Archive for July, 2013

Every Sunday morning for the last few months, I take a walk on our local beach while my girl is torturously put through a training session for an up coming event. We head down to the local lake and beach early in the morning (before 7am). In the early morning light, the sun having risen only half an hour earlier, it is glorious to see such natural beauty – sand bars and channels where the lake meets the ocean, crystal blue water, water birds, clouds, the crashing waves, the beach stretched out in front of us, the rock headland and shapes of islands in the distance.

As I took a walk on the beach on Sunday morning two weeks ago, I observed the debris that has been washed up – shells, coral (some huge lumps, larger than our Maltese), driftwood, algae and mangrove seed pods. I have observed small number of the bright green, round seed pods of the most common mangrove species in South East Queensland – Avicennia marina, the Grey Mangrove. This particular time I was amazed to see that a huge number of these bright green seed pods had been washed up. As I walked south wards, the high tide line in the sand was littered with these pods. Thousands had been washed up. I also was rather fascinated to observed one long, slim, dark green seed pod of another common mangrove species to South East Queensland, Rhizophora stylosa, the Red Mangrove.

I have had a fascination with mangroves for many years and it was sparked by a book on mangroves I received as a prize in a high school science completion. The biology and habitat is very interesting. And I think it rather awesome to see mangroves lining creeks, estuarine waterways and rivers in the cities and towns that I have lived and worked in, including Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane.

Qld Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Moreton Bay Mangrove Species






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On my morning walk to work I observed both a Black Cormorant and a Little Pied Cormorant. I first saw the Black Cormorant on the grassy bank next to one of lakes in the lake complex, flapping its wings. By the time I had walked close, the bird had flown to the water and was gliding across the lake surface. Next, I observed the Little Pied Cormorant perched on a low hanging branch on the edge of an adjacent lake. I watched as the bird flapped its wings, turned around and then stretched its wing, drying them.




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Oriental Darter spotted and photographed on my walk to work last Friday.




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Little Pied Cormorant spotted and photographed last Friday on my walk to work (in the rain).





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I was fascinated to hear of the discovery of 50 million year old fossilised bones of crocodiles and fish, along with fossilised plants and shells in the Brisbane suburb of Geebung. Workers on a construction site for a railway overpass discovered the fossils last month in an oil shale layer at 15m below the surface. See the ABC News article – Workers Make Surprise Find In Brisbane

According to ABC News, Professor Suzanne Miller, chief of the Queensland Museum said that the find is “very unusual to find materials being uncovered in these urban sites. I mean, most discoveries of this nature are found miles from anywhere.” Professor Miller in the ABC News article was also quoted as saying “first of all it’s very unusual to have an urban construction site that finds it, and secondly to have the people on the construction team realise that there was something unusual and to make that call was incredibly fortunate for us.”

The find is thought to be significant and may shed light after the dinosaurs became extinct (ABC News).

Apparently the museum will employ community volunteers to help sift through the soil set aside. This is something I would like to do!

Reference –
Workers Make Surprise Find In Brisbane

20130719-063846.jpg (Source – ABC News)

20130719-064601.jpg (Source – ABC News)

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Lipstick On My Lab Coat

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t entertain the idea of a career as an Archaeologist.

I am fascinated by history. I am a scientist by nature and training (analytical, inquisitive, skeptical, a critical thinker). I would love to time travel back to the 1930’s and 1940’s a be an Archaeologist in the vein of Indiana Jones. Oh for the adventure and romance (yes with tough, beguiling adventuresses or glamorous femme fatales)!! I do have ideas for a story / novel along these lines.

Over the last year and a half, while assessing applications from PhD students with a background in Archaeology or reading about Archaeological researchers in the Faculty I work in, I have contemplated my question. “Why didn’t I study Archaeology at university?”

In the final years of school I dreamt of being a Forensic Pathologist or Forensic Biologist. I was still fascinated with history. When I came to…

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Flowering Queensland Silver Wattle, Acacia podalyriifolia observed on my walk to work yesterday morning.




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