This is the Lol Gray Loop, a nice spot visit for a group of wildflower lovers, bird watchers and fitness fanatics. It is a part of Dryandra woodland about 20km from Narrogin on the Wandering Narrogin Road. After passing the Dryandra Road entrance to the Lions Dryandra Village turn right (east) on to Kawana road and drive carefully on the narrow gravel road.
The road winds through typical Dryandra forest to the top of a high mesa where there is a picnic area and an old fire observation tower. The raised structure in the centre of the platform enabled the watcher to determine the direction of a fire. Could it also have been an altar where hearts of a captured firebugs were offered to a rain god?
Lol Gray was a shepherd and sandalwood cutter who emigrated from England in the early 1800s. His name survives as a soak he excavated just north of Dryandra, an adjacent early school and the general district.
Many flowers are uncommon to, or not found in Foxes Lair (see PDF file).
Where erosion has created deep bowl shaped valleys fringed by breakaways, brown mallet thickets thrive on the underlying acidic mottled clay, and have created extreme water repellence to exclude other plants.
A picnic table at the top is a great place to have a munch and send the energetic on the 3km walking trail that passes down a rocky gravel spur to the lower slopes and returns via a steep brown mallet breakaway. The rocky gravel area is steep with loose stones. Not for the dodgy hip brigade!
The fire access track goes through a nice Rock Sheoak patch with dolerite red loam hollow flanked by granite. This is a lovely green area in spring with everlastings, red sundews and other annual flowers. I found some purple enamel orchids, cowslip orchids and cupped leek orchids here.
A bit further on is the junction with the walking track where incapacitated or exhausted walkers can be collected.
In late October to early November you may be lucky enough to find sun orchids (Wandoo sun orchid/Thelymitra macrophylla and Scented sun orchid/Thelymitra latiloba), and Bearded orchid/ Calochilus robertsonii under the brown mallets by the track near the Narrogin Williams road. They are elusive as the sun orchids will only flower in sun, and beard orchids self pollinate and may only flower very briefly.