In search of the bushfire ephemerals

by John Wilson February. 27, 2021 530 views

We took a day trip off road in search of elusive 'bushfire ephemerals' - wildflowers that are only seen once in a generation.

Actinotus forsythii or pink flannel flowers require bushfire smoke to stimulate germination. They are very rarely seen but the 2019/20 bushfires in NSW have led to stunning displays in a few places.

Actinotus forsythii or pink flannel flowers require bushfire smoke to stimulate germination. They are very rarely seen but the 2019/20 bushfires in NSW have led to stunning displays in a few places.

Our trip took us to some isolated areas outside Sydney that had been hard hit by fires a year or so prior. Regrowth is now widespread.

Our trip took us to some isolated areas outside Sydney that had been hard hit by fires a year or so prior. Regrowth is now widespread.

We trusted Google Maps through some rough and unsignposted terrain that occasionally tested our 4WD. Lucky we brought an extra banana with us in case we got lost.

We trusted Google Maps through some rough and unsignposted terrain that occasionally tested our 4WD. Lucky we brought an extra banana with us in case we got lost.

Then it was on foot for a few kilometres to try to find the flowers.

Then it was on foot for a few kilometres to try to find the flowers.

The spiders didn't seem to like me and the feeling was mutual when I kept getting tangled in their webs.

The spiders didn't seem to like me and the feeling was mutual when I kept getting tangled in their webs.

Lizards were rather cute however.

Lizards were rather cute however.

Our destination was a hidden valley called Gooch's Crater. Not actually a crater but it looks a bit like one. Just as I was losing confidence that we'd find it - there it was.

Our destination was a hidden valley called Gooch's Crater. Not actually a crater but it looks a bit like one. Just as I was losing confidence that we'd find it - there it was.

And there were the flowers, just as we had read. One could go a lifetime and not see these, so it was very special to find them.

And there were the flowers, just as we had read. One could go a lifetime and not see these, so it was very special to find them.

The area was alive with the elusive pink flannel flowers.

The area was alive with the elusive pink flannel flowers.

Gooch's Crater, which I'd not heard of before, was well worth a visit in its own right. And I certainly didn't realise they had moved the Pyramids to Australia. Must have been quite an effort.

Gooch's Crater, which I'd not heard of before, was well worth a visit in its own right. And I certainly didn't realise they had moved the Pyramids to Australia. Must have been quite an effort.

Ferns in the afternoon sun.

Ferns in the afternoon sun.

There's always something to look at under your feet.

There's always something to look at under your feet.

Such as this mossy rock.

Such as this mossy rock.

Time to head back to the car ... if we can find it. Did you say left after the forked tree ... or right? And where's that banana?

Time to head back to the car ... if we can find it. Did you say left after the forked tree ... or right? And where's that banana?

On the way home we detoured via a favourite lookout in the Blue Mountains, at Blackheath. Just stunning in the late afternoon. All in all, I call that a successful day out.

On the way home we detoured via a favourite lookout in the Blue Mountains, at Blackheath. Just stunning in the late afternoon. All in all, I call that a successful day out.

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Gethin Thomas 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Great post thanks for sharing it with us.

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Gethin Thomas 6 months, 3 weeks ago

My pleasure and thanks for the feedback!

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Gethin Thomas 6 months, 3 weeks ago

"Lucky we brought an extra banana with us in case we got lost." This made me chuckle. Was the banana 3G?smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Gethin Thomas 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What a great idea - a 3G banana. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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