By John Y. Beaty
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Extra info for Nature is Stranger than Fiction
Coming of frost this moisture w'as frozen into ice. As this expanded, the cracks were widened, and small pieces of rock were broken away. Then came the snow, and as it melted more water ran into the cracks and into other cracks which had been formed by the rapid change between heat and cold when the sun shone on the rock during the day and the night winds cooled the rock again. But nature was using chemical processes at the same time. Nature continually employs chemicals, especially acid, to disintegrate rocks.
The tree, whose scientific name is Araucaria imbricata, is usually called a 'monkey puzzle' because the monkeys have not found a way to climb it. There is no spot on the entire tree where anything other than a bird or an insect can retain a hold. It is rather a large tree. One specimen at Santa Rosa, California, was some forty feet high and had a spread of twenty feet or more. The leaves are evergreen and beautifully symmetrical. The monkey puzzle is a native of Chile but has been imported to the warmer parts of other countries.
But nature was using chemical processes at the same time. Nature continually employs chemicals, especially acid, to disintegrate rocks. As these break up, portions of them collect in crevices, or at the foot of the rock, and biology begins to operate. Birds drop seeds into this newly forming soil. Insects crawl into the crevices and die. A man drops in a tiny piece of wood which he has iinished using. Mammals add other debris to the combination which is rapidly becoming soil. The seeds brought by the birds begin to grow and form plants.