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29 December 2022

Platypus, by Ann Moyal

The platypus is extraordinary, and this is a book about how we came to know that. Written by a historian of Australian science, Platypus is subtitled, “The extraordinary story of how a curious creature baffled the world.”  Moyal recounts the first specimens being sent back to the intellectual centers of western Europe (London and Paris, principally) from Australia, the subsequent suspicions that it was a hoax of taxidermy, and then …


30 December 2021

Footprints: In search of future fossils, by David Farrier

Callan reviews Scottish author David Farrier’s nonfiction exploration of humanity’s signatures on the geologic record.


31 May 2020

Mount Coot-tha Building Stones

  A few weeks ago, I put up a blog post about a Gold Mine Hike at Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane, Australia.  I wrote that the gold was found in meta-sedimentary rocks, but I didn’t show any good pictures of the rocks. This is because the rocks are highly weathered and also mostly covered with vegetation in the area where the hike is located. This morning I went with my …


30 April 2020

Gold Mine Hike at Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane, Australia

Considering the COVID-19 travel restrictions at the moment, my ability to go on georneys (geological journeys) is very limited at the moment. However, here in Australia we are fortunate that we can still go outside for some recreation, as long as we stay close to home. We live close to Mount Coot-tha, a mountain with a beautiful forest reserve and botanic garden. Most weekends, I go for a hike with …


5 January 2020

Donate to Help Australia – and I’ll Send You an Aussie Postcard

I moved to Australia last year, and I am very happy and proud to be living in this incredible country. Recently, my heart has been breaking as I hear about the Australian bushfires, which are catastrophic and have grown much worse over the past couple of weeks. The extreme nature of the fires is no doubt due to climate change, as explained, for example, here and here. I live in …


19 July 2019

Friday fold: Banded iron formation from the University of Wisconsin geology museum

A final Friday fold from Madison, Wisconsin: this one a slab of cut and polished banded iron formation from Australia: What exquisitely beautiful rock! Happy Friday!


8 July 2019

Monday Geology Picture: Travertine Wall

Wow, the past couple of months have been busy! I spent most of May and June travelling for work. Life has calmed down now, so it’s time to resume my blogging… and try to stick with it a little better for the rest of the year! To kick off some blogging, here’s a picture of a beautiful decorative travertine stone on the front of a building. I took this picture …


22 April 2019

Monday Geology Picture: Glass House Mountains, Australia

I have been terribly neglecting my blog this year. However, I have a good excuse: over the past few months I have accepted a new job working as a geologist for Anglo American… and  I have moved my family to beautiful Brisbane, Australia. On top of that, I am mother to a young son (18 months old now) and I’m also studying part-time… so, I have my hands very full! …


7 January 2019

Monday Geology Picture: Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Brisbane, Australia

Happy New Year! I’m going to try to keep up with my “Monday Geology Picture” posts in 2019. I did okay with these in 2018, although I missed some weeks here and there when I was very busy with work or family life. To start off a new year of pictures, here is a picture that I took during a recent visit to Brisbane, Australia. This picture shows a place …


10 September 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Geology Building at the University of Queensland

Earlier this year I visited The University of Queensland in Australia. For this week’s picture, I’m sharing an image of the lovely geology building at the university. The building is made out of gorgeous sandstone blocks… and there’s a dinosaur mural! And, lower down, check out the stones with the fossil carvings! What a great building. I think this is one of the most lovely and delightful geology buildings that …


27 April 2018

Friday fold: Cape Liptrap

Sandra McLaren of the University of Melbourne is the source of today’s guest Friday Fold. Let’s join her on a journey with her students to Cape Liptrap (southeast of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia) on a lovely day: What a spectacular place. (We have featured folds from this site previously.) Happy Friday all!


2 April 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Newcastle Coal

During my recent trip to Australia, I was able to pick a piece of coal off of the ground — something that I’ve never done before. I was in Newcastle, a coal mining region, for a conference. One evening I went for a walk along the beach, where coal seams are visible in outcrop. The picture above shows a piece of coal that I picked up off of the beach …


26 March 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Weathered Sandstone at Cottage Point, Australia

Here’s another picture from my recent trip to Australia. This picture shows a weathered  sandstone outcrop that I saw (by kayak!) at a place called Cottage Point. You can see fresh banded sandstone (light in color) underneath a darker weathering rim. Weathering has created some very interesting shapes in this outcrop! There are quite a few sandstone rocks in the Sydney area. They are frequently used as building stones — …


19 March 2018

Monday Geology Picture: A Living Fossil Tree

Today is my last day in Australia. Today, my family, some friends, and I spent a few hours exploring the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. There are many beautiful and amazing plants in the garden. However, one plant in particular caught my eye: the Wollemi Pine, which is considered a living fossil because until the tree was discovered in the 1990s it was only known from the fossil record. The …


12 March 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Sandstone Building Stone

I’m currently on the east coast of Australia, where local sandstone is commonly used as a building stone. Above is a picture that I took this morning. This picture shows some beautiful building stones on display at the University of Newcastle. The cross-bedding and variable coloration of the sandstone layers is just gorgeous. What a lovely building stone!


5 March 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Great Barrier Reef View

My family and I are flying to Australia tomorrow, so for this week’s “Monday Geology Picture” I thought I would share a view of the Great Barrier Reef that we took when we last visited Australia back in 2015 — before the serious coral bleaching events of 2016 and 2017. I’ll be sharing more Australia pictures soon, so stay tuned!


5 January 2018

Friday fold: Scott Paterson in Tasmania

My friend Vali Memeti posted this photo of her husband Scott Paterson examining some folded rocks on the coast of Tasmania last week. It looks like Vali and Scott enjoyed a fun excursion to this “Even Further” Down Under location. This is the Sulphur Creek geologic site, part of a geocache suite called “Created from Chaos,” though I don’t get too much additional information from their website. Presumably the rocks …


8 February 2016

Monday Geology Picture: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

For today’s “Monday Geology Picture” post I thought I’d share one shot of the Great Barrier Reef that my husband took during our vacation to Australia last year. Stay tuned for some more pictures from that trip! One of the items on my blogging to-do list is sharing some more pictures and information from our Australian adventure.


8 September 2015

Syndey Sandstone

Back in March and April 2015 my husband and I travelled to Australia for a couple of weeks for vacation. We went to visit some good friends who live in Sydney. We spent most of our time in Sydney and some of the surrounding areas, such as the Blue Mountains. We also spent a few days up in the Port Douglas area, including a couple of days on a boat …


27 July 2015

Monday Geology Picture: Cross-Bedding Sandstone Bench, Sydney, Australia

Goodness, I’ve been busy recently! I’m afraid that my blogging has been quite neglected… as it has been for the past few months. However, things have finally calmed down a little now, so I’m going to make an effort over the next few weeks to share some geological pictures from some of my recent travels… and also possibly from some travels in 2014 that I neglected to blog about. I’ll …