Tag Archives: agatized wood


We walked in over multicolored gravels eroded from some long-lost range. Some were petrified wood, glossy and tumble-polished. Among them a second generation of trees had grown; these too had fossilized, then eroded, and now looked simply like wood chips inexplicably turned to stone. Among them the ponderosas of today stood, living wood.

Next to a dissolving petrified log, recent woodcutters had left their beer cans and pile of slash. Old woodpile, new woodpile: the two looked remarkably alike, though the ancient one was yellow and bright as new wood, and the new one was gray.

Tooth of Time

To the western breaks. Our aim was to look for green agatized wood, but we hiked all over the place.

There were fragments of bone scattered through the arroyos—even part of a jaw, you could see the tooth sockets. At the base of the cliffs I spotted broken antlers, picked them up…and they were stone. I examined them with a hand lens and found, on one, the tiny, parallel, transverse scars left by the incisors of a Pliocene mouse or vole.

Those delicate tooth marks are slightly over two million years old.