17-He Is Risen
16-50 years ago
14-A Song of Drake's Men
10-The Original Tom Thumb
9-Happy Birthday Mom
7-Thinking About Motion Pictures
6-BNSF Rail Yard
4-Wake Up Jacob
3-Free Throw Specialist
2-House Numbers for Bees
1-Sloppy Joe's Bar
Vol. 2 - January - No. 5Wonders of the World: The Petrified Forest of Arizona
Near Adamana, in eastern Arizona, is one of the most interesting natural wonders in the world, the Petrified Forest. This is a "forest" of fallen trees, including many big Sequoias, which by natural processes have been converted into stone. So great has been the interest of visitors in this strange phenomenon that the site was set aside in 1906 as a National Monument.
The Petrified Forest is the result of what is called petrification. Water or wind carries away the decayed material of dead plants or animals, and various minerals fill the empty space remaining. Finally, the entire object has become stone, its original form remaining almost as it was. Almost anywhere one may find examples of petrification, especially in the form of fossils, but in Arizona the process was carried to an extreme: an entire forest was petrified.
How did this happen? Perhaps during ages long past the desert moved up on this forest, some 40 miles in the area, and completely covered it with sand. Or perhaps the forest was buried in the ashes of a volcano, since volcanoes were once active in Arizona. The process of petrification then began, the decaying wood being carried away by water and replaced by minerals. After the process was complete, the desert of sand or ashes moved on past the forest, leaving it uncovered once again after its burial of perhaps thousands of years.
No trees in the Petrified Forest are still standing. All lay prostrate on the desert, many of them broken into sections. Some of the logs are 6 feet in diameter. One of them, 100 feet long, forms a natural bridge.
When chipped off, the petrified wood exhibits various beautiful colors, depending upon the kinds of minerals that replaced the vegetable structure of the original tree. Sometimes the colors are opal, more often agate. But even these colors are not more wonderful than the fact that the "bark" and other parts of many of the trees look almost as they did ages ago, when the forest was living and green.
Petrified Forest National Monument pamphlet, 1923 (.pdf)