Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Stones in the Landscape

Stones and rocks are everywhere on our planet earth and on other planets too. When a little piece of stone from outer space falls to earth it's called a meteor. If you see a meteor fall, it looks like a light swooshing through the sky, and it's called a shooting star. So a shooting star is a little piece of stone from space, burning up as it comes into the air around the earth.

Under the dirt and trees and grass, if you dig down, you will find stone. Mountains are made of stone too. Sometimes the wind and rain and frost create very beautiful landscapes from stone. In Utah, wind and frost has made tall columns of stone. People call them hoodoos. The stone is very colorful and strangely shaped.

In Bryce Canyon National Park we saw large numbers of hoodoos, and we walked around on trails up and down the stony landscape. In Arches National Park, the action of frosts, rain, and wind has created huge natural arches of stone, as well as hoodoos and many other shapes. All these stone formations take millions of years to develop.

In Hawaii, volcanic activity causes liquid stone, called magma or lava, to come out of vents in the islands and create new rocky places. Lava comes from very deep inside the earth where it is always very hot.

In this picture you can see how the lava crossed a road and buried it under a new layer of very hard stone. Now cars can't go on the road any more.

The stone arches and hoodoos in Utah take millions of years to form, but a vocano spouting lava can change the landscape in a few hours. When we were in Hawaii, we saw the road as it is shown in the picture. By now, more lava may have covered still more of the road and made this landscape entirely different.

We walked a long way after we took this picture. We went to see the hot lava still flowing into the sea and making new land.

Gardeners try to make small landscapes with trees, flowers, and bushes, and sometimes with stones. In Japan, gardeners have used very carefully chosen stones for many years. Here is a picture that Tom took in Kyoto, Japan. In this garden, are large stones under trees and small stones raked into a flat surface.

Finally, we have a few stones in our garden:

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