By Dan Shapley
Backyard bulldozing reveals a forest of ancient hardwood
Most people can relate to the experience of digging up a minor treasure in the course of gardening -- an arrowhead, an old hinge, some fragment of brick that opens a window on the property's past. But rarely does that past stretch back 15 million years to a time when a volcano flooded a hardwood forest with lava. But that's what happened to Clyde Friend when running a bulldozer on his property in Washington state. As he's continued to unearth the ancient trunks, he's unearthed some 200 hardwoods of impressive size -- 24 inches around, and 24-feet high in some cases. The petrified trees were turned to rock after being buried by lava, and have remained buried in basalt for millions of years. The find was one of those "wow" moments in the life of one man. But for everyone else, it's a reminder of how the Earth never ceases to reveal mysterious and wondrous facets, according to a story in the June 28 Los Angeles Times.