Way back in June

australia

I was privileged to attend a field trip with the Canberra Lapidary Club to Captains’ Flat, a town in New South Wales with a rich history of mining. Because these are photos shot by a woman I am honored to call my “Australian Mom” (Barbara Richardson aka Barb, Babs, and Barb Wire, actual mother of Luke Bulkeley), I am in most of the shots, apposed to my usual posts which show case images where I am no where to be found- Typically I am behind the camera taking snapping the shutter…

I don’t recall having visited a mine since my geologic studies began at 20 years old. It was great to understand more about the landscape post collegian studies. The smelters where particularly interesting and I asked my fellow explorers if they thought the chemical residue sloshing down the hill below the smelters forming some kind of sulfur oxide metal hybrid mineral would actually be considered a mineral because one criteria of a mineral is that it is NOT man made and presumably this hybrid would never have formed under natural circumstances- without the smelter removing some elemental components and leaving the residue…Paradox. My counter parts thought it was a silly argument and I relented.

I had such a ball with the Lapidary club, I also attended a talk on the formation of Australia’s mineral wealth by a scientist from Geoscience Australia (equivalent to the United States Geological Service- USGS), toured the gem processing facilities, volunteered as a jewelry cleaner at the clubs annul gem and mineral show, and this is where I met the manager who hired me to work at the Nation Dinosaur Museum. Just a little background info on the last 6 months.

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