Soooooo, first off apologies for not writing an update sooner. Was a hectic week-and-a-half, and then I was without Wi-Fi for 5 days, so everything got a bit backlogged. As a result, this is a very long update!
So, to start, let’s get some photos in here of some wildlife!
So, In just under two weeks, we have travelled over 2,000 km, and spent over 25 hrs driving. We’ve gone from Brisbane to Toowoomba, to Tenterfield. to Ballarat, to Melbourne. Been quite a trip!
We started in Toowoomba where we spoke for a couple of nights, explored the edge of the Darling Downs, and visited some of the table-top mountains there. Afterwards, we headed out properly. Went down through Tenterfield, where we spent two days digging. Uncovered 3 fossil trees, heaps of fossil leaves, began to plot the laterization in the metamorphic rocks.
Dead kangaroos are abundant on the roads in NSW, as are wombats and bush rats. Was also great to do some survey work on the wildlife, particularly the ferns. The Sidney Fern we discovered is actually structurally and physically the same as the fossil ones I’ve found…..in Yorkshire. So we can conclusively prove that during the total time Sidney ferns have been alive they have changed into……Sidney ferns. In other words, no change at all.
While we were in Tenterfield, one family offered to take me around to see Jenolan Caves – twinned with Cheddar Gorge, UK. Had an amazing time with them, and got to see some of the amazing stalactites in the cave. After which we went down to the Seven Sisters (of which there are only three left), all illuminated in the dark. Incredible time.
After the time in Tenterfield, we headed south again down towards Ballarat. Spent some time digging around Castlemaine, uncovering graptolites. Same kind as in Wales. Same rock that is in Wales. It really does give you a sense of the size of some of these beds when you remember you are the other side of the world and you are finding the same rocks, same fossils. First thing we did in Ballarat was to teach in the school. Covered fossils and design (got to talk about dinosaurs and snakes all day basically!).
After a few days in Ballarat, I met one young lady, Katie, who worked at a local wildlife park, and offered to take a fellow animal keeper around. Had a fantastic time with her and Ezekiel, who carted me around, and guided me around the zoo. Got to see my first Koala (ok, he was asleep and curled up in the corner, but that’s not the point), first cassowary, and first saltwater croc (man, he was big…..). Wallabies and Roos were really friendly as well, would come up to you and were able to feed them.
Came down to Melbourne a couple of days ago. Led a fantastic Home-Ed day with John, as well as a field trip to ‘Fossil Cove’. Fantastic finds as well.
Interesting bit is that I was supposed to be splitting the driving between myself and John. However, be cause of John’s back, he has dome a total of….. 2 hours. And what’s more, as well as doing all the driving, I’ve had to massage his back with a ‘Thumper’ (which is basically a strange lump-hammer that vibrates…..) several times! Anyway, on a serious note, please do pray for his back, as it may hold up some of the digs coming up.
Tomorrow we go to Tasmania, then Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. Next week we are heading off to Alice Springs and Uluru! Updates are on their way!