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“There are places I remember …”

Of course there are.  There are places that all of us remember.  And there are other places that no one remembers, because they were lost long before there were any people.  But the Earth remembers.

I spend much of my life asking the Earth about these memories, and this blog is largely about what I have learned.  Most of the places I have learned about are ancient shorelines and tropical seas dating from long before the time of the oldest dinosaurs.  Much of what you will find here discusses the fossils of ancient life forms and the environments in which they lived, but much is also about me, and about how we learn about the past.  And some of this blog is about very little at all.  Because like almost everyone else, I am often concerned with the minutiae of my own existence …

Graham Young is Curator of Geology and Paleontology at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg.

unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are © The Manitoba Museum or © Graham Young; text © Graham Young, 2009 -2013

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Steven Kukla permalink
    July 21, 2009 5:17 am

    Just returned from my 1st trip to the Manitoba Escarpment, where I also participated in my 1st marine fossil excursion dig, with the CFDC folks in Morden. What a delight. Fell in love with the area, with the dig, with geology and prehistoric life forms, and I long to return. But that’ll be a while, so I started researching the area and stumbled upon your great blog. Thanks. Hopefully I’ll make it to your museum next time.

    • Graham permalink*
      August 7, 2009 9:23 am

      Thank you for your kind remarks. Yes, make sure you visit our museum the next time you are in this area!

  2. August 7, 2009 6:47 am

    You have a fine, long term view of the topic. Keep in mind that in the relatively shorter term, particularly in Canada, and other recently deglaciated northern parts, the the land has risen by ca. 1000 feet in the last ca.8000 years. I have read estimates far higher than that for Scandinavia. What makes this notable is the admonition in Book I, Chapter 5 of Claudius Ptolemy’s “Geographia” of ca. 150 AD (Stevenson Translation, Dover Edition, 1991)

    “Attention must be paid to the latest researches because the earth, in the course of time undergoes change.” Keep up the great work and sharing with us.

    • Graham permalink*
      August 7, 2009 9:22 am

      Thanks, Carl. We have had the opportunity to see the Hudson Bay beach ridges from a helicopter – they are quite marvellous. I am saving that story for a future post!

  3. Francine permalink
    August 14, 2009 6:30 am

    Thoroughly wonderful pages.

  4. lee smith permalink
    September 27, 2010 4:12 am

    hello im writing to see if you can help me. we recently found a fossil/ bone structure down the local shorline of saltburn by the sea.A man from whitby was shown a picture and he thinks it from the ice age era. it 3ft high, 2ft6 wide at the bottom. tapers up to roughly 8 inch shaped a bit like a ladle has a ball socket on top of the bone plus to other bones branching from the top weighing in between three and four stone. if this is of any interest to you please contact me on

    • Graham permalink*
      September 27, 2010 9:08 am

      Lee, please take a look at the e-mail I sent you.

  5. May 5, 2011 8:46 pm

    Graham! This is great! More fossils!

    I was actually cruising the web looking for some of the whackier publicity a paper on an Eocene giant ant from Wyoming that Bruce Archibald, Kirk Johnson (Denver Museum of Nature & Science), Rolf Mathewes and I had come out today (May 4, Proc. Roy. Soc. B) and stumbled upon your blog. Impressive.

    Was great to have you out in Brandon this winter. Next time we’ll have you out in summer so we can dig for some Paleocene plants!

    Keep it up!
    Dave Greenwood, Brandon

    • Graham permalink*
      May 10, 2011 11:03 pm

      David, thank you for your kind comments. I’m sorry I had missed them, as they had been identified as “spam” for some strange reason. I hope to get out there to use your fabulous microscope setup, maybe some time this summer?

      • May 13, 2011 7:51 pm

        Absolutely. The ‘scopes are always happy to have fossils placed beneath their lenses, even non-plant fossils. 🙂

        I think I will offer a better restaurant than the last one we tried. Perhaps Chez Greenwood! Hopefully all the water will subside and you can actually get to Brandon!

      • Graham permalink*
        May 13, 2011 9:05 pm

        Thanks David. Let’s figure out when this might work, post-inundation!

  6. Allan T. Scholz permalink
    December 15, 2011 2:15 pm

    I would like to use the image of Amyzon from the Horsefly Fossil locality in a book that I am preparing on Fishes of Eastern Washington: A Natural History. The same species occurs at a fossil site in Republic, WA. This book will be published as a not for profit book with about 500 copies printed. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Allan T. Scholz, Ph.D.
    Professor of Biology
    Eastern Washington University
    Cheney, WA

  7. Meredith permalink
    January 29, 2012 1:04 pm

    I love your piece on the Redpath Museum. In which corner did you find the mini-diorama of the dinosaurs? I can’t believe I missed that! It is so sweet. It’s like missing the caramel in the box of chocolates.

    • Graham permalink*
      January 29, 2012 2:41 pm

      Hi Meredith. To the best of my recollection, it was somewhere in the middle near the dinosaurs (though I could be wrong!).

  8. March 23, 2013 5:57 am

    Always look forward to your postings. Thank you for your absolute dedication to the science.

    • Graham permalink*
      March 23, 2013 10:11 am

      Thank you for your kind comment!

  9. July 8, 2013 8:12 pm

    Thank you for this explanation.

  10. July 24, 2013 2:00 pm

    About your July 19 posting: Knowing so little about geology, I appreciate the education in your narrative. I’m wowed by your portrayal of scale and distance in these photographs. Your second, fourth, and sixth shots do a great job depicting distance looking down. I find that hard to do. In the second one, especially, I can feel that dropoff. Hmm, doesn’t seem that you’d be able to get that shot while keeping “clear of all embankments.” Glad you didn’t fall.

    • Graham permalink*
      July 24, 2013 4:43 pm

      Linda, many thanks for your comments!

  11. Daniel permalink
    February 5, 2015 10:19 pm

    Happy New Year Graham, time flies, it would be the 6th year since I follow yr blog. IT was so fast, I thought it was just 2 or 3 yrs ago when I joined here. Thank you for the info and stories. Well, I guess, after so many years, would you consider changing back the cover page photo to the one with rocks and boulders on the shoreline?

    • Graham permalink*
      February 5, 2015 10:22 pm

      Thank you, Daniel. You’re right, I should change it – maybe even to something different again? And I have some new posts in the works – soon!

  12. June 19, 2019 1:41 pm

    Hello, I am working on a project about Pisew and Kwasitchewan Falls. I’m trying to understand the geological events that made these falls and am kind of hitting a wall in my research. All I could find was basically one sentence in the Wikipedia article that has no reference attached to it. Do you know of any other information or resources that I can look at to help my research. Thanks for you help.

  13. karstenwall permalink
    June 19, 2019 1:43 pm

    Hello, I am working on a project about Pisew and Kwasitchewan Falls. I’m trying to understand the geological events that made these falls and am kind of hitting a wall in my research. All I could find was basically one sentence in the Wikipedia article that has no reference attached to it. Do you know of any other information or resources that I can look at to help my research? Thanks.

    • Graham permalink*
      July 2, 2019 9:47 pm

      Hi Karsten. Sorry, I have been away for a while – I don’t know much about it, but would recommend contacting the Manitoba Geological Survey.

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