Late Spring into early Summer is the time of the lilies. As the warmth hangs around the lower slopes of Barrm Birrm, spires and drifts of flowers open to reveal a marvellous inventiveness. So many tricks of the eye and scents, to tease and entice, all in pursuit of pollination!
The Tall Fringe-Lily wears a cute fringe on its three bright pink petals. The pretty Milkmaids stand in clusters, bright white petals offsetting their pink ovary, murmuring 'come hither.' And the Chocolate Lily sends out long stems decked with many bright purple flowers that waft, yes, a delicious chocolate scent on the morning air.
|Tall Fringe-Lily. Russell Best|
|Chocolate lilies, with Milk maids. Nadya Korinfsky|
|Chocolate lilies. David Francis|
A good place to start your lily searching is up a track 130 meters along the dirt road part of Gap Road, from the T Junction at the top of Gap Road. Park on the right hand verge where there's space, and head up the lower slopes. Soon you're in swaths of chocolate lilies.
Lily browsing is a gentle pastime. It requires a slow pace, a willingness to look and wait for the flowers to make themselves known, and an appreciation of small things. These aren't lilies as you find them at the florist, blaring their presence. They are small, delicate constructions, living their lives out quietly amongst grasses.
Once you make a start, wandering for lilies takes a hold. You may find yourself off the track, picking your way through grasses, scanning ahead for more wonders. Let your curiosity lead you. There are so many tracks in Barrm Birrm, you're sure to find another soon, and heading down the slope anytime is your fallback, bringing you out onto Gap Road. Go deeper into the bush and you may start to find Barrm Birrm's spectacular orchids.
To learn more about these plants, get a copy of "Macedon Range Flora" from the good folk at Riddells Post Office.