Looking at the walls of the quarry up close, you notice that the grooves lean this way and that, like someone has sketched it.
The grooves are formed when magma, coming out of the volcano, cools. Hubby the geologist says that the way the grooves lean point to the coolest point. Since the grooves on each layer point in different directions, it tells you that the volcano was active many, many times.
Close up, it looks very beautiful, like artwork.
The kids were pretty enthralled too.
Looking at the landscape around Sydney now, it’s hard to believe that at one stage the area harboured some active volcanoes. The evidence may be hard to find now, but they are there.
Back to the geology excursion, the second half was a visit to Kulnura Quarry, in the tablelands of the Central Coast. The quarry produces basalt to be used in concrete and road base, and basalt (recalling all those high school science lessons) comes from volcanoes.
We could drive into the quarry. Here we are at the top of the hill.
We drive 160 metres down to the floor of the quarry.
And look back up to where we started.
That’s 50 years worth of digging – and they still haven’t hit the bottom. The manager said that there’s another 50 years’ worth of basalt underneath.
We interrupt our geological excursion for a food break.
Once again, we made our own hot cross buns this Easter. This time it was more of a team effort – hubby made and brushed on the sugar glaze – and we added dark choc chips along with dried cranberries. It was super yum!
Let’s have a look at the spoils.
This boy found some sea plants (looks like a type of kelp) and what might be a small squid.
This boy found some scallop shells, sea lilies stems, and pipi like shellfish, all in one rock.
Hubby found three different types of shellfish, plus a stone that has been polished and moved by a glacier.
It is hard to imagine that the Hunter Valley had everything happen to it at one stage or other, but it has. It’s been under water, covered with glacial ice, and by ash and lava from nearby volcanoes.
Next, we will have a look at the remnants of an old volcano.
The boys worked hard to release the fossils from their rocky tombs.
The fossils at Mulbring are from 275 million years ago, when the area was a shallow sea. There were also lots of earthquakes/tsumanis/erupting volcanoes. All possible causes of why there were so many dead creatures in one place.
We’re heading back to Mulbring Quarry in the Hunter Valley, this time with some school kids and their parents. First, a little walk into the quarry.
I made my first cardigan in blue, hence the name Blue Shalom. The pattern is very popular on Ravelry, and not too hard for a semi-beginner like me, though the twisted rib stitch yoke (that's the shoulder area for non-knitters) nearly drove me around the bend. After wet blocking the cardi was rather log (draping over my derriere), but that's ok for me. I even found a good button in my button jar for the single button closure.
Hello again, it’s Bridie Beagle here, to talk about my favourite subject – food. My parents say that I’m obsessed with food. Well, they’re completely right. I live, and more importantly, breathe food. Breathe, because my breed are gifted with a wonderful sense of smell. That’s why my kin work as food detection dogs at the airport.
Meanwhile, I’m a lady of leisure, but I’m not leisurely when food is around. I get excited and possessive. Like in this instance, when I have my eye on the remnants of some cookies that Mummy made.
My parents say that I become Ms. Jekyll around food, when I am usually Lady Hyde. I say it’s because they never ever give me enough. A lady needs more than just one cup of dry food a day when there are soo many wonderful things to eat out there. I must admit they do give me the odd treat (toast crusts, yoghurt containers, bones, fat, to name a few things), but I want to eat all the time.
“You can’t eat all the time,” they say, “You’ll get really fat and sick.”
They must be wrong though, as I’ve never been sick from eating too much, not even when I ate a whole round of brie and a block of cheddar in one sitting. Besides, isn’t it rude to call someone fat? I have and will always be shapely, but unlike some humans, I love my curves.
We finished dinner with a tiramisu. This is really a dessert for coffee lovers – there was more espresso in there than booze, I think! And the orange zest gave a nice zing to the dessert. It also wasn’t too rich, so a nice way to end our meal.
I must say we were impressed with the service. The wait staff were welcoming and amazingly efficient, even with a full restaurant. We may return to sample more of the mains.
We decided to have pasta for main. Hubby predictably chose turbo fusilli arrabiatta, and really enjoyed it as it was hot. Well, it would be with Scotch Bonnet chillis in it.
Meanwhile, I chose mushroom panzerotti. The half-moon raviolis were filled with brown cap and porcini mushrooms and ricotta, making the dish a lovely, rich treat.