St Arnaud Trip Report by Marg.

Leader: Bob Wright

We had a great time finding orchids. The original intention was to go to the Rainbow Skifield to see the alpine flowers. However the road was being repaired that weekend. Instead some of us went through the upper Clarence Valley to Lake Tennyson and over Island Saddle. The day was stunning. The gentians were out in flower along the roadside. The small colony of Penwiper plants in a stream at Lake Tennyson have disappeared, washed away in a deluge of rain.

Promise of rain made us decide to do the walks in the bush at Lake Rotoiti. Here we located the best orchids. Most of the Pterostylis banksii, Greenhood orchids were past their best except for one. Potato Orchid, Gastrodii cunninghamii, green and brown were blowing in the wind. A fast shutter speed or patience was needed. A couple of Leek orchids Prasophyllum colensoi, and another, so far, unidentified very small greenhood type orchid added to the growing list. We found Thelymitra first on Jacks Pass, then on the nature walk and later at the top of Lewis Pass by the tarn.

Rain on Saturday. However we set off for Lake Rotoroa. The scenery was magical with the low clouds and brooding sky. The sandflies at the lake were even better, big and very numerous. The nature walk was good with Rod turning over rotting logs looking for a particular beetle. None were found.

This was a great trip with much diversity. Landscapes, the West Coast bush and reflections in the Nelson Lakes were all great. Thanks Bob for organising this weekend

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