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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Wildflower Walk   October 21, 2023

The annual guided Wildflower Walk began at the corner of 5th Avenue and O’Donohue Road with the 1.5km circuit taking us through the undulating coastal heathland and into a small gully before winding back to the starting point.

Prior to the walk Margaret, who was our guide, reminded us of the history of the O’Donohue heathland and the early battle to ensure that this unique heathland environment remained intact and saved from a planned housing and trourist development in the 1990’s.

Margaret welcoming group
Margaret welcomes the group and explains the history

Because of the unusually dry conditions over the past few weeks, we didn’t expect to see a great variety of flowering plants, and almost all the orchids had finished for the season. However there were still many flowers to admire.

The start of the walk took us through an impressive area where the Cypress Daisy-bush had been such a feature just a few weeks earlier.

Cypress Daisy-bush
Cypress Daisy-bush flanks the narrow path

As we walked further along the track most of the flowers that had been flowering so beautifully in early October were still present, although not in such large numbers. Bent Goodenias, Showy and Smooth Parrot-peas, Dwarf Bush Pea, Red-riding Hood Pea, Common Everlastings, Purple Flags and a profusion of white and pink flowering Tea-tree as well as many other species were observed and pointed out to the group.

tapestry of colour with heathland plants entwined together.
tapestry of colour with heathland plants entwined together

It was an opportunity for people to renew acquaintance with many of the plants they already knew, whilst adding some new ones to their lists.

Admiring the flowers where orchids had been flowering just 2 days previously
Admiring the flowers where orchids had been flowering just 2 days previously
Ocean backdrop
The backdrop of the ocean added another level of pleasure to the walk

When we headed into the gully, the flora changed somewhat. Overhead trees, Anglesea Grey Gums and shrubs, Dusty Miller, Snowy Daisy Bush – while on the ground Maidenhair Fern and Ivy-leafed Violets grew in the shaded, damper environment.

Entering the gully
Entering the gully
The maidenhair fern was just spectacular
The maidenhair fern was just spectacular

Everyone seemed to very much enjoy the walk, to be able to observe the views across the coastline and be provided with so much information about the various forms of our local indigenous plants. The weather was cooler than the previous two very hot days, and fairly cloudy. In fact perfect conditions for strolling and observing the local flora.

Kaye Traynor
Photos Ellen Doxey, Marg MacDonald