheep, a cow or a rabbit eating this plant dies swiftly. The active chemical, sodium monofluoroacetate, is the chemical in the poison 1080. Throughout our travels, we see signs in wilderness and rural areas warning that 1080 baits have been laid, to kill foxes. The plant from which this poison was derived is a yellow flowering relative of this one, also found only in the Stirling Range.

We will not attempt to name plants here, we would make mistakes, and our purpose is in any case impressionistic.... so here are some impressions from the roadside.

The two above, two below and left are very small!

This picture, left, is a detail from the scene below

High in the air, spindly, see the flowers below

These were in the field below

Such things seen while looking down, but do also look up!

and take in the wider horizons!

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